If you’re an independent theatre maker, chances are you know what it feels like to be alone in the world. Wake up and tune into the NEON buzz!
Two worlds are currently colliding at the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) as it throws open its mainstage doors to the independent sector. Bethany Simons caught up with MTC’s Martina Murray, to discuss all things indie.
Featuring five brand spanking new productions from a selection of Melbourne’s leading independent theatre companies, NEON Festival of Independent Theatre has spent the last two months bringing colour and creativity to the Lawler Studio at MTC’s Southbank Theatre. Running alongside this edgy performance season is NEON EXTRA – a series of activities aimed both at independent theatre makers and the general public at large.
So far, Martina Murray, Managing Producer of the NEON Festival, has been thrilled at the outcome of the workshops and information sharing sessions of NEON EXTRA.
“It’s been so rewarding, not just for participants, but for the MTC staff as well – and not just in terms of seeing the wealth of information we are handing over for free, but also the insights we are gaining from having those sorts of conversations with the makers beyond these walls. It’s new for them and us.”
Though aimed at independent theatre makers, they’re not the only ones that have been lapping up NEON EXTRA’S program of free workshops, networking events and mentoring opportunities. Everyone is welcome, and all you have to do is turn up! Be sure to check out these exciting events:
This Sunday 7 July at 1.30pm all are invited to Open Up – you ask it, they’ll answer it! A chaotic and uncensored 60 minute Q&A with a diverse panel including Julia Blake, Patrick Brammall, Lally Katz, Ralph Myers, Josephine Ridge, Daniel Schlusser and Brett Sheehy.
Submit your theatre related questions to [email protected] by midnight Saturday 6 July.
The final NEON Conversation will take place on Sunday 21 July at 1.30pm. Featuring a panel of highly experienced practitioners including Simon Stone, Andrew Upton, Cameron Woodhead, Dr Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Joanna Murray-Smith and Adena Jacobs, audiences will be treated to what promises to be both a heated and well-informed discussion on The Art of Adaptation.
Murray confirmed that the plan is for the interactive NEON EXTRA program to once again be placed alongside a season of independent productions at the MTC next year – but who will those lucky independents be? As the MTC have no curatorial control on the work selected for the NEON season, their programming decisions are based on how well they know a company’s body of work. In other words, tell them about your show!
[pull_left]Contact us at any time – but approach us within a realistic time frame. We are in the process of programming next year now[/pull_left]
“I strongly recommend that people invite us to their work, so that we can become familiar with them. Our team attend as much as we can so that we have a good understanding of what’s out there. Contact us at any time – but approach us within a realistic time frame. We are in the process of programming next year now!”
Murray and her team have been encouraged by the positive response to their inaugural festival of independent theatre.
“We hope NEON provides a place for connection, conversation, and a platform for dialogue about theatre and topical issues in the theatre landscape.”
That it does. See you at the theatre!
For more info or to download audio recordings of previous NEON EXTRA events click here