Current Project

Siren Theatre Co.: The New Electric Ballroom

Siren Theatre Company are artists-in-residence in the Rex from 6 February to 4th March 2012, rehearsing The New Electric Ballroom, a play by Enda Walsh.

"Staring back behind the blusher and the eye shadow a girl who’s yet to be kissed. Properly kissed." This is a coiled, dark, glitter-dusted fable of emotionally stultifying small-town life. The story unfolds in a fishing village on the west coast of Ireland, where, night after night, three sisters re-enact a night in the early ‘60s with a seductive rock singer at the New Electric Ballroom. Enter Patsy, the fish monger...

"The New Electric Ballroom is The Walworth Farce's shiver-down-the-spine companion piece, a beautiful and devastating play of broken hearts and maimed lives. It evokes Donne and Beckett as it asks: "To what purpose?" The answering call is a howl of despair brought in on the tide with the stink of fish." (Lyn Gardner, The Guardian).

CAST: Jane Phegan, Genevieve Mooy, Odile LeClezio, Justin Smith

Director: Kate Gaul
Set Design: Tom Bannerman
Lighting Desginer: Verity Hampson
Composer/Sound Designer: Daryl Wallis
Vocal Coach: Natasha McNamara
Assistant Directors: Katharine Cullen & Jacobie Gray
Performance Studies Observer: Jacinta John
Stage Manager: Michael Cutrupi

Tickets now on sale at Griffin Theatre
More information go to Siren Theatre Company

RECENT PROJECTS

My Darling Patricia (MDP): The Bear

MAJOR PROJECT 2010 4 July – 31 July

The Bear is a new My Darling Patricia production conceived for young audiences, and performed in an immersive installation. The Bear offers MDP an opportunity to extend the boundaries of their innovative multi-disciplinary approach to performance-making towards young audiences for the first time. The Bear is conceived as a subversive work, exploring humanity’s ill-conceived belief that we are above the forces of nature. The story will be an allegory based on the current situation of near extinction faced by the Formosan Black Bear in the mountains in Taiwan.

MDP has been inspired by Societas Rafeallo Sanzio’s approach to creating inventive works for just such an audience. In The Bear they hope to explore their relationship with the young audience – perhaps the set is built to make the children feel as though they are in the belly of a tiger! MDP believes that Australian children will respond with excitement to their highly visual and mutli-faceted approach to theatre.

In creating The Bear, MDP have been influenced by the plays, stories and poetry which Ted Hughes wrote for children. Hughes’ central concern in these plays is the way humanity has become disconnected from art and nature. This disconnection has lead to a spiritual sickness that cannot be diagnosed or fixed by science. In the stories of Ted Hughes we see children and animals provide wisdom through their actions to the greedy, ambitious and misguided adults. To this end, The Bear will not be an environmental fable but rather a robust examination into the relationship we all have to the natural world.

A principal collaborator in creating this installation is video artist Sam James.
Australian landscapes will be powerfully present in the physical design of the performance space. Sam’s work eloquently evokes the textures of dream and apparition with playful cut-out techniques and distortion.

The point of departure is to experiment with the young audience being immersed with-in the installation and the parents/adults observing from outside the performance space, behind a scrim. With an inventive use of puppetry, projection and staging, the children will, literally, be at the centre of the work. They will be led by a bear (realized two dimensionally as if one of the child’s drawings has come to life, with a flat mask and cardboard body) into the immersive environment and experience the work as a sort of theatrical ‘treasure hunt’. Through this, their actions when inside the work will directly affect the outcome of the story.

For the adults watching the show from the outside, the children become the performers in the work. Wearing headphones, the adults will be fed a differing narrative and soundscape to that which the children experience.

Recent projects

Ashely Dyer: And Then Something Fell on My Head

ash

Ashley is undertaking the final preparations for his first major work And Then Something Fell On My Head that will debut at Next Wave Festival in May.

'When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you've got to get up and dance. We're still dancing'. Chuck Prince, CEO of Citigroup, Financial Times July 2007–before the financial crisis.

And Then Something Fell On My Head is a live performance that explores risk and fear; real and imagined. It plays on the audience's trust, fear and expectations, creating an environment and viewing experience which is both mesmerising and confronting.

Ashley Dyer's work melds movement and sound, constructing and destroying connections between musicality and meaning. And Then Something Fell On My Head is part of a broad body of work by Dyer that explores the choreographic potential of falling objects.

