Regional Touring Residency Update – Debra Keenahan and Katrina Douglas in Cowra NSW

The final project of four NSW Regional Touring Residencies saw Debra Keenahan and Katrina Douglas travel to Cowra, and the town’s newly reinvigorated Cowra Civic Centre, to work on Little Things Matter. This deeply personal new stage piece extends the film of the same name, currently on display at Sydney’s MCA, into an intimate and powerful one-woman show exploring Debra’s lived experience of dwarfism. The project invited Paul Prestipino and Robert Brindley to collaborate.

Read More

RISE Fund Enables Critical Stages Touring’s Regional Reactivation Program

Today’s announcement by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Commonwealth Minister of the Arts, sees an additional $25M in support shared by no less than 66 leading arts and entertainment organisations nationally. For Critical Stages Touring it means an extended and ambitious regional touring and reactivation program can be realised, bringing outstanding independent theatre to communities everywhere.

“Critical Stages Touring is extremely grateful for this support from the federal government at this crucial time of rebuilding for performing arts companies such as ours.

This grant will provide vital funding to enable us to tour outstanding new work created and performed by diverse Australian independent artists across regional Australia, including THEM by Samah Sabawi, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You from The Good Room, The Bottle Collector from Asking for Trouble and more.

It will also enable us to continue supporting artists to create exciting new digital projects for our Screening Room further enhancing the reach of our work.” Chris Bendall, CEO & Director, Critical Stages Touring.

This announcement sees a diverse range of companies, festivals, and productions receive the support of the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. These include the Byron Writers Festival, Barking Gecko’s regional residencies for young people, Queensland’s BigSound Australian music conference, and Illuminate Adelaide to name a few.

We congratulate everyone listed!

To see the full list of recipients visit: www.arts.gov.au/covid-19-update

Regional Touring Residency Update – Phil Spencer and Julian Lanarch in Junee

The third of our four Regional Touring Residencies saw writers Phil Spencer and Julian Lanarch head out to the small town of Junee in NSW’s Riverina region (just North of Wagga Wagga), to work with Director Scarlet McGlyn on a new family dramedy – a heart-warming new story described as a philosophical conundrum neatly wrapped in a farce. The performance team included the incomparable Simon Burke, Holly Austin, Julia Robertson, and Jeremi Campese, and we’re thrilled with how their week in the country turned out.

Read More

Regional Touring Residency Update – JoJo Zhou in Bathurst

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre hosted emerging playwright JoJo Zhou for a development of Sunlit, a new play inspired by the school strikes for climate change that inspired the nation in 2019. Weaving poetry, humour, and science, Sunlit employed three young local performers, under director Bernadette Fam, to bring to life a story set in a future of rising oceans, mystery, and responsibility.

Read More

Regional Touring Residency Update – Scott Parker & Matriark Theatre

Our regional Touring Residencies are now underway, with the first of four works enjoying a week in the country with one our regional partner communities.

Over one week in March, we matched award-winning children’s storytellers Matriark Theatre with the Laycock Street Community Theatre in Gosford.  Lead Artist Scott Parker worked with four artists to complete a development of his play, The Lighthouse at the End of the World.

Combining micro-puppetry, digital media, and live music, ‘Lighthouse’ explores the things we can learn from those often overlooked in the name of progress. A showing of the work was performed at the theatre on March 20th.

From Scott Parker…

“We couldn’t have had more perfect weather for our residency at Laycock Street Theatre in Gosford. As the rain kept coming the theatre began to feel like our own little lighthouse sanctuary, keeping us safe from the storm outside.

The Lighthouse at the End of the World celebrates the value, stories and skills of our elders. The show tells the story of the final tasks of an old lighthouse keeper before she is replaced by an automatic bulb. It features a magical lighthouse, fantastical adventures, tiny puppets, a record player, live camera feeds, and a huge storm.

The challenge has been telling a story with an older central character in a way that would engage younger audiences. Thankfully, Laycock Street Theatre were able to bring together just such a test audience, who braved the storm that night with their parents and came to provide feedback on the work.

We were able to show about 20 minutes of work and the response was great! The audience loved the central characters and expressed a desire to see the rest of the show right there and then. They picked up a bunch of little ideas and images we’d hidden in the work and even drew our attention to some things we hadn’t noticed.”

The Regional Touring Residencies are one of the ways Critical Stages Touring is contributing to a vibrant, resilient, and exciting independent theatre sector. The productions, each at various stages of development, will undertake a week-long residency at a matched regional or rural location, with four such projects set to complete their developments before April 30.

Each has been selected for their ingenuity, artistic merit and exploration, and for their potential to connect with and engage regional communities. The program is an exciting new extension of Critical Stages Touring’s commitment to discover and develop outstanding independent theatrical experiences for audiences everywhere. It has been made possible with funding from the NSW Government’s RESTART fund through Create NSW.

For more information about the works in development, or the Regional Touring Residencies program, please contact our Marketing and Engagement Coordinator Robbi James.

Picture below: Images from the development of The Lighthouse at the End of the World at Laycock Community Theatre in Gosford NSW.

Announcing the 2021 Regional Touring Residency Recipients

A landscape of grassplains, hills and trees is photographed at dawn. The words 'regional touring residencies' is superimposed over it.

We’re thrilled to announce the four theatre makers who will benefit from fully-funded developments of new theatrical experiences, to be completed in partnership with regional venues across New South Wales. The productions, each at various stages of development, will undertake a week-long residency at a matched regional or rural location, with residencies running from March 16th through to April 30th.

Each has been selected for their ingenuity, artistic merit and exploration, and for their potential to connect with and engage regional communities. The program is an exciting new extension of Critical Stages Touring’s commitment to discover and develop outstanding independent theatrical experiences for audiences everywhere.

Read More

An Ambitious Year of Recovery and Renewal

Critical Stages Touring, Australia’s national touring theatre company, is thrilled to be embarking on a diverse year of storytelling on the country’s stages, driving much needed activity and employment in a creative industry heavily impacted by COVID-19. The full season and program was launched last night at a small industry gathering at The Arts Exchange Sydney, and online via YouTube and Facbook Live.

Read More