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Image: Canberra Theatre Centre – About New Works Video

We’re thrilled to continue supporting Canberra artists to create exciting new works in 2024.

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.

Charlie Wan
Image: Buda

Charlie Wan

Charlie Wan with Emma Maye Gibson
Work: Shame
Dates: 8-9 May, 16 – 18 May 2024
Venue: Courtyard Studio

Drag King. Vaudeville Performer. Clown. Stripper. Producer. Choreographer. Activist. Wizard. Charlie Wan is a multi-faceted, genre bending performance artist who has been dancing and performing across the globe since the age of 15. The Chameleon Clown King of Character, Charlie embodies the art of authenticity. The director of a dance school built around empowering humans to see themselves through eyes of love, Charlie seeks to disempower the darkness through humour, levity and laughter, believing the best art should feel safe to lap up but never entirely comfortable. Now based in Canberra, Charlie is proudly working class British-Chinese, genderfluid, and an all-round silly goose.

During their time at CTC, Charlie will be working with the phenomenal Emma Maye Gibson (AKA Betty Grumble) as mentor to develop existing characters Daddy Charles and Distracto, as well as workshopping a new theatre show examining the intersection of arts, expression, and sex work with the working title “Shame”.

Nick Delatovic

Nick Delatovic and Charley Allanah

Artists: Nick Delatovic and Charley Allanah, with Maeve Marsden, Adam Noviello, and Sara Zwangobani
Work: Must Go On
Dates: 8–13 April 2024
Venue: Courtyard Studio

Nick is a writer, theatre maker, songwriter, lead singer, performance artist, filmmaker, and arts producer working in cross-discipline, multi-arts-informed contexts. Charley is a director, theatre-maker, writer, and performer, and is Co-Artistic Director of House of Sand.

Must Go On is a queer indie-rock musical that began life in CTC’s inaugural New Ideas Lab in 2022. Nick has been developing the work with New Ideas Lab mentor and now collaborator Charley Allanah, with a development as part of Performance Space’s Live Dreams program in 2023. For this week of development they are working with director/ mentor Maeve Marsden (Queerstories) and performers Adam Noviello and Sara Zwangobani as part of the development team.

The work is set 30 years from now at the This-Is-Your-Life style celebration of a pop star, who is about to be destroyed and used as raw material for her fanbase to create a new, more acceptable version. The work aims to explore “the systems and cages we build when trying to love each other, the human drive toward deviance and the hope baked into our lack of control”.

Sañejo Grefaldeo

Sugar Kaye Sañejo Grefaldeo

Artist: Sugar Kaye Sañejo Grefaldeo, with Erika Jane Goldsmith and Richu John Kung
Work: Fortuna
Dates: 3 – 7 June 2024
Venue: Courtyard Studio

Sugar is originally from Manila, Philippines. She is a dance studio manager, performing artist, school dance teacher, and choreographer. Sugar is passionate about cultivating and promoting the indigenous and cultural dances of the Philippines and is actively involved in the Filipino-Australian Community. Since arriving in Australia she has trained in contemporary dance, afro, dancehall, and street latin styles.

Mentors Erika Jane Goldsmith – a Meanjin-based performing artist, producer, and cultural community development practitioner, and dancer Richu Jong Kung will join Sugar in Canberra for the development period. Development of this work also involves local community dance organisation Kulture Break to explore creative exchange and ways to navigate cultural protocols in contemporary dance storytelling contexts.

Fortuna is a one-woman dance theatre work about Sugar’s journey as a Filipino migrant to so-called Australia.  Further, the work seeks to question the idea of ‘fortune’ (fortuna in Spanish). In the Philippines, people often say that ‘kung ano ang itinanim, siya’ng aanihin’ – what you reap is what you sow. But is it ‘chance’? What brings good fortune? What IS good fortune? Sugar’s dance journey began after a teacher from her school, Raffy Fortuna, saw her playing sports and invited her to join the school’s dance troupe. Raffy changed the course of her life and became a key mentor as her passion for dance grew.  The work explores this relationship between student and mentor, the passing on of knowledge, and the cycle of giving back to mentors and community.

Ausdance ACT

This development is presented in collaboration with Ausdance ACT.

Liz Lea

Liz Lea

Artist: Liz Lea, with Tammi Gissell
Work: Diamond
Dates: 15–19 January 2024

Liz spent a week in The Playhouse researching her new one woman show Diamond. The process supports continued immersive collaborative process with artists and scientists in Australia and Asia, informing the next iteration of her development as a performer, creator, and access provider – a reconnect with her past to move into the future. Diamond springs from the expansive analogy of the creation of rare and precious jewels over millions of years. Founded in a personal journey with Chronic Illness, Diamond becomes a reflection on resilience, longevity, and potential for brilliance that comes with age.