De Quincey Co: The Opium Confessions

deQco

1-7 March & 9-18 April 2010

Honourary Associate Tess de Quincey and her company de Quincey Co will join us in March and April to continue the development of The Opium Confessions, a work exploring the writings of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859): poet, opium addict, wandering adventurer, genius of the imagination. His literary reputation is based primarily on two works, The Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) and "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts", an essay written in 1827. These will form the backbone for a performance work exploring the traumas of a life lived on the edge of destitution but infused with episodes of euphoria and hallucination.

This project was initiated by writer Jane Goodall, other artists involved are sound designer Ian Stevenson and video artist Sam James, along with dancer Tess de Quincey, a descendent of Thomas De Quincey.


Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People: Fox

fox

8 March – 3 April 2010

Combining a haunting operatic score and breathtaking physicality, this production will see the heart soar as friendship triumphs.

Magpie is injured in a bushfire but she discovers that riding atop her friend, one-eyed Dog, as he runs through the bush, feels almost the same as flying.

“FLY, DOG, FLY! I will be your missing eye and you will be my wings.” Fox arrives and tempts Magpie with an even faster ride. Desire, loyalty and friendship become confused and after an exhilarating ride, Fox dumps Magpie far out in the desert. Abandoned and alone Magpie begins the long journey home.

In collaboration with Director Kate Gaul and Composer Daryl Wallis, Monkey Baa has created a theatrically inventive adaptation of this timeless classic by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks.

An unforgettable experience that is as rich for adults as it is for young people.

Monkey Baa’s production of Fox transfered directly from its residency in the Rex Cramphorn Studio to a season at the Seymour Theatre, 10-17 April. For show times and ticketing info visit sydney.edu.au/seymour.


The Living Room Theatre Company: A Little Room

An exploration of image and sound. Rex Cramphorn Studio, 1-7 & 15-21 February 2010

living room

Using a developed radio play, this residency wove together elements of text, image and live action to create a startling visual and aural piece of theatre. It is inspired by the work of Canadian sound designer Janet Cardiff using compositional structures borrowed from Steve Reich and Keith Jarrett.

The transporting nature of this work captures the fragment of how we know people–tracing just those single hours we may spend with our loved ones. And then upon losing them how these memories become the very fabric of how we remember them.

In A Little Room, the women try to come to terms with love lost both real and imagined. Caught in a web of their own making they wait for the spell to break. These are stories about coping, about temporary instability and how memory is instrumental in finding comfort.

Written and designed by: Michelle St.Anne
Dramaturgy: Aarne Neeme
Lighting Designer: Jo Elliott
Sound Designer: Peter Keogh
Film: Jared Lewis
Technical dramaturg: Manu Anand
in development with: Katherine Anderson, Carol Divjak and Sophie Kelly

version 1.0 This Kind of Ruckus

ruckus

In February version 1.0 took up their first residency of the year rehearsing their latest show This Kind of Ruckus for a tour to the Adelaide Fringe and the Australian Performing Arts Market.

Version 1.0 turn their trademark subversive style of theatre-making and sharp satirical wit to investigating the underside of domestic-bliss. Relationship counselling, dysfunctional gendered roles and cute cuddly toys offered as inadequate apologies are blended with commentary on the recent high profile sexual assault scandals involving rugby league players to create a confronting, unsettling and deeply compelling performance.

“In Ruckus we’re exploring power, control and violence in a very personal way. We’re using media commentary on recent scandals involving rugby league behaviour to reflect on violence within ourselves and our own relationships” David Williams

Collaborating Artists: Danielle Antaki, Sean Bacon, Paul Dwyer, Jane Phegan, Deborah Pollard, Gail Priest, Christopher Ryan, Neil Simpson, Yana Taylor and Kym Vercoe.

version 1.0 will return in July for the 2010 Major Project (for the PRFM 3602 Rehearsal to Performance unit of study), followed by Lizzie Doyle in creative development.


Smashbox The Apocalypse Project 2010

smashbox

In February Sydney/Melbourne Ensemble Smashbox was in the department training and developing The Apocalypse Project 2010. Director Lizzie Doyle has recently returned to Australia from 3 years in Europe and the UK, where she has been working and studying for her MA (Ensemble Physical Theatre: Training and Performance). She was joined by musician and performing artist Simon Gorman, from Melbourne, movement director Kirk Page, from Sydney and Sydney performers Luca James Lee, Deborah Martins, Kate Sherman, Wendy Strehlow and Kate Worsley.

