Black Swan Season 2019
Following a successful debut season in 2018, artistic director Clare Watson continues her imaginative programming. In 2019 the company explores Where The Heart Is - about family, and in particular, the myriad of Australian families. Clare sees the programme as ‘a collection of characters and stories that explore belonging. It asks us what it means to be a citizen and belong to a community.’
There are classic plays and contemporary work, old tales told anew and some of the best, freshest voices that Australian theatre boasts today.
Clare is particularly proud that six out of the seven plays in the 2019 season have been written and will also be directed by women. She adds that ‘the season will celebrate brilliant local talent, is inclusive and diverse, fresh, funny and pertinent.’
The Black Swan 2019 season begins with our Perth Festival offering, