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Arts graduates join forces on double-bill at Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre

Former UOW students work with emerging artist-in-residence program. 

Former UOW graduates from different year groups have collaborated to create two works shown at the iconic Belvoir Theatre in Sydney.

Treats was a double-bill at the venue’s Downstairs Theatre, comprising two works, The Carousel and Unit. Both were entirely produced by UOW students from four different year groups.

The works were developed through the Shopfront Arts Coop’s emerging artist-in-residence program, ArtsLab.

Shopfront is for young people and is the only dedicated youth-led arts organisation in the Southern Sydney and Illawarra region. It is known for its daring, adventurous and socially relevant work with young people across Australia and internationally.

The Carousel writer Pippa Ellams and Unit creator Kirby Medway said most of those involved had known each other at university, or knew of each other through friends or colleagues.
All graduated from UOW with a Bachelor of Performance (acting).

Unit, by Kirby Medway, said the work involved the audience putting on headphones, getting comfortable, and listening. Throughout the audio show, the audience sits in a room and listens to a story about people attending a protest and a property developer trapped in an elevator.

Kirby said the ArtsLab residency at Shopfront was the inspiration.

“It was a great motivator and I felt that it was a good opportunity to try making something different and take on more creative responsibilities within a process," she said.

“Some other important inspirations were audiobooks, radio plays, Virginia Wolf and the hefty amount of apartment buildings being constructed around Sydney.”

With a non-linear timeline, The Carousel explores the experience of young women growing up in western Sydney. It is directed by Hannah Goodwin and performed by Alex Francis and Tasha O’Brien. Stage manager is Breaane Hickey, while the operator is Soloman Thomas.

The play looks at the boundaries of unconditional love between sisters.

Writer Pippa said she created the play because she felt that she had not seen herself and young women like her accurately represented on stage.

“I wanted to see the 21st century young women I knew, that weren't afraid to be bold, funny and 'vulgar'”, she said.

“The play is about the limitations of unconditional love between two sisters and is partially inspired by my real life relationship with my own younger sister."

The Carousel focuses on Christa and Jamie, who are embarking upon the treacherous transition between girlhood and womanhood.

Both Pippa and Kirby described the collaboration as extremely rewarding and said they were proud of the fact that they were UOW-powered productions.

Treats embed

Photos: She's an Artist.

Posted in Arts and Culture
Tagged: Arts