Together they underwent psycho-physical actor training after Grotowski, Barba and Zarrilli, and alongside this, enter into a period of performance development. They explored the concepts of Society/Apocalypse and Order/Chaos. Using existing images, and the ideas from this exploration, improvised as a generative process of spontaneous composition to create a physical performance piece that doesn’t rely on the traditional use of text to convey its meaning.

At the end of the month, there weretwo public viewings of the work at the Rex Cramphorn Studio, on the 26th February 2010 at 1pm and 7pm. If you would like to receive any further information about the residency or future projects, please get in contact with director or 0412006424.


seven kilometres north-east: A performance about geography, tourism and atrocity

Kym Vercoe/version 1.0

Bridge

“It was a sunny day, perfect for washing. And so, on a balcony from which so many had jumped to avoid horror, I washed my underwear and hung it out in the sun to dry. It was a beautiful day, and Višegrad was a beautiful place. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I feel somewhat differently now.”

seven kilometres northeast is a new performance from version 1.0’s Kym Vercoe, exploring the discomforting entanglements of place, tourism and atrocity. The work is triggered by a visit to the famous Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge. Completed in 1571, this bridge forms a literal and metaphorical historical link across the border between east and west, and was made famous in Nobel-prize winning author Ivo Andrić's novel The Bridge over the River Drina.

The nearby Vilina Vlas Spa Resort in Višegrad, Bosnia, was recommended in a tourist guidebook, and so on her visit to the bridge in 2008, Vercoe checked in. Upon arriving, she washed her clothes before heading out to see the sights. The visit was a great success, filled of tourist adventures and slivovitz-fueled conversations with locals. Upon returning home, she discovered to her horror that the Vilina Vlas Spa Resort was a notorious rape camp during the recent conflict in Bosnia, a significant fact conveniently omitted from the tourist guidebook. The travelogue shifts, turning to a darker reflection upon how places bear traces of the atrocities that occur within and around them, the unspeakable and unbearable acts that current residents are only too happy to see erased.

COLLABORATING ARTISTS:
Devised and performed by Kym Vercoe
Video artist: Sean Bacon
Dramaturgy: Deborah Pollard
Producer: David Williams


Paul Dwyer The Bougainville Photoplay Project A slideshow with fireside chat

Paul

In the Rex Cramphorn Studio from 26 September to 14 October we are proud to host

The Bougainville Photoplay Project
A slideshow with fireside chat


Old Fitzroy Theatre, 13-31 October
Presented by version 1.0 in association with Tamarama Rock Surfers

1. An eminent Australian orthopedic surgeon makes a series of trips to Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) during the 1960s, just as the era of Australia’s colonial mandate is drawing to a close. The doctor is presented with dozens of crippled children and lepers; his operations allow many of these people to walk for the first time.

2. The giant Panguna copper mine is established against the wishes of Bougainville’s traditional landowners. Environmental destruction is caused by the mine, and the struggle for Bougainville to become independent of PNG leads to a brutal civil war during which roughly one in ten of the island’s inhabitants die.

3. An Australian academic begins fieldwork study of reconciliation ceremonies on Bougainville in the current period of post-war reconstruction. He carries with him a book of photographs.

Three narrative threads are delicately interwoven in an intimate, moving, and constantly surprising monologue performance from acclaimed performance group version 1.0. Combining field notes, oral history, slides, Super-8 film, video installation and the display of various artifacts, The Bougainville Photoplay Project grapples with the ethical, epistemological and practical dilemmas of making art and conducting research in post-colonial, post-conflict settings, particularly when the artist/researcher is a citizen of the former colonial power. This is politics and performance at its most personal.

Production Credits
Devised and performed by Paul Dwyer
Directed by David Williams
Video artist: Sean Bacon
Technical production: Russell Emerson

Reviews
"In Live Art parlance, The Bougainville Photoplay Project falls into the genre of lecture/performance […] Paul Dwyer is an engaging storyteller (direction David Williams, version 1.0). His performance is part-memorised, part-improvised and interspersed with a careful selection of images in multiple formats (black and white newspaper photographs, Super 8 film, 1960s colour slides, x rays, contemporary colour snaps) skilfully integrated by video artist Sean Bacon. Accompanied onstage by nothing more than a couple of screens, a vintage slide projector and a human spine, Dwyer weaves personal stories, historical documentary and ethnographic academic research into a performance that is never predictable, unfolding intimate reflections that quietly impart their deeper connections."
Virginia Baxter, RealTime #88 Dec-Jan 2008

"This peculiar mixture of theatricality and real stories works. As with other version 1.0 shows, the result is not only a more informed audience but also a more feeling one […] A first-class choice."
Alanna Maclean, The Canberra Times, 12/2/08


Lizzie Thomson: The Sacrifice

In the AV Room on weekends during August and September.

