May 2020 Update

There is a Bonnie Tyler single for almost every occasion in the day to day running of an independent arts organisation. Sometimes it feels like Heaven, almost Too Good to Last, it’s The Best. You’re Getting so Excited making work Straight from the Heart thinking Here I Am in the Limelight. Other times It’s Not Easy and you feel like you are screaming Against the Wind and that you have to Hide Your Heart and Save Up All Your Tears and then find yourself sitting in your at home iso-office looking for options just, Holding Out for a Hero.

..and not often but sometimes a hero (or heroes) appear.

This week we were surprised, moved to joy and humbled to be contacted by not one, but two new supporting partners who both offered us money. Money to make things happen.

In a time of struggle for so many, receiving this support felt like a giant gift. A hero in an email.  An email filled with so much hope and happiness, not just for us as an organisation but for the artists we are currently working with – for the community that is Theatre Works.

100% of this money will go to artists – used to pay artists, to support new stories, and to strengthen future outcomes.  Partnerships like these allow us to continue as an independent platform for new ideas, new thinking, artistic experimentation, and rigorous creative investigation.  Details of these exciting projects can be found below.

What next? At this stage (pun intended) we are still operating in development mode with core staff and artists working from home but when it is safe to open our doors again we will. We are working behind the scenes (pun intended) to create models and opportunities that use our wonderful space when restrictions begin to lift. We will honour social distancing guidelines and put the health of audience and artists first but we are looking at meaningful ways to bring people back into the theatre – For now, COVID-19 has caused a Total Eclipse of the ‘art but Theatre Works will be back to being the leading independent hub that it is, where ideas come to life and people a free to imagine a different or better future.

P. S. Stay in touch





Masterclasses with Jane Bodie

She Writes Collective

She Writes is a new writing and performance program for emerging or mid-career female-identifying playwrights. This funding will provide participating writers support networks and professional development to reduce isolation during the pandemic.

Renowned playwright, Jane Bodie will be delivering virtual masterclasses: The Wonderful World of Theatrical Structure, Creativity In the Time of Covid19 and Location/Location – how to choose the right space, setting and location for your drama.

Learn more about Jane Bodie.

The Hatch Lab

Musical Theatre Development Program
Salty Theatre

The Hatch Lab is a brand new Musical Theatre Residency Program conceived by Salty Theatre, partnering with Theatre Works. It was created to assist Australian artists in their development of new musicals.

The Hatch Lab offers an individual writer/composer or writer/composer duo a professional 12-month residency to workshop and develop the Resident’s musical, featuring one-on-one mentoring sessions with renowned industry professionals and a full staged production as part of the Theatre Works 2021 season.

EOIs open this week Stay tuned to our social media for more info.

Owl and the Albatross

Script Development and Reading
Paris Balla, Sarah Branton and Ryan Hamilton

How the hell are you meant to figure out who you are while the world is on fire around you? The year is 2023. The sky is filled with smoke and for a kid with asthma, you haven’t got a chance in the city. So you get sent to live with your grandad, a boring old man who lives in a lighthouse by an ocean filled with rubbish and a baby albatross with no one to look after them.

So you fight for justice. But how are you meant to fight when the adults who can make a difference don’t care at all? And how can you possibly save the world when you’re barely staying afloat yourself? Owl and the Albatross is a play for anyone who has ever felt lost, for those who haven’t been heard, the adults who don’t listen and for anyone waiting for a light to guide them home.

Owl and the Albatross is a children’s work premiering at TW in 2021.

Deafferent Theatre

Theatre Works Residency

Deafferent Theatre is made up of Jess and Ilana, two theatre-lovers who wanted to make/share theatre. Surrounding us are an amazing community of Deaf and non-Deaf performers, creatives, Auslan users, and advocates who come together for art’s sake. Deafferent Theatre is one of Theatre Works’ inaugural Companies in Residence. Support includes programmed play readings, rehearsal space, extended access to the theatre, company profile development and a strategic planning session lead by a professional facilitator.

The Greer Effect

Script Development and Reading
Vanessa O’Neill

The Greer Effect is a theatrical investigation of Germaine Greer’s provocations. This play explores the multi-faceted nature of Greer: fiercely intelligent, cheeky and playful, deliberately provocative, and consistently challenging taboos. 2020 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Female Eunuch – a groundbreaking work that has never been out of print.

It is an important time to examine one of the world’s most infamous feminists and one of Victoria’s most famous daughters.

Big Things

Script Development and Reading
Stage Mom

Big Things is a new immersive horror/comedy inspired by the true story of the ‘missing’ Tromp family. Exploring the anxiety of Australian identity,
Stage Mom take you on a road trip through mass hysteria, The Big Pineapple, conspiracy theories, and giant prehistoric Australian lizards.

Stage Mom is a multi-disciplinary performance collective led by director/dramaturg Hannah Fallowfield and writer/dramaturg Alberto Di Troia. In 2020, they were appointed Theatre Works’ inaugural company-in-residence. They are interested in collaborative making, participatory audience experience and innovations in storytelling across live art, narrative theatre and screen.

The Stronger

Script Development and Adaptation
Iron Lung Theatre

Iron Lung Theatre will be developing August Strindberg’s The Stronger as part of their Company in Residence position with Theatre Works. The original translation and adaptation by WAAPA and Calle Flygare (Sweden) graduate, Julia Landberg, will be a world premiere on the theatre Works stage! Written in 1889, The Stranger is a fascinating study of the shifting power between two women and a potential affair one had with the other’s husband.

In the few years since #metoo, a 132-year-old play becomes a lens to investigate female relationships and what happens when women keep each other down in an attempt to stay up top. The process will include script development, creative development, technical development and a public showing in the latter half of 2020.

You May Not Rest Now, There are Monsters Nearby

Script Development
Chanella Macri, Bridget Balodis
& Krystalla Pearce

You May Not Rest Now was one of five short plays developed and presented in November 2019 as part of She is Vigilante, a development program directed by Bridget Balodis and Krystalla Pearce for new and emerging women writers. The short plays were performed by a community-based ensemble of untrained performers.

The work is about seven children. Abducted from seven of the safest, well-lit neighbourhoods. A story about colonisation, anger and where you have to be born for your life to matter. Mandem be warned – if you’re not a sister or a brother, this one wasn’t written for you.


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