Stone the Boats
The story of the project
Last year, we ran a series of workshops entitled ‘[When Art and Justice] COLLIDE’. This was a gathering of artists who came together to identify a contemporary social issue that needed urgent representation. Together, we conceptualised a new work that could reach behind the headlines and look with compassion and understanding at the people impacted upon by Australia’s asylum seeker policies.
Stone the Boats is a new multimedia theatre piece that was borne directly from Candlelight Productions’ ‘[When Art & Justice] COLLIDE’ Initiative. The story is set at a political crossroads, highlighting a specific moment in Australian history when a divided parliament is fiercely debating the introduction of temporary protection visas, and follows the stories of five people whose lives have been swept up in this storm of controversy. An asylum seeker, a politician, a detention centre worker, a migrant and a news reporter, all grappling with their own dilemmas, each seeking to turn the tide in their own lives.
We have assembled a fantastic cast and creative team to bring these important stories to light under the direction of Tracey Rule-Grech and Assistant Director Suhasini Seelin, with Eugene Wong providing artistic direction.
These stories are told with sensitivity and absolutely without judgement. The aim of this production is to promote compassion, break the barriers of misunderstanding and indifference, and break through the rhetoric surrounding the issue of asylum seeker policy.
It asks the question: in a world in which we are all seeking our own types of refuge, who has the right to stone the boats?
The play will open on the 20th August and run to the 5th of September 2015, at the Metanoia Theatre at the Mechanic’s Institute, Brunswick.
Cast (in alphabetical order):
Jaime Lee Isfahani
Director: Tracey Rule-Grech
Assistant Director: Suhasini LinSee
Production Manager: Valerene Chin
Artistic Director: Eugene Wong
Set Designer: Tarsha Ryan
Sound Designer: Alex Marshall
Multimedia Designers: Stuart Elith & Juan Chacon Olier
Tech Operator: Colin Griffiths
Visit our website: www.candlelightproductions.com.au
Follow the show’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/940340236007346/
With special thanks to:
Luke Cutting and the team at Health Applications Australia for helping us to put this campaign together
Eandl Group – for our awesome ethically and locally-made t-shirts
How the funds will be used
Production Design Costs: $1250
Community development activity for audience: $700
Publicity Materials (Posters, Programmes, Postcards, Flyers etc): $950
Additional venue hire for auditions/rehearsals $500
This is actually just a portion of the total budget. So if we get more than requested, it will go towards paying for things like the performance venue hire, transport costs, ticketing fees and food for the cast and crew. These will cost another $5500, so please give generously and empower us to do more!
If there are any profits at the end of the show, a proportion of these monies will be donated to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, so they can continue the great work they have been doing with asylum seekers.
Some of my other work
Our shows include:
Squeaky Clean Comedy, a 2.5 hour gala event at the Melbourne City Conference Centre that has become one of the largest shows of the Comedy Festival
– “…the equal of the Melbourne International Comedy Gala” – Katherine Phelps,independent reviewer
VOICES: The Carrical Project, a multimedia theatrepiece about men with mental illness
– “…an important piece of theatre which should have been seen by as many people as possible. (5 stars)“ – Angus Cameron, Theatrepeople
Outside the Box, a theatrepiece about homelessness and what it means to have a home
– “an intense theatrical performance that helps you put your priorities in order” – Myron My, Theatrepress
he|she|it, a comedy review about the battle of the sexes
– “Outstanding performances… I eagerly await the future works of Candlelight Productions” – Sarah Breen, The Prompt Copy
Our community development initiatives or arts an event management consulting have been used by Fair@Square Fair Trade Festival, Black Stump Arts Festival (NSW), TEDxMelbourne, training for numerous municipal councils, Melbourne Magic Festival, CBM International, TEAR Australia and more.
We do all of this on very small budgets, yet manage to utilise creativity and passion to achieve impressive results. We intend to do the same with this show.
Our challenge in this is to tell these stories in a way that honours each of the stakeholders. A lot of rhetoric has been flung through the media and parliament by passionate and often well-meaning people. We don’t want to add to that pile of rhetoric.
We recognise that we all have fears, dreams and pressures that affect the way we act. Our aim is not to judge, but to explore… to show the conflicting light and dark in each of us, highlighting the fact that at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat of humanity.
We have worked hard to spend time with asylum seekers, detention centre staff, refugee workers, an immigration worker and social justice advocates, as well as many ordinary people who know varying amounts about the issue. The current nature of this issue makes it a political minefield, so we are trying to tread carefully through it. We want to do justice to all of their stories, and the process is taking a lot of time and work – but we think it’ll be worth it!
The set, sound and multimedia design for this show is ambitious – we have a team of people working together to draw forth symbolism of boats as representing hopes, and words/ideas making up waves that carry the boats. Your contributions will help us to realise this vision. If we don’t raise enough, we’ll have to pare back the design of the show. If we get more, it will release us to run some of the extra ideas we have toyed with, that will take the message of this show out further, beyond the end of the official season. So please be generous, and help to make it happen!