Dancer Lizzie Thomson will spend her time here in research and creative development for a short solo piece The Sacrifice which is part of a two year project called The Adventure. This work will be performed at the Campbelltown Arts Centre in mid-September in a season of short dance solos responding to folk dance, curated by Jane McKernan.

Lizzie says that The Adventure project is “an ongoing investigation into choreographic scores relating to spontaneity and tradition in dance. I am interested in negotiating a relationship with the conventions of dance; ‘What interests me about the traditions of ballet and what aspects do I want to take into my own work?’”

In considering spontaneity, which she refers to as 'No History', Thomson will draw inspiration from Paul Virilo, who argues that we are “accelerating” rather than “progressing”, with time to respond and reflect upon the past becoming shorter. So Thomson applies this to dance by asking how can this fast thinking confuse herself out of habitual movement pathways.

Dance history and its lineage is explored in what she terms History. Here Thomson explores changes in movement vocabulary, compositional trends and various ways dance has been presented. Of particular interest is the work of Ballet Russes.

This particular residency period will see Thomson drawing on archival material, "The Rite of Spring" of the Joffrey Ballet’s reproduction and Stravinsky’s score. In response to the Ballet Russe design and costumes, Thomson will make her own set from plywood. She has been researching Russian folk art for this purpose.

Generally about Lizzie Thomson, she says her main influences have been the dance practice of Rosalind Crisp, and cross-art form practices of contemporary performance.

version 1.0 This Kind of Ruckus

Williams Ruckus

In the Rex Studio July 20-26, and again August 4-28

This kind of ruckus is a new performance work about gender, power, control and violence.
version 1.0 turn their trademark subversive style of theatre-making and sharp satirical wit to investigating the underside of domestic-bliss. Relationship counselling, dysfunctional gendered roles and cute cuddly toys offered as inadequate apologies are blended with commentary on the recent high profile sexual assault scandals involving rugby league players to create a confronting, unsettling and deeply compelling performance.

“In Ruckus we’re exploring power, control and violence in a very personal way. We’re using media commentary on recent scandals involving rugby league behaviour to reflect on violence within ourselves and our own relationships” explains David Williams

Collaborating Artists: Danielle Antaki, Sean Bacon, Paul Dwyer, Jane Phegan, Deborah Pollard, Gail Priest, Christopher Ryan, Neil Simpson, Yana Taylor, Kym Vercoe

Martin del Amo It's a Jungle Out There

del amo

MARTIN DEL AMO, originally from Germany, is a Sydney-based dance artist. His last four solo works, Never Been This Far Away From Home (2007), Can’t Hardly Breathe (2006), Under Attack (2005) and Unsealed (2004), were all presented at Performance Space to significant critical acclaim. The latter two works were chosen for the Breathing Space touring program, touring nationally (Unsealed Perth, 2004) and internationally (Under Attack UK, 2006). In 2005, Martin was nominated for an Australian Dance Award as Best Male Dancer for his work in Under Attack. He also received nominations as Most Outstanding Dancer in Dance Australia’s annual Critics’ Survey three years running (2004-06). Martin’s continued interest is in the interplay between dance and spoken text and the use of improvisation within predetermined structures.

During his time in the Rex Cramphorn Studio, Martin del Amo continues the development of his new solo show, It's a Jungle Out There, exploring the city as an ever-changing organism and will distil the urban experience into a multi-layered performative fabric of dance, storytelling and electronic sound design. Key collaborators on this project are Gail Priest (live sound composition), Travis Hodgson (lighting) and Paul Matthews (design).
Photography: Heidrun Lohr

This show opens at Campbelltown Arts Centre at the end of June.

25-27 JUNE THUR-SAT 8PM $20/$15

Campbelltown Arts Centre
Cnr Camden and Appins Rds
Campbelltown

Bookings: 4645 4100 or
www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au

de Quincey Co. Ghost Quarters

Ghost quarters

During April and into May, Tess de Quincey, one of Performance Studies’ honorary associates, and her company de Quincey Co. will be rehearsing in the Rex Cramphorn Studio.

