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Image: Canberra Theatre Centre – About New Works Video

We supported many Canberra artists to create exciting new works in 2023.

Creative Developments

New Works provides creative development residencies through application and curation, providing artist income and access to the Courtyard Studio and CTC team to develop work beyond the initial seed of an idea.

Alienation

Jake Silvestro

Artists: Jake Silvestro, with Romain Hassanin, Steve Gow, Lilah Gow, Darcy Wiseman
Work: Alienation
Dates: 3 – 7 June 2023

Alienation is a new physical theatre work that explores the parallels between animal and human behaviour and invites us to reconsider our relationship to the natural world. Relying heavily on contemporary dance and circus, the work will incorporate visual art, live music, and absurdism.

Alienation
will be further developed through support from Legs on the Wall in Sydney and will premiere as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival in October 2023.

Ausdance ACT This development is presented in collaboration with Ausdance ACT.
Emerging circus artist Darcy Wiseman was supported by Ausdance ACT to observe this creative development for the week.

The Queen’s City of the South

Mark Salvestro

Artists:Mark Salvestro, with Nick Atkins, Christopher Carroll, Kate Smith, Thomas Campbell
Work: The Queen’s City of the South
Dates: 19 – 23 June 2023

Mark is developing a theatre work, The Queen’s City of the South, which is inspired by the history of Cooma Gaol and its use as a homosexual prison in the 1950-60s. The work was seeded as part of CTC’s inaugural New Ideas Lab in 2022, with the first creative development supported by a grant from Create NSW in April 2023.

Mark says, “I’m interested in this work as a means to examine the intersection of queerness and regional living, the importance of home, and how we use the past to make sense of the present.”

Creative Development Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott and Glenn Moorhouse

Artists: Paul McDermott and Glenn Moorehouse
Work: Scomonohomo and No Singing, No Dancing
Dates:16–20 October 2023

Paul McDermott and Glenn Moorhouse, in a creative partnership and musical odyssey, are fleshing out the bones of two different works that in turn respond to the lack of political accountability and the absurdity of the Covid pandemic experience with trademark humour, savage satire, and catchy tunes.

“I’m returning to my hometown of Canberra, a city I’ve never really left, for a week of experimentation, exploration, frustration, and madness. Glenn and I have been performing as Paul + 1 for three years. We are both looking forward to this week and working with The Canberra Theatre to bring something new into the world.” – Paul McDermott

 

Supported Creative Development

Francesca Giselle

Artist: Little Dove Theatre Art
Work: Francesca Giselle
Dates: January 2023

Director – Chenoeh Miller
Choreography – Alicia Melonie Jones and Noa Rotem
Performers – Natsuko Yonezawa, Ketura Budd, Alicia Melonie Jones, Noa Rotem, and Ali McGregor

“She is God, the Universe, the sisterhood, the everywoman; she is the speaker of truth, the gift of sight, the light in the darkness. Actually, is doesn’t matter who she is. What matters is that she took your hand and guided you out of these deep, murky waters that had threatened to drown you.” A powerful and transcendent dance theatre work, Francesca Giselle is about resilience, strength and about the female bonds that hold us and lead us forwards, onwards, upwards, continuing Little Dove’s exploration of love and connection as the root system of our being.

This creative development was supported by CTC’s New Works program and arts ACT project funding.


New Ideas Lab

Five Canberra based or connected artists took part in the New Ideas Lab 2023. The Lab allowed each artist to explore their idea in a collaborative context, working to develop the artistic concept and the creative planning for the work. With sessions led by professional mentors and Canberra Theatre Centre (CTC) staff, the New Ideas Lab provided the artists with an opportunity to dig deep into a new idea in multiple ways, preparing to pitch the idea and take it to next stage of development with curated mentorship with nationally recognised artists.

Artist: Emma Batchelor
Work: Now That I See You
Mentor: Danielle Micich – Artistic Director, Force Majure

Emma Batchelor is a queer writer and author from Canberra who regularly writes on the arts, gender and sexuality, mental illness and identity. In 2021 her first novel Now That I See You won the Australian/Vogel Literary Award before being released in the US in 2023. Emma is working on a full-length play for a single femme performer based on her novel.

