On Sunday 25 September, the State Theatre Company of South Australia held an Open Day to coincide with the launch of their hotly anticipated 2012 program launch. The excitement of the program launch and the feeling like you were getting away with being somewhere you shouldn’t have been, made for a perfect day.
Adelaide writer, Brooklyn Ley, writes about her experiences at the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2012 season launch. This very well respected theatre company know how to put on a great show, giving the public unprecedented access to various areas of the Adelaide Festival Centre ahead of their official program launch – allowing the public a glimpse into the ‘other side’ of world of theatre… Lies, Unicorns, Ballbreakers, Motherhood, Terrorists, Ham, Cannibalism, Vibrators: Or the 2012 State Theatre Company of SA Season! On Sunday 25 September, the State Theatre Company of South Australia held an Open Day to coincide with the launch of their hotly anticipated 2012 program launch. The excitement of the program launch and the feeling like you were getting away with being somewhere you shouldn’t have been, made for a perfect day.
The Open Day offered the general public the not only the opportunity to take a backstage tour of the Dunstan Playhouse (and wander into a farmhouse in the American Midwest while they were at it!) but also gave a rare glimpse of the story behind the story, allowing unprecedented access into the set-building workshop, rehearsal room and an up close and personal encounter with some of this season’s finest costumes.
The foyer of the Dunstan Playhouse was converted into an information hub, giving visitors the chance to learn everything they needed to know about the State Theatre Company’s education program, subscriptions and membership groups and initiatives such as the Red Carpet program for theatre patrons in their 20s and 30s.
The Open Day was set up perfectly: attendees were directed through a trail which lead us to rooms which we didn’t even know existed in the depths of the theatre. Entering through Door 2 of the Dunstan Playhouse, guests walked through the stalls before sneaking through a side door to the right of the stage. A short walk (through a fairly unglamorous corridor) lead us into a room which displayed some of this season’s most impressive costumes and wigs, with a staff member on hand to discuss the finer points of the costumes. We were then lead through a maze of hallways, which were covered with picture after picture of previous productions and festivals before finding ourselves in the Rehearsal Room. An entire day could be spent looking at the photos and marvelling over previous productions, but sadly there was just not enough time. Once in the Rehearsal Room, we discovered that rehearsals for the October production of Holding The Man are already underway and we were treated with a sneak peek of costumes, and a mock up of the set and prop pieces for the upcoming show.
We were then ushered through to the Workshop – one of the most exciting and amazing parts of the tour. Miniature sets littered the area as well as previously built pieces in a huge area which I think took everyone back to their high school days in Tech Class. Again, hours could have spent hours in there trying to see (and place!) all of the set pieces. The tour then lead the intrepid explorers out into the backstage area of the Dunstan Playhouse where a Stage Technician was happily explaining his role and all the different pieces of equipment backstage. Ending with the Pièce de résistance, the stage and set of Buried Child, we were allowed as much time on the stage, with basically unrestricted access, to take it all in. Having seen the first preview of the show a few weeks ago it was especially interesting to have a close up look and see the set from the perspective of the performers and crew. Artistic Director Adam Cook offered personal introductions of the new 2012 Program in the Space Theatre at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.00pm.
Shortly before 11.30 we were ushered into the Space Theatre, which was set up with 8 large quotes as the backdrop. The hilarious and enthusiastic Adam Cook, lead us through his presentation. He spoke of previous seasons (and previous season launches, this time he didn’t have to be shut in a pine box for his entrance!) and he spoke of what was to come. He also shared with us some wonderful personal stories and demonstrated just how far theatre can reach and how much it can touch everybody. He was assisted with his presentation by Associate Director Catherine Fitzgerald, whose excitement and enthusiasm for the 2012 season was equally as contagious. The presentation ran for just over half an hour and was filled with too many marvellous quotes to fit into one article!
The launch was a huge success, the excitement and anticipation in the air was palpable.
The State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2012 program is as follows:
25 February – 18 March: The Ham Funeral by Patrick White, directed by Adam Cook.
4 May – 26 May: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee William, directed by Adam Cook.
8 July – 29 July: Pinocchio created by Rosemary Myers with Julianne O’Brien, directed by Rosemary Myers.
17 August – 8 September: Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, directed by Catherine Fitzgerald.
5 October – 13 October: Blasted by Sarah Kane, directed by Netta Yashchin.
18 October – 27 October: Pornography by Simon Stevens, directed by Daniel Clarke
3 November – 24 November: In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Catherine Fitzgerald.
And finally the Education Program show, with public viewings, a collection of short plays and music War Mother, running 30 May – 2 June and touring 4 June – 22 June. This collection of works will be directed by Catherine Fitzgerald.
Tickets for these shows will be available for purchase from 9am this morning, Monday 26 September 2011. For further information about each show and more information about the State Theatre Company and how to subscribe, please visit: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au