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It’s been a busy time at Belvoir as we finalise the season for 2014. We can’t tell you what it is just yet but I’m pleased to share that it involves some great new plays from both new and established Australian writers, new works from some of Australia’s best theatre makers and a few classics that we’ve been wanting to stage for a while – a beautiful, diverse and exciting season, we hope you will agree!
As the Literary Manager I’ve been busy developing new works as usual. In July we had Chris Drummond, Artistic Director of Brink Productions in Adelaide join myself and 5 actors for a two week development of Lally Katz’ latest play which is a co-commission between our two companies. Chris’s development process is beautifully lateral. It involves a lot of workshopping with actors early in the writing process, before the writer has even started putting pen to paper or knows who their characters are. It was a great experience getting to work with him for the first time and I’m very much looking forward to getting Lally’s draft of the play in a few months.
I’ve also recently been in development with Matthew Whittet for his commission Autumn and Angela Betzien’s Mortido. Angela’s play The Dark Room was part of our downstairs season in 2011 and I directed Matt’s Old Man in 2012. We’re hoping both writers will have new works to premier upstairs in 2015. I tailor each development to the needs of the playwright and play. Angela had written a draft of her play and wanted to discuss the themes of the work, how we could structure the piece and if she had the right group of characters and story. So with director Leticia Caceres and Tim Roseman from PWA and playwright Chris Summers we spent two days thrashing out ideas, looking at influences of the work and discussing structure and themes. Matt started working in the theatre as an actor and as a result wanted to hear his first draft as realistically as possible so we brought five actors in and spent two days reading and discussing his wild, mad fantasy.
You’ve probably heard that Adena Jacobs and Anne-Louise Sarks are joining us next year as Resident Directors. Adena’s current production, Persona is sold out upstairs so if you’ve not seen it yet call box office to see if you can get any last minute tickets released. We’re also in rehearsals with Miss Julie written by Simon Stone after August Strindberg and directed by Leticia Caceres. I’m really excited about the modern adaptation of this classic that the company are making. Leticia is a formidable theatre maker with a great mind and Simon creates brave and exhilarating adaptations. It’s the first time he’s not directed his own adaptation and I’m thrilled to see what will happen when these two come together.