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Sep 28, 2015 6:58 EST

4 Indie Theatre Companies : 4 Plays

iCrowdNewswire - Sep 28, 2015

4 Indie Theatre Companies : 4 Plays

The story of the project

TBC Theatre, 15 Minutes From AnywhereMan With A Plan, Fire Curtain Co. What do these four companies have in common? We’re all presenting works as part of the inaugural Poppy Seed Festival this year. 

Four bold and vibrant emerging independent theatre companies, comprising 52 artists, joining forces to give Melbourne a festival experience it will never forget.

Collectively, our four works are extremely diverse: a new text inspired by an 1895 Australian novel, rare texts by canonical playwright Tennessee Williams, a devised text based on Chekhov’s famous sisters, and an award-winning international text adapted for an Australian audience.

For independent theatre companies, gaining access to financial support from government bodies is incredibly difficult. Poppy Seed, Melbourne’s newest grass roots theatre festival, offers an alternative by giving independent theatre companies partial financial and logistical support to produce their dream project.

For us this is invaluable. By taking away some of the financial risk it has given our emerging companies the freedom to produce the kind of high-quality work we could otherwise not afford to make, allowing us to gain experience as artists and contribute to Melbourne’s rich independent theatre scene; arguably one of the most vibrant in the world.

However, we don’t just want to make good theatre, we want to make great theatre and reaching our Pozible target will allow us to fully realise our artistic visions.

How the funds will be used

The Poppy Seed Theatre Festival is unique in that it provides companies with a performance venue, marketing and artistic support, and a small allocation of funds to contribute to production costs. While we’ve been pretty savvy in stretching our allocated funds, we need $5000 to put towards a few final necessities which will allow us to produce our shows and give Melbourne audiences the best independent theatre festival experience possible.

The funds pledged will go towards the following individual show expenses (more detailed info below):

Project: Hysteria – $850 for an AUSLAN interpreted performance
The Yellow Wave – $500 for a couch
Gin Sister – $1425 for set materials
The One – $1425 to put towards licensing fees for the play text
Pozible fees & reward expenses – $800

PROJECT: HYSTERIA

For TBC Theatre, one of our main aims in moving forward as a company is providing access to our work to a wide variety of people. The Trades Hall Ballroom has disabled access, but we would also like to take it a step further and provide an Auslan interpreted performance of our show. The money pledged will go towards paying for the talent of two dedicated Auslan interpreters from the organisation Auslan Stage Left, covering their preparation, rehearsal and performance time.

THE YELLOW WAVE

The Yellow Wave is a show of genuinely epic proportions. It has over 20 characters, locations ranging from the Arabian Sea to Northern Queensland, a vast array of accents, 1 narrator and 2 actors playing every role. That’s right 2 actors playing over 20 roles in 70 minutes. It’s tough work but someone has to do it. We need your help to buy them somewhere to sit. A sofa. A couch. In this show, a vital set design element as well as a place for a couple of weary actors to find some respite for their weary legs. That’s true value for money and greatly appreciated.

GIN SISTER

Gin Sister is a visual feast and Man With A Plan’s first completely devised work. While we don’t want to give too much away, our visual feast includes haze machines, large quantities of glass wear, various liquids, microphones, a green fairy, and one of the most impressive tables seen on an independent stage. Being a new work, these are just the elements which we know, with every spark of genius taking us in new and exciting directions. So help us realise this shows full aesthetic potential, and allow us to give you the theatrical experience you so richly deserve.

THE ONE

Fire Curtain Co. are passionate about supporting the work of emerging writers, both local and international. Our creative team for The One includes the young playwright and Green Room Award nominee Rachel Perks, giving her the opportunity to work in collaboration with UK playwright Vicky Jones on her award-winning text, adapting it for an Australia audience. To make this possible, we have to pay a licensing fee to Vicky Jones, which sits outside of our funding allocation from the festival.

Challenges

The festival is built around an ensemble model, giving the companies the rare opportunity to work in partnership with each other, sharing ideas, resources, and support. With 52 artists involved, that’s a lot of friends to call on!

However, our biggest challenge is the newness of the festival and the lack of knowledge of its existence, which means we have to work extra hard to spread the word about our shows and ensure we’re reaching as wide an audience as possible with our marketing. 

We’re doing this through the usual avenues of printed promo material and radio and print interviews, but we’ve also added targeted social media campaigns and a bit of guerilla marketing in to the mix. And with so many of us working together to spread awareness of the shows, we’re pretty confident Melbourne will be well aware of our existence in time for the first Opening Night.

The Shows

PROJECT: HYSTERIA
by TBC Theatre, Nov 10 – 22 at Trades Hall
Under Creative Producer Fleur Murphy, Director Alister Smith and Assistant Director Ben Adams, TBC Theatre presents ‘Project: Hysteria’; the umbrella title for the epic, ambitious and inspiring presentation of a selection of Tennessee Williams one-act plays including ‘The Pretty Trap’ and ‘Interior: Panic’. Considered precursors to ‘The Glass Menagerie’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Tennessee’s one-acts not only give entrancing and curious insight into the seeds of his greatest works, but they offer a beautifully fragmented glimpse into the mind of the man, and artist, that created them. 

THE YELLOW WAVE
by 15 Minutes from Anywhere, Nov 17 – 29 at The Butterfly Club
A romance of the Asiatic invasion of Australia that brings Major General Kenneth Mackay’s 1895 classic of Australian literature to life, this epic saga of love, heroism and sacrifice as Australia is invaded by the Mongol hordes. Featuring a huge cast of characters, exciting set pieces, sinister Russians, multiple accents and just two actors. Directed by Beng Oh, written by Jane Miller, and will feature Keith Brockett, John Marc Desengano and Andrea McCannon.

GIN SISTER
by Man with a Plan, Nov 25 – Dec 6 at Trades Hall
Chekhov’s three sisters are drunk. In a world where there is no God, three women from across the ages create the ultimate theatrical response to women’s drinking culture through an eclectic mix tape of song, dance, verbatim, poetic self-reflections and classical text. Under the direction of Matilda Award Nominee Elizabeth Millington; performers Emma Hall, Jean Goodwin and Alice Cavanagh lead you from reality to transcendence to self realisation in this epic tale of the quintessential ‘good night out’.

THE ONE
by Fire Curtain Co., Dec 2 – Dec 13 at Fortyfivedownstairs
Vicky Jones’ Verity Bargate Award-winning The One is a darkly hilarious new work about a couple trapped in a destructive cycle of codependent love and lust. Premiering in 2014 to rave reviews at the Soho theatre in London, this “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” for the digital generation is 65 intense minutes of sex, violence, and snack food, which brutally asks: “In the warfare of modern relationships, what are the rules of engagement?” Directed by Tanya Dickson, with text reimagined for Australian audiences by Rachel Perks, it stars Kasia Kaczmarek, Ben Prendergast and Emily Tomlins.

Magnet Options

PROJECT: HYSTERIA

THE YELLOW WAVE

GIN SISTER

THE ONE

Contact Information:

Kasha Kaczmarek
Fleur Murphy
Rachel Perks
Cameron Stewart
Jane Miller

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