“It was such a thrill and honour to open the year in a venue like The Playhouse, begin research and cast the net wide with ideas with my collaborator Tammi Gissell. We connected online with Dramaturg Brian Lucas and musicians Toby Cole and Alexander Hunter. A myriad of new ideas and previously unseen connections, now settle into space for the next steps. Deeply grateful for the support from Canberra Theatre Centre and artsACT.” – Liz Lea

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

New Ideas Lab

The New Ideas Lab 2024 will see four artists to explore a new performance idea in a collaborative context, with sessions led by professional mentors and nationally recognised artists and Canberra Theatre Centre (CTC) staff – preparing to pitch the idea and take it to next stage of development.

Dates: 20 – 24 May 2024
Venues: Courtyard Studio and Playhouse Reception room

Artists and projects:

Linda Chen

Artist: Linda Chen (She/Them)
Project Name:  t(here)
Mentor: Yasemin Sabuncu

Linda is actor-writer-artist that makes performance work spanning across theatre, film, and other hybrid/experimental modes which delve into migrant narratives, family dynamics, oppression, agency, and relationships mediated by tech. t(here) is a live/digital hybrid play exploring an online, long-distance relationship. The work explores the effects of distance on relationships when mediated via online space, whether romance and intimacy can exist (or still exists), and our changing relationship to the body/corporeality, desire and need in a post-digital, post-covid age, where our reliance on and skepticism of technology have both been hyperaccelerated.

Gemma Hudson

Artist: Gemma Hudson (She/Her)
Project Name:  Creatures
Mentor: Andi Snelling

Gemma is an emerging theatre maker who grew up in Canberra and is currently part of Canberra Youth Theatre’s Writers Ensemble. Creatures is a Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Alice in Wonderland inspired body horror about disability and capitalism, inspired by the artist’s lived experience with disability. The narrative follows Alice, a young woman living in the distant, but not too distant future, where the needs of productivity have grown so exponentially that the human body is being pushed to its limit.

Fi Pell

Artist: Fi Peel (They/Them)
Project Name: Glimmer of Hope
Mentor: Danielle O’Keefe

Fi is an emerging theatre maker, writer and musician, whose work is deeply intertwined with their work in political advocacy and social policy reform. A Glimmer of Hope is a multi-lingual project exploring the silencing and nurturing of voice. All characters have their own visible or invisible challenges, some of them physical, others as defined by the social model of disability. The project interweaves baroque music, operatic arias, art song, musical theatre, contemporary music and five different languages (including Auslan).

Isha Menon

Artist: Isha Menon (They/Them)
Project Name:  The Coming of Babaur
Mentor: Tasnim Hossain

As Isha’s first foray into playwriting having recently completed their performance studies at VCA. The work was first explored as part of an Artbox Residency at Footscray Community Arts and Isha is returning to the ACT to develop the work further. The Coming of Babaur is a sharp satirical theatre work that combines social commentary with the surreal and fantastical. On New Year’s Eve, the last day of a horrific year of worldwide climate disaster and political catastrophe, a prophecy trending hard on the internet claims that Babaur, an ancient eldritch Goddess no one has heard of, will descend from the Heavens to wipe this filthy slate clean.

Skills Development

Circa Workshop for Young Circus Artists

CTC is constantly looking for ways to engage meaningfully with our incredible local artists and organisation. To accompany the tour of Humans 2.0 at the Canberra Theatre Centre 2 – 4 May, Circa will present a workshop for selected participants with Warehouse Circus. Working closely with both Circa and Warehouse Circus, CTC is excited to be presenting this workshop opportunity to emerging artists in our region to develop their circus skills and gain insight from leading national circus artists.

Akram Khan Repertory Workshop
Sunday 4 February 2024, 2 – 4pm

Akram Khan Company dancer, Elpida Skourou, delivered a two-hour workshop to 30 emerging and professional dance artists from the ACT, NSW, Victoria and Queensland in February. This exclusive 2-hour workshop took participants through excerpts from AKC company class and taught repertoire excerpts from Jungle Book Reimagined. This was the only workshop held during the Akram Khan Company’s Australia tour, and a very special experience for our local artists.

Presented in collaboration with QL2 Dance and Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.


Mentor Chats

As part of New Works commitment to sector development, CTC connects local artists to world class professional artists to learn from connection and conversation.

Local musician Lisa Richards writes and performs music that delves deep into the tapestry of human experience, connection, and emotion. Her guitar-based songs are steeped in folk, roots, and jazz music. Lisa had the opportunity to attend Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier’s Songs from the Book of Life performance in February 2024, followed by a 2 hour mentoring session with Deborah Conway. She reflects on her experience here.

You can find out more about Lisa and her work here: https://www.lisarichardsmusic.com/

Supported Works

Work, But This Time Like You Mean It QL2 Dance – Subject to Change Co_Lab

New Works is supporting a number of independent Canberra artists and organisations in 2024 to develop and present work at Canberra Theatre Centre, including:

  • Canberra Youth Theatre
    – Work, But This Time Like You Mean it
  • QL2 Dance
    –Subject to Change
  • Australian Dance Party
    – Co_Lab: 24

Find out more about New Works.