Take Over! 2020 artists announced as they push creative boundaries in new at-home residencies

Arts Centre Melbourne in partnership with Melbourne Fringe return to present the fourth year of the Take Over! commission with a brand new approach. The Take Over! program has commissioned 10 artists/companies to make unique works which will be developed online and presented during Melbourne Fringe 2020.

The Take Over! program supports independent, visionary artists to push their creative boundaries. This year, they have been asked to develop a work that will include a two-week at-home residency culminating in a final event during Melbourne Fringe in November, which could be performed live or online.

We received a staggering 94 applications for this project from Victorian independent artists – bold, courageous and inspiring ideas from many of our leading performance makers. Reflecting on the artists that have been selected I am excited by the breadth of life experience that the 2020 Take Over! artists bring to the program, says Arts Centre Melbourne Creative Producer, Theatre & Contemporary Performance, Daniel Clarke.

From July to September, the two-week online residencies will be a chance for the artists to explore and connect with their audiences during their creative developments. Practicing within a Coronavirus landscape – this new-found way of working – will be a crucial part to their artistic process and realising the outcomes of the work.

“Spanning dance, theatre, spoken word, music, live art and installation we asked artists to consider their relationship with their audience, both online and in real life. I’m confident that this year’s Take Over! will result in many new works being created, works that capture a moment in time and ignite the imaginations of both our artists and audiences,” says Clarke.

At the beginning of each residency, the artists will introduce themselves and give a short introduction to the work they will be developing. By the end of the fortnight, the artists will engage with their audiences online; opening their creative process through streaming their content – all of which will be live captioned. Then, come November, all commissioned works will be presented together as part of a one-off durational event during Melbourne Fringe. Details for this to be announced in due course.

Take Over! 2020 will be epic. Its durational format, bold artist choices and unique approach to creating work will result in an event that will be constantly surprising as it shifts form and focus over its extended duration. Can you imagine anything more quintessentially 2020 than that?” says Melbourne Fringe Creative Director and CEO, Simon Abrahams.

The final program includes highly original, fearless and often deeply personal artistic explorations that demonstrate a vulnerability and fierce passion to understand more about humanity and the world we are living in, says Clarke.

Take Over! has been commissioning exciting and ambitious world-premiere works annually since 2017. Previously, the successful artists received commissioning funds of $30,000. This year, in response to the global pandemic, Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe wanted to give more artists the opportunity to create and present new works. As such, Take Over! has invested in the development of 10 new projects.

From the 94 applicants, the 10 successful artists selected for Take Over! 2020 are:

  1. Brian Lipson and Mark Wilson
    The History of the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Doctor John Faustus
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 25 July, 2pm
  1. Marcus Ian McKenzie
    The Crying Room
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 1 August, 2pm
  2. Karma Dance – Govind Pillai and Raina Peterson
    We’ve been here before
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 8 August, 2pm
  1. David Williams
    Smaller
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 15 August, 2pm
  2. Joel Bray
    Giraru Galing Ganhagirri (The Wind Will Bring Rain)
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 22 August, 2pm
  1. Jonathan Homsey with Maggie Zhu and Maggie Chen
    I Am Maggie
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 29 August, 2pm
  2. Moira Finucane
    I Miss You Antarctica
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 5 September, 2pm 
  1. Soreti Kadir
    Namummaa fi Wantoota Namummaa Qancarson – Humanness And What It Took
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 12 September, 2pm
  2. Kate Hood
    Queen Esme of Collingwood
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 19 September, 2pm
  1. Casey Jenkins (Sh)
    Project specifics to be announced in the coming months
    Residency final outcome: Saturday 26 September, 2pm

Previous Take Over! works include 2017’s Discordia by The Discordiants (James Andrews, Gabi Barton, Holly Durant, Benjamin Hancock, Simone Page Jones, Hannah Fox and Will & Garrett Huxley); 2018’s  Colossusby Stephanie Lake Company and 2019’s What Am I Supposed To Do? (WAISTD) by Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen / Deep Soulful Sweats.

Take Over! is a unique partnership between Arts Centre Melbourne and Melbourne Fringe who are committed to providing pathways and opportunities for Australia’s leading independent artists and companies. Within Australia, this is a significant commission opportunity and unique in that the artist/company is selected through an open call-out. This project has been generously supported by private donors Monica Lim and Konfir Kabo as well as Anne Runhardt and Glenn Reindel.

Arts Centre Melbourne announced it had postponed welcoming visitors back to its venues in accordance with the most recent Victorian Government guidelines on COVID-19. The ghost lights will stay on a little longer as Arts Centre Melbourne focuses on finding new ways to engage with audiences, including the digital online hub – Together With You. For more information including; bookings for free and ticketed events, Arts Centre Melbourne’s health and safety policies, as well as additional digital content and experiences, visit artscentremelbourne.com.au

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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