Sam Strong unveils a “new era” at Griffin

Griffin Theatre Company Artistic Director Sam Strong has unveiled a feast of new shows, two new seasons, new events, new artists, new ventures and new opportunities as part of Griffin’s 2011 season launch.

Griffin Theatre Company Artistic Director Sam Strong has unveiled a feast of new shows, two new seasons, new events, new artists, new ventures and new opportunities as part of Griffin’s 2011 season launch.

The main Griffin 2011 program comprises four great Australian plays, including a revival of one of Australia and Griffin’s best, Andrew Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues.

Also launched on Monday night were: a season of the four best independent shows in Griffin Independent; new resident artists in the form of the Griffin Studio; a groundbreaking new program of events in Griffin Between the Lines; and a unique subscription offer.

Highlights of the season include:

– The homecoming of a Griffin Classic and one of the greatest Australian plays: Andrew Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues. On the 15th anniversary of the original SBW Stables production and the 10th anniversary of the film it spawned Lantana, Griffin’s Artistic Director Sam Strong directs a powerhouse new production. Speaking in Tongues is a masterfully interwoven tale of disconnection between individuals, partners and communities.

– The world premiere of the winner of last year’s Griffin award, Lachlan Philpott’s Silent Disco. Silent Disco is a frontline exploration of a generation’s disparate dreams in an unpredictable world, a play that exists between the violence of poetry and the music of a fight. Joining Lachlan on the dance floor for this co-production with ATYP and Hothouse theatre will be acclaimed director and Griffin Associate Director Lee Lewis.

– A new production of this year’s AWGIE award winning play And No More Shall We Part by Tom Holloway. This production reunites the crack team of critically acclaimed Holloway and Sam Strong. Their last collaboration, Red Sky Morning, won the Green Room Award for Best New Writing for the Australian Stage before touring the country. And No More Shall We Part sees them take on a painfully intimate and profoundly moving glimpse into the void of mortality.

– The world premiere of This Year’s Ashes, a new play from one of our most brutal, insightful and bitingly funny writers, Jane Bodie, who is Head of Playwriting at NIDA. This Year’s Ashes is a reluctant romantic comedy about Sydney, grief…and cricket. This hilarious, touching urban fable of connection and redemption will be directed by one of the country’s hottest young directors, Shannon Murphy.

– Four new resident artists who will form part of the Griffin Studio: writers Ian Meadows and Kate Mulvany, and directors Shannon Murphy and Paige Rattray.

– A groundbreaking collaboration between Griffin’s resident artists and audience. With The Museum of Broken Relationships, the Griffin Studio will transform objects and stories from the Griffin audience’s relationship past into a unique, moving and exclusive night in the theatre, to be accompanied by an exhibition of the objects in Griffin’s new foyer.

– A season of four new independent shows during 2011 combining the crème of new international playwriting with a local gem. From the visceral Louisiana poetry of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, to the razor sharp Berlin satire of Marius Von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One, to the Irish theatrical flair of Enda Walsh’s The New Electric Ballroom, to the Australian magic realist charm of Lally Katz’s Smashed. The Independent season will also feature four of our finest directors: Imara Savage, Clare Watson, Sarah Giles and Kate Gaul.

– A whole new program and series of events in the form of Griffin Between the Lines. These additional events will sit in and around Griffin productions and include everything from film screenings, to gigs, to laneway cricket and a BBQ.

– A dynamic new approach to subscription tickets.

“I am thrilled to be unveiling a new era at Griffin,” Griffin Artistic Director Sam Strong said on Monday.

“Today we launch the Main and Independent Seasons together for the first time. The Main Season combines multi-award winning plays by our best new writers with an all time Griffin and Australian classic. The season is a lovingly crafted journey across very different styles and very different generational experiences. The Independent Season combines another leading young Australian writer with the absolute cream of new international playwriting, from Ireland, to the US, to Germany. Not only that, this year we are inviting people to join us ahead of the pack. People who subscribe to our Main Season before November 1 can see eight plays for only $180.”

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