Everybody’s favourite picture book is about to come to magical, musical life! Critical Stages Touring is proud to present the world premiere of Alphabetical Sydney: All Aboard! at Riverside Theatre Parramatta from Thursday 31st March to Friday 1St April.
The Regional Touring Residencies are one of the ways Critical Stages Touring is contributing to a vibrant, resilient, and exciting independent theatre sector. Supported by Create NSW, each residency matches a story in development with a regional host venues and local artists. The creative team works intensively for one week, culminating in a public showing of their work-in-progress. Each one 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. In March 2022, writer JoJo Zhou and director/dramaturg Bernadette Fam took up residency at the recently refurbished Twyford Hall in Merimbula.
By Judith Greenaway. “Kick McKinnon and Nate Sammut are currently in rehearsal for King of Pigs from Critical Stages Touring and Red Line Productions. The play opens its national tour at Glen Street Theatre on February 24. Kick and Nate are sharing the role of The Boy in a play written by Steve Rodgers and directed by Blazey Best. The two young actors will be sharing the stage with Sam Alhaje, Jason Chong, Kate Skinner, Tom Stokes and Anthony Yangoyan. As I am working backstage on the Sydney season of the play, we are able to bring readers a unique insight series. How does a young artist prepare for a role? This week, Nate Sammut sits down with me to chat about his experience.
In a celebration of Australian storytelling and theatrical excellence, Critical Stages Touring, Australia’s national touring theatre company, is delighted to announce their return to stages with the most ambitious production season yet.
By Judith Greenaway. Kick McKinnon and Nate Sammut are currently in rehearsal for King of Pigs from Critical Stages Touring and Red Line Productions. The play opens its national tour at Glen Street Theatre on February 24. Kick and Nate are sharing the role of The Boy in a play written by Steve Rodgers and directed by Blazey Best. This new interview series looks behind the scenes at the life of a young performer on tour.
ABOUT THE POSITION
PRODUCTION MANAGER – IMMEDIATE START
Join our first touring production of 2022 and work with an amazing team of creatives and performers as we bring King of Pigs to audiences across NSW, VIC and QLD.
- Rehearsals: in Sydney 9-22 February
- Tour: 23 February to 27 March
Ideally, you’re an all-rounder who is comfortable managing bump-ins and working in different venues.
EDUCATION & PRIOR WORKING EXPERIENCE
- Minimum 2 years’ experience as a Production Manager or Stage Manager
- Experience in performing arts touring in Australia.
To request further information or to submit your CV, please contact our Operations and Technical Manager, Judy Reardon, at judy[@]criticalstages.com.au
Well that was quite a year! We started 2021 primed and ready to take on all the year could throw at us, and here we are at the other end, having managed so many more pivots, and a few unexpected pirouettes, than we ever thought possible. Despite the many challenges of 2021, we are proud we still managed to deliver 95 performances across 7 states and territories, supporting 155 artists, and performing for over 14,000 live audience members.
After a rigorous selection process, nine new stories about the places we live have been commissioned for a second season of Come to Where I Am – Australia, the exciting writing and performance initiative from the UK’s Paines Plough and Critical Stages Touring, Australia’s national touring theatre company.
The nine works come from across the country and represent a mix of rural, regional, suburban and metro experiences from a diverse group of authors. The stories will be produced as 10-minute video postcards, performed on location by the writers, in the region they are writing about.
Highlights include Michele Lee’s Real Housewives of Coburg, a gently humourous riff on the international reality franchise; a fire-fighting action adventure set in the secret valleys of the Blue Mountains for Erica Brennan’s Jurassic Bark; and Māori antidisciplinary artist Daley Rangi’s Brutal offers up a caustic lyrical monologue on Perth’s socio-architectural homogeneity, uncovering the smouldering truth hidden in the shadow of a WA sunset.
This year’s successful writers receive a $1500 writer’s fee, dramaturgical support from Paines Plough and Critical Stages Touring, plus technical and editing support to produce their video. The finished works will be featured across two livestream special events broadcast over Facebook and YouTube, before living on in the CST Screening Room and on the Paines Plough website.
Paines Plough launched the original Come To Where I Am in response to the pandemic in the UK. The 2020 Australian season was the first international partnership, and the program has since gone on to produce 50+ short plays across the UK, Australia and Europe.
The original season of Come to Where I Am – Australia was watched by over five thousand viewers across four volumes, with the livestream events introducing Australia and the UK to fifteen stories created by sixteen writers. The production underpinned the expansion of Critical Stages Touring’s digital initiatives, and the company has continued to develop digital theatrical experiences, including digital touring and education opportunities for regional and remote communities.
The project is based on an exceptionally successful program from UK project partner Paines Plough. Since 2010 Paines Plough have engaged more than 180 playwrights with invitations to write and perform short plays about their home towns and the places that shaped them, distributed globally through their smartphone and tablet app – Come to Where I’m From.
Chris Bendall, CEO of Critical Stages Touring said, “I am so very much looking forward to sharing these unique stories from around Australia. With so many of us spending far more time at home than we ever have before, and with money returning to home towns we left long ago, these pieces reflect the rich and complex relationships we have with where we live.” Chris continued, “in a time where much of our live performance touring has been put on hold, this project is an immensely rewarding opportunity for all the writers involved as well as the audiences who will get to experience these stories from their own homes”
Charlotte Bennet and Katie Posner, Joint Artistic Directors of Paines Plough, said “We are once again blown away by the terrific talent from the writers we have had the pleasure working with on the Come To Where I Am project. It has been a really special experience working with Critical Stages Touring, and also gaining an insight into the lived experience of writers who are continually reflecting on what home means to them. As a new writing company, the opportunity to continue to transcend borders is hugely important to us and we are so excited to have collaborated on this project.”
The first volume of Come to Where I Am – Australia – Season 2 will premiere on the Critical Stages Touring website, social channels, and on the Paines Plough YouTube channel on 1st December 2021. Volume two will premiere on 8th December 2021.
The successful writers are:
- Peter Beaglehole – Clarendon, SA | Kaurna country
- Erica Brennan – Blue Mountains, NSW | Gundungurra & Darug country
- Tasnim Hossain – Canberra, ACT | Ngunnawal country
- Michele Lee – Melbourne, VIC | Kulin Nation (Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri)
- Anna Loren – Sunshine Coast, QLD | Kabi Kabi and Jinibara country
- Socratis Otto – Sydney, NSW | Gadigal country
- Daley Rangi – Perth, WA | Whadjuk Noongar boodjar
- Nicholas Vagne – Jindabyne, NSW | Ngarigo country
- Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou – Traralgon, VIC | Gunaikurnai country