Gutsy, thrilling, live performances made 2018 a rollercoaster ride eliciting tears and laughter and inspiring us to get amongst the world we live in.
Award-winning artists and creative teams conjoured complex worlds, characters on the edge, and revolutionary action, chronicling the currency of life now through dark and spellbinding tales, whimsy and humour, and glorious brilliant realisations of new and contemporary work.
The year began with a dark and spellbinding tale set in the Southern Tablelands song cycle The Weight of Light, premiering with much anticipation with a virtuosic duo mesmerising audiences. Russian classic Diary of a Madman elicited stellar performances, post-apocalyptic worlds were summoned by the fabulous ensemble in War of the Worlds + Tourmaline Out Loud, and Venus in Fur sucked us into a seductive vortex of power with 100 minutes of magnificent theatre. Working with partners and with our community, we commissioned and produced Ross Mueller’s Epitaph, a museum theatre work for the Australian War Memorial for the Armistice commemorations, premiered David Atfield’s Exclusion, supported many creative developments including Social Repair Service’s Too Soon to Tell, and invited in the Canberra Comedy Festival and a gaggle of comedians to our stages. Our performing arts hub supported professional development while we continued to shape new works in progress through The Hive and First Seen. Music filled our ears and festivals took over our stages and foyer.
Ending the year, next gen artists burst onto the stage energising us all with one of the 21st century’s groundbreaking theatre works – Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.
2018 has been a remarkable year for The Street, and we’re glad to have shared it with you. Explore the memories and feels.
THE WEIGHT OF LIGHT
“Call him back, we’re calling him back – we need our son here with us.”
We teamed up with the Goulburn Regional Conservatorim for the world premiere of The Weight of Light featuring outstanding baritone Michael Lampard and brilliant pianist Alan Hicks. A creative collaboration from acclaimed writer Nigel Featherstone and composer James Humberstone, this gritty, song-filled chronicle gives voice to the personal impact of modern warfare and the costs borne by families. Directed by Caroline Stacey, audiences were pulled into the cracks of human relationships and masculine identity in the 21st century. The production played in Goulburn and Sydney and a recording will be released in 2019. Both original work and regional collaboration were acknowledged at the 2018 Canberra Critics Circle Awards.
DIARY OF A MADMAN
“ This city! I don’t know why I endure working in that department. One is given absolutely no encouragement. No perks at all.”
PJ Williams got the critics’ gong for his portrayal of Poprishchin in our presentation of Gogol’s masterpiece, Diary of a Madman, a dark comedy of one man’s quest for individuality in a seemingly indifferent, urban city.
With direction from Caroline Stacey, Diary of A Madman took audiences into a fantastical world filled with laughter and rage, the tragic and the rapturous. The Street welcomed Lily Constantine to its stage for the first time, capturing our hearts in her roles as Tuovi, Sophia and Tatiana.
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS + TOURMALINE OUT LOUD
Audiences were treated to an electrifying weekend double-bill of two, iconic sci-fi-futurist classics given contemporary re-tellings to grip their imagination beyond the original.
“We’ve got to the bare bones of the country, and I reckon we’re getting to the bones of ourselves. If the water comes, it’ll be when we’ve stopped needing it. We’re coming true.” TOURMALINE
Continuing our exploration of marrying classic verse text with live performance,The Street’s Literary Out Loud Series brought together one of the 20th century’s most famous trans-Atlantic novel adaptations with the world premiere of the adaptation of Randolph Stowe’s Australian classic by one of Canberra’s leading playwrights, Emma Gibson.
We welcomed Breanna Barker to our stage for her professional debut in Tourmaline.
VENUS IN FUR
“You don’t have to tell me about sadomasochism. I’m in the theatre.”
Intoxicating, erotic, and highly charged play within a play by David Ives. Canberra audiences were tantalised with this unsettling exploration of sexual politics, gender and power, both on and offstage.
Starring Craig Alexander as Thomas and Joanna Richards as Vanda, with direction from Caroline Stacey and an award-winning creative team including designer Imogen Keen whose set and costumes were applauded.
“A wonderful son. Our best mate. An Anzac. ”
We collaborated with the Australian War Memorial to produce and present Epitaph. Written by Ross Mueller and directed by Shelly Higgs, the work underscores the emotional experience of creating an epitaph that honours and gives meaning to family members lost at war. Launched at the Memorial with the After the War exhibition as part of the Honour Their Spirit Armistice commemorative program, Epitaph will be performed regularly in the Memorial’s galleries through 2019.
