Artists at Work: Shutdown Residencies

Thanks to the generosity of a private philanthropic foundation Belvoir is extending our Artists at Work program to freelance artists for projects being developed in the independent sector by offering a series of Shutdown Residencies. This is a one-off, quick response program, which has been designed specifically to provide opportunity and relief to artists during this crisis and recovery during the COVID19 pandemic to engage in meaningful work.

Last month, Belvoir opened submissions for Expressions of Interest in the program and received 186 applications. The reviewing process was equal parts inspiring and challenging undertaking as there are more deserving artists and projects than were are slots available, and was another humbling reminder of the ongoing impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on the employment opportunities for freelance artists.

Each Residency will be given $5000 to go towards fees paid to the artists, basic office/production support, and access to the downstairs theatre for a week, as well as an opportunity to present the work to members of the Belvoir Artistic and Programming Team at the end of the residency.

The following seven projects have been selected and will be setting up shop in the Downstairs Theatre over the coming weeks:

Successful Residencies:

Brittanie Shipway* – A Letter for Molly: the true story of four Aboriginal women, spanning four generations, and the impact the Stolen Generation had on each of them.  With: Ursula Yovich, Joel Granger, Lorinda May Merrypor, Angeline Penrith, Christie Hayes and Miranda Middleton. 

Click here to see photos from the residency.

Marcus Corowa and Sharni McDermott* – Untitled: a new Australian play with music about an Interracial couple pursuing their dreams while living in a 28sqm apartment in Darlinghurst. Based on personal experiences pursuing careers in the Arts and existing as mixed-race/First Nations people in the world.

Click here to see photos from the residency.

Taofia Pelesasa* – Hooka Fooka Wooka (working title): a new theatre work exploring the contemporary positioning of Pacific people in the wider Australian narrative. Using recent controversies including the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack’s comments around Pacific people’s ‘fruit picking’ presence in this country, and Erin Molan’s freshly dismissive mispronunciation of Pacific Island rugby league players names- this work is about assisting to rewrite the Australian narrative of Pacific people as a valuable & essential part of the Australian story. With: Emele Ugavule, Gabriel Faatuau’uu-Satiu, Keenan Walker and Solange Iputau. 

Click here to see photos from the residency.

Courtney Stewart and Amy Stewart* – YOLO: a 90-minute coming of age comedy about two 29-year-old Chinese Australian besties who escape their mental health hospital home and kidnap the Prime Minister in the hope of changing the world before their 30th birthdays.

Chika Ikogwe* – Chioma’s Party: an off-beat Nigerian dramedy about a young woman who’s trying to throw the hottest 21st Birthday Party ever.  Produced by: Green Door Theatre.

Click here to see photos from the residency.

Tommy Misa* – They Took Me To A Queer Bar: set in Fred’s fruits, a fictional Queer venue in Darlinghurst Sydney. The show is a few brief moments in the fabric of Queer history and celebrates our liberation but asks the question of where to from here when so much of our histories happened after midnight in these safe spaces. With: Tait de Lorenzo and Jonny Seymour.

Shaun Rennie and Sheridan Harbridge* – The Dead Set: An Anarchic Bushranger Musical: A darkly funny musical review, The Dead Set is an episodic series of origin stories – told by heroic sagas, barn-dance, Broke Back Mountain, song song song, and even lowers itself to horses on roller-skates. It pushes past the exhaustive Kelly Gang mythology, and reclaims the overlooked stories of our subversive fore-people – queers, blacks, blaks, and hot bitches with guns. With: Laura Murphy, Megan Wilding, Nick Coyle and Guy Simon.

* These are the lead creatives on each residency. The total number of artists supported by the residencies is expected to be 35.