I’ve been very occasional with my posts haven’t I? Tardy to say the least… you see I have wrapped up in Brand Spanking New – my major project which is at the end of every year and now we are two performances away from finishing Brand Spanking New 2010. Week 2 of the 2 week season is in full swing and has been enjoying healthy houses at the new theatre – full of punters and writers curious to see what’s on, who’s in, what’s hot!

It’s always interesting for me to hear the response from plays I programme – last week a rather rambuncious satire by Phil Spencer conjured audible gasps from audience members who found it offensive (indeed that is the point of that play – to expose our sensitivity to language and our desire for self-sensorship). This week we have another opportunity for people to be outraged by ideas with a bit of social commentary by the one and only Alana Valentine starting the show.

What is extremely important to me is the curation of the season – how one show sets the tone for another – how the experience of one idea tips us into another experience. The play order in a suite like this is just as important as the scene order of a full length play. It takes alot of thinking about – to make sure each play is best placed and well represented. That’s my job. To make everyone’s work be best placed and well represented – so that everyone knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt – that I am taking care of their work. I am taking care of them. There is nothing haphazard about this. There is method this isn’t curated based on furniture and set up – it is curated with ideas front and centre.

What is also fabulous to me is to see who turns up – which actors and which writers and directors turn up – especially writers or actors who applied/auditioned and who may not have “gotten in” this time – the fact they turn up and follow through on their interest and intent impresses me no end.. and I am more likely to cast someone who has attended one of my shows than one who doesn’t – because at least I know they are interested in my work and working with me, and that is important to me: I always want actors to want to work with me, not because they want to work – but because they want to work with me… I always feel like I need to win the actor – and this helps me want to win them!

Anyway enough from me – I; have to head to the theatre – second last show… perhaps I’ll see you there?

Here is my director’s note for week 2 –
It is a great thrill to bring to you this year’s selection of Australia’s best and brightest writers, directors and actors on board Brand Spanking New – and this year’s program is certainly a cross section of contemporary Australian writing at best- poignant, brutal, honest, terrifying and utterly fearless.
This is where theatre practitioners can dive into freshly crafted scripts, vigorous, rigorous rehearsal processes, explore character, form and genre – all on one stage – to inspire conversation and elevate us above the everyday.
In week two of Brand Spanking New, we hear the inner thoughts of Redfern locals, delve into the intricacies of teenage loyalty, forge new territory beyond Prypiat, find the light in a dark dank cave, discover things aren’t what they used to be and yearn to take a walk in the park. This is a bouquet of plays, designed to stir and surprise whilst revealing a difficult personal truth and moments of great universal reckoning put together by a team of collegiate theatre artists who are propelled by grand artistic daring and steely-eyed faith in new Australian work.
Tonight is a celebration of the brave. Our playwrights, the brilliant historians of our times. The passionate and generous directors who drive the work so selflessly. The endlessly intuitive and audacious actors who unnervingly auditioned without knowing what they were auditioning for: I am honoured to have the opportunity to showcase each and everyone of these talented and brave artists, who shape our consciousness and our theatre community.
Brand Spanking New is created by the adventurous, for the adventurous: those who are willing to break out from what they know or expect and allow themselves to be challenged, invigorated, or inspired to go beyond the safe and the ordinary into a brave new world.

Opening Wed 3rd November- Saturday 6th November 2010, 8pm
New Theatre, 542 King Street , Newtown
All tickets $22

Week Two

A Walk In The Park by Donna Abela
Directed by Vanessa Hughes | Performed by Libby Ahearn and Emma Jones

Atomograd by Caleb Lewis
Directed by Nick Curnow | Performed by Melissa Matheson and Kate Skinner

Extra Curricular by Suzie Miller
Directed by Louise Fischer | Performed by Kelly Anderson, Persia Blue, Lib Campbell, Mel Firbank, Belinda Jombwe, Camelia Mowbray, Alannah Robertson and Georgia Woodward

HereNowThenThere by Catherine Zimdahl
Directed by Jane Eakin | Performed by Kenneth Moraleda and Matt Young

Apples and Onions by Alison Rooke
Directed by Heath Wilder | Performed by Madeleine Jones and Rhys Wilson

The Importance Of Being Ernest Dragons by Alli Sebastian Wolf
Directed by Scarlet McGlynn | Performed by David Adlam, Richard Cox, Sarah Hodgetts and Corinne Younan

The Locals by Alana Valentine
Directed by Scott Selkirk | Performed by Kellie Jones and Arabella Macpherson

The Pursued, the Pursuing, the Busy and the Tired by Tim Spencer
Directed by Augusta Supple | Performed by Peter Buck Dettman and Lucy Goleby

A Reunion by Ian Wilding
Directed by Dom Mercer | Performed by Lucy Goleby, Emily Morrison, Sean Ohlendorf and Salman Shad

Creative Team

Season Artistic Director Augusta Supple
Designer Paul Matthews
Lighting Designer Miles Thomas
Choreographer Sam Chester
Composer/Sound Design Rosie Chase
Stage Manager Alexander Hayden
Assistant Stage Manager Alison Murphy-Oates
Production Coordinator Julia Lenton
Partnerships Coordinator Leigh Russell
Assistant Designer Bri Small
Photographer Leah McGirr