From David Atfield, award-winning creator of ‘Scandalous Boy’, Exclusion, an explosive new play looked at the post marriage equality political world and questioned just how welcome LGBTIQ people really are in the corridors of power.
It felt subversive, and, with your homophobic government in power, even revolutionary”
To celebrate the Klimt centenary year, Vienna-based, Australian-Austrian actress Maxi Blaha returned to our stage for a powerful portrayal of Emilie Flöge, the reformist fashion designer who was also life companion to artist Gustav Klimt. Known for her sensitive portrayals of Australian female icons such as Bertha von Suttner and Efriede Jelinek, Maxi Blaha re-imagined Flöge’s life, cleverly mixing her internal and external worlds and a life lived across two world wars.
Filipino performance activist Mae Paner, popularly known as Juana Change, gave us raw, intense, moving and thought-provoking performances in monologues of drug-related killings in the Philippines, engendering hope for human rights in our world.
PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM & REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN
This play should not be well behaved. – Alice Birch
The Street Company burst onto the stage in Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch. Subversive, exhilarating, and darkly comic, this theatrical sit-in upends, obliterates and re-frames the feminist debate. The work was the perfect fit for the debut of The Street Company ensemble, Canberra’s next generation of talent who worked together in The Street’s Pre-Professional program with theatre-maker Karla Conway.
The Street Company 2018: Damon Baudin, Daniel Berthon, Bronte Forrester, Ash Hamilton-Smith, Hiyab Kerr, Hayden Splitt, and Anneka van der Velde
CANBERRA COMEDY FESTIVAL
We continued in our partnership with the Festival to present comedians from around the world on our stages – from the Doug Anthony All Stars to Urzila Carlson to the popular family friendly event with a line-up of favourites with no swearing at all.
This mirco-festival continues to amuse with featured a season of improvised music, comedy, and genre shows by Alchemists Improvisation, BnC Theatre, Chrysalis Theatre and Lightbulb Improv.
CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL IMPROVISATION FESTIVAL
Founded by Improv ACT, the festival once again presented on our stages an eclectic mix of the most exciting new works from around the globe of unscripted drama, music theatre, experimental and physical theatre.
We welcomed a diverse mix of international and Australian artists, creating music experiences up close and personal. Legends came, much-loved and critically acclaimed musicians returned, milestones celebrated and Canberra music babies launched new recordings. Not to be forgotten were The Three Seas, an international cultural exchange led by Matt Keegan, Jane Rutter’s Salon experiences with guest artists including Peter Coleman-Wright and Nexus Quartet, all things flamenco with Paco Lara and Damien Wright, love songs from Karen Shaupp and Umberto Clerici, and story-telling from William Crighton and Gawurra.
The Street continued to bring jazz artists together with Canberra’s dedicated followers. Musicians raised our hairs and spoke of the world around us through their original compositions and instruments. From the US, YolanDa Brown blew us away with love, politics and war, Alex Stuart returned home and brought his French band sharing the aftermath of Paris attacks, Joseph Tawadros came from London and fused worlds of music, Ben Marston and Hugh Barrett improvised an Australian jazz journey with trumpet and keys.
We continued to offer Canberra audiences the opportunity to be part of our creative process helping us progress performance works to production-ready stage with three works this year, each exploring issues of human survival, euthanasia and foreign diplomacy: Icarus by Christopher Samuel Carroll, Irene’s Wish by David Cole and Sherpas by Tom Davis.
The Street’s ongoing program for Canberra theatre makers presented masterclasses for artists and non-artists to develop skills in using theatre for human rights advocacy with Mae Paner aka Juana Change, Christian Ramilo and Noonee Doronila; an intensive 5 day Meisner workshop with Scott Williams; and image theatre and forum theatre with Robin Davidson and Ali Clinch.
Since 2010, we have offered a residency to established artists for a creative project. In 2018 ANU School of Music graduates, now Vienna-based, Sonia Anfiloff and Ben Connor returned to Canberra to take up residency with us to develop a new dramatic work fusing spoken theatre, dramatic song and dance.
CANBERRA DANCE THEATRE
Much loved CDT has taught, shared, created and performed dance in Canberra and celebrated 40 years on our stage with Happiness Is, a program of new short works featuring our talented dance professionals.
Canberra first urban dance and choreographic development program has paved the way for young dancers to learn, create and explore hip-hop and contemporary dance styles and celebrated with 18, a special showcase of Fresh Funk dancers now working professionally.