Zack Anthony Curran’s Pop-Up Theatre to house Sam Shepard’s A Lie Of The Mind

Producer and performer Zack Anthony Curran’s latest project could be a real game changer in the Melbourne fringe theatre scene. 

Zack Anthony Curran
Zack Anthony Curran

Last week he and co-producer Lauren-Anne Kempster announced plans to build a Pop-Up Theatre in inner Melbourne to house a site-specific immersive production of Sam Shepard’s A Lie Of The Mind. 

With a focus on community engagement and accessibility this project – directed by Caleb Rixon – is unlike anything the Melbourne Fringe scene has ever seen.

This young duo are offering 30 scheduled performances over a 4 week period in the Pop-Up space, which is yet to be revealed. Possibly the most exciting news is that two performances a week are scheduled to be part of a new initiative called ‘Pay What You Can’.

Audiences have the opportunity to see the show and pay a ticket price according to their own personal budget.

“This initiative literally removes the financial barriers preventing people from enjoying and learning from the great writers” Curran told AussieTheatre.

There have been many times when, as a young artist I’ve been unable to afford a hefty ticket price – even for a co-op or fringe show. This is our way of saying ‘hey, it’s not about money, we just want people to come and be inspired by our work, the actors and the writing’.”

The pair have chosen Sam Shepard’s iconic piece because of the strong and relevant themes such as family, domestic violence and abuse, alcoholism, and distortion of memory. It’s not all bleak though, Shepard’s plays including True West, Cowboy Mouth and the Pulitzer Prize winning Buried Child and well known for their moments of hilarity verging on surrealism.

With an opening night date in August yet to be announced the casting process is well underway and the producers are blown away by the influx of casting submissions from actors.

“We’ve received over a hundred and fifty submissions for the roles!” a rather surprised Curran admits.

“I think deep down I had this fear that nobody really cared. But they do, they really do. Everyone I’ve run into since the launch has been incredibly supportive which is solidified by the success of our Pozible campaign. That said, we’d love to reach our target sooner than later, so anything anyone can spare is hugely appreciated. We’re actually offering really cheap tickets to the show as reward for pledging to our campaign, so it’s well worth getting in early to claim those rewards.”

Curran has informed AussieTheatre that the wheels are well and truly in motion for a big and successful season in August 2014. After just one week, their Pozible campaign target of $10 000 had reached 35% and the pledges are steadily increasing.

To keep up to date with more big announcements including casting and the much-anticipated venue or to donate to help this exciting initiative come to fruition, follow the project on PozibleFacebook and www.lieofthemind.com

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

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