Artist: Monica Carroll (Mink)
Work: Body-Word-Light 
Mentor: Becky Russell – Lighting and Production Designer

Monica Carroll’s award-winning published works have been performed in theatres and galleries in Australia, New Zealand, and England. She writes for stage and radio with experimental tendencies and philosophical themes. The work tells the embodied story of neurodivergent sensory experiences through the dynamic non-verbal language of light, colour, and pattern. Through the development of a new visual lexicon the work aims to offer the audience interesting perspectives on meaning-making from diverse lived-experience.

Artist: Rebecca Duke
Work: Wunderkinds
Mentor: Dylan Van Den Berg – Writer and Literary Manager, Griffin Theatre

 Rebecca Duke is an emerging playwright, currently undertaking a MFA in Writing for Performance at NIDA. Using the heist genre to explore the growing pains of the pre-teen years, Wunderkinds follows eleven-year-old Connie Lake who is propelled to international fame when a portrait she paints of her best friend is purchased by the National Portrait Gallery for a million dollars. This emerging play has previously been long-listed for ATYP’s Foundation Commissions and CYT’s Emerging Playwright Commission.

Artist: Thea Jade
Work: How These Things Go 
Mentor: Michele Lee – Writer

The recipient of the Whitlam Institute writing award in 2016, Thea is an emerging theatre maker and performer. How These Things Go explores the relationship between a young girl and a Court Bailiff that sits in her remote witness room throughout a court case that spans across her transition to young adulthood – from her first oath at 12 years old until the final verdict at 17.

Artist: Diana Nixon
Work: Flood
Mentor: Jenny Bell – Visual artist

Dianna is Artistic Director of Music Theatre Projects, and is a pianist, singer, actor, director, musical director, writer, and producer. Flood is a response to the 2022 floods in regional Australia. Drawing on lived experience of climate events and insight from those working in regenerative farming practices, Flood will form part of a trilogy of works that began with Millicent Armstrong’s Drought, and followed by Armstong’s Fire.


Presented Works

The Hello Girls

THE HELLO GIRLS
7–9 September 2023
The Playhouse

Canberra Theatre Centre proudly co-presented The Hello Girls in The Playhouse with Heart Strings Theatre Co, producers of 2022’s sold out hit Urinetown the Musical. A contemporary musical brimming with folk and pop earworms, The Hello Girls charts the journey of a feisty bunch of trail-blazing women who turned the US Army on its head and made history.

Founded in 2021, Heart Strings Theatre Co is a Canberra based production company committed to presenting exciting contemporary works and investing in the creative capital of the region, particularly professional artists that are based in or connected to Canberra.

Batchelor + Lea

BATCHELOR + LEA: A DANCE WEEK DOUBLE BILL
29 April 2023
The Playhouse

A dance double bill presented in The Playhouse in celebration of International Dance Day, and presented as part of Ausdance ACT’s Australian Dance Week, the event featured solo works by two outstanding Canberra based dance artists – James Batchelor’s Shortcuts to Familiar Places and Liz Lea’s RED.

IN CONVERSATION: EMBODIED HISTORIES
29 April 2023

Convened by Michelle Potter AM and joined by special guests Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM and Ruth Osborne, this conversation explored notions of dance legacies, intergenerational learning and sharing through choreographic exchange, and how histories written on and in the body are expressed through dance.


Supported Works

Supported Works 1

New Works supported a number of other independent Canberra artists and organisations to develop and present work at Canberra Theatre Centre, including:

  • Canberra Youth Theatre
    – The Trials
    – You Can’t Tell Anyone
    – Rosieville
  • QL2 Dance
    Communicate
    Gather – Meet Up Performance
  • You Are Here’s Cahoots Lab 2023
    Implications by Ashlee Bye and Beth Lane
    – Colony in the Spirit by Lynden Bassett

Find out more about New Works.