Antipodes Theatre Company (ATC) is pleased to announce the first half of their 2021 season, with a focus on presenting and developing new work. After shifting most of their 2020 programming to take place online, 2021 will see the continuation of virtual initiatives, like their Ricochet Reading Series and Contagious Cabaret, alongside small COVID-Safe in-person events in Melbourne as the world continues to cope with the pandemic.
From Artistic Director Brandon Pape:
This past year has been a roller coaster for our young organisation; after postponing two mainstage productions (it would have been our first full year of programming), we have been able to take a step back and solidify the artistic path we want to be on. Through online initiatives like our development retreat and monthly play readings, we’ve engaged with over 100 artists – many for the first time. In 2021, we continue to invest in new talent and underrepresented voices who epitomise our mission and storytelling values.
In April, ATC will produce the Melbourne premiere of Sam I Am, a one-man show written and performed by Sam Martin about his experiences as a deaf gay man. This dramedy with a big heart, directed by Dan Graham, will be presented by La Mama Theatre from 20-22 April as part of Midsumma Festival. ATC will also facilitate a development workshop for Rachel Lewindon and Willow Sizer’s new musical, an adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, in February.
ATC continues their bimonthly Ricochet Free Reading Series in an online format, featuring plays that have yet to be seen on Australian stages. The first plays in this lineup include Time To Eat by Melbourne playwright Rohan Byrne and The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G by U.S. playwright TS Hawkins. Future titles will be chosen from submissions; writers are encouraged to send scripts to [email protected]
After an incredible inaugural year, the ATC Drama Club will continue in 10-week terms that cultivate training initiatives and community-building for artists from a variety of backgrounds. ATC is also thrilled to undertake their second Winter Development Retreat, a week-long accelerator for new work and bold ideas that offers an opportunity for creatives to connect and discuss best practices for the arts industry.
Brooklyn Runaways, ATC’s cabaret and live event division, will continue producing the successful online series Contagious Cabaret throughout the year, along with a six-week run of #Really?! with Mel and Peppy at Fitzroy venue Vau d’Vile as part of both Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Midsumma Festival.
Details for the remainder of their 2021 Season, including previously announced productions of Murder for Two and The Humans, will be shared in March. Since its inception, ATC has been committed to having at least 50% of all positions, on stage and off, filled by people who are female-identifying, trans, non-binary, cultually and linguistically diverse, seniors or with disability. For more information, visit antipodestheatre.com.
ANTIPODES THEATRE COMPANY’S 2021 SEASON: PART 1
Melbourne Premiere | Sam I Am
Written and Performed by Sam Martin Directed by Dan Graham
Dramaturgy by Ana Maria Belo Produced by Andrew Lee
20-22 April, 2021 at La Mama Courthouse, part of Midsumma Festival
Set on the eve of his big move to Melbourne, this autobiographical story recounts pivotal events of playwright Sam Martin’s life, including his journey with hearing aids and speech pathology, learning Auslan, and choosing to come out following the 2017 marriage equality plebiscite. Sam I Am explores the experiences, memories, and unknowns that contribute to accepting and defining one’s identity.
Developmental Workshop | Orlando
By Rachel Lewindon and Willow Sizer
Mentored by Maude Davey
Based on the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf, this blend of contemporary music, musical theatre and abstract movement unpacks themes of self, time and bucking societal norms. Lewindon and Sizer’s most recent collaboration, Death of a Demi Diva, was nominated for four 2020 Green Room Awards.
Part of the Ricochet Reading Series | Time To Eat
by Rohan Byrne
Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean
Monday 25 January, 2021
A failing property speculator returns to his home in rural Victoria hoping to profit from its imminent death-by-highway, but his vengeful sister has plans to turn the hamlet into a Bunyip-themed tourist destination.
Part of the Ricochet Reading Series | The Secret Life of Wonder: a prologue in G
by TS Hawkins
Directed by Cheyenne Barboza
Monday 8 March, 2021
On International Women’s Day, ATC presents this lyrical homage to Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls… which follows seven young girls on their journey into womanhood. Sponsored in part by AngelPirate Productions.
ATC Drama Club
This ongoing seminar focuses on multiple disciplines within the performing arts (acting, playwriting, directing, design, and vocal performance) and explores topics related to artists’ wellbeing (mental health, time management, and setting personal goals). For more information, visit antipodestheatre.com/drama-club.
Winter Development Retreat
ATC’s annual development retreat for new work and bold ideas provides concentrated support for writers, directors, actors and other creatives. Projects at any stage of development, from initial idea to final draft, are accelerated through workshops and mentoring. For more information, visit antipodestheatre.com/retreat.
Brooklyn Runaways Presents an Online Series | Contagious Cabaret
Returns Friday 29 January, 2021
Born out of COVID-19, singers take on a song they’ve never performed and then nominate someone for the next episode. Watch previous episodes on Brooklyn Runaways’ Facebook page and YouTube channel.
#Really?! with Mel & Peppy
Written and Performed by Melissa David and Peppy Smears
Directed by Brandon Pape
26 March-2 May, 2021 at Vau d’Vile, part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Midsumma Festival Journey inside the minds, the heels, and the depraved souls of the cabaret world’s most exciting up-and-coming duo. Featuring outrageous opening monologues, scintillating musical performances and wild guests.
Image credit: Sam Martin, writer and performer for Sam I Am
Image description: Sam Martin, a young caucasian man wearing a black shirt with “queer” in white letters and a clear hearing aid, carries a backpack and walks through a tree-lined park with bright sun in the background