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.