Ghost Quarters. First dream of the Opium Confessions is a new work exploring the writings of of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859): poet, opium addict, wandering adventurer, genius of the imagination. His literary reputation is based primarily on two works, The Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) and "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts", an essay written in 1827. These will form the backbone for a performance work exploring the traumas of a life lived on the edge of destitution but infused with episodes of euphoria and hallucination.

This project was initiated by writer Jane Goodall, the first phase of this work was a 3-week Performance Space Residency at The Drill 13-17 August, 24-30 September and 26-30 November involving writer Jane Goodall and dancer Tess de Quincey (descendent of Thomas De Quincey). Other artists involved are sound designer Ian Stevenson and video artist Sam James.

This project moves from rehearsal to production
9-16 May @ 8pm, CarriageWorks, Track 12.
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
Bookings: 0420 293 139 or
Entry by voluntary donation.
After every rehearsal there will be a forum with different Guest Speakers.

Victoria Hunt: 100 Cloaks: Gone Before Dawn

Victoria Hunt

During April, the Department of Performance Studies will host artist Victoria Hunt in the Audio-Visual Studio.

te aho tapu; weaving the first row; binding the tangible with the intangible; in the constant flux between night, earth, sky and whakapapa (lineage).

A cloak carries within it the mana (ancestral prestige) of our ancestors and celebrates the interconnections that give life to material forms. This residency will explore the idea of dancing 100 Cloaks, tapping into the ever-shifting relationship between Victoria’s Maori heritage and her Australian-born experience.

The transformative body is the guiding principle emerging from Body Weather and Butoh sensibilities. Being danced by the space.

The Living Room Theatre Company: A Little Room

The Little Room

17th February to 1st March 2009
This will be the company's fourth residency in the Rex Cramphorn Studio for the development of A Little Room. They finished making of the work in November and this residency will be about the documentation of the work. A Little Room will be filmed to make a 50 minute film. There will also be an audio recording which will be edited to make a radio play.

The company comprises of Katherine Anderson, Carol Divjak, Jo Elliott, Sophie Kelly, Paolo Morrison, Jared Lewis and Michelle St.Anne.

Team MESS: Killing Don: evolution of a memory

Killing Don

February 2-16 2009
Team MESS are a young collective who came together as a performance ensemble during their studies at The University of Wollongong's Faculty of Creative Arts. As a group they are interested in fusing performance and visual arts into a contemporary theatre form, to explore the 'human condition' in experience and concept.

Killing Don: evolution of a memory was born out of an interest in exploring how and why we remember what we do and what effect a fixation on the past has on the present and the future.

The work is an investigation into private and public notions of memory and the interplay between personal and collective memories and histories. In particular they are interested in exploring the way nostalgia of memory permeates into the present.

Killing Don: evolution of a memory will also explore the significance of remembering a time, an event or moment (whether you were there or not) and the ongoing ramifications of what, where and how that time, event, moment took place. They want to examine the nostalgia caused by our cultural rose coloured glasses.

“a celebration and dissection of remembrance”–Team Mess.

You can see this work Wed-Sat 25-28 March, Performance Space at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street Everleigh.

The Fondue Set: No Success Like Failure

fondues

7th February-February 15 2009, Audio Visual Room
The Fondue Set have become regular residents in the Rex Cramphorn Studio since their first time here in 2005, 2007 and 2008. In 2005, they were rehearsing The Set (Up), which was performed at Performance Space through One Extra. In 2007, they spent three weeks experimenting with new processes for improvisation and choreography. In 2008, they rehearsed No Success Like Failure to production at The Studio, Sydney Opera House.

In February they are returning to undertake the rehearsing/remount of No Success Like Failure, which was developed over a Rex Residency in May 2008, for a season in Melbourne as part of the Dance Massive Festival in early March 2009. This time they intend to spend the residency reinvestigating the performance of the material for the show, with particular reference to feedback provided by collaborating director Wendy Houstoun, following its premiere in Sydney. The residency will afford The Fondue Set with an opportunity to openly revisit the work, to allow a different emphasis of focus on the performance of the material in order to reveal new insights and interests.

The project is funded through the Dance Massive Festival, through Artshouse, Melbourne.

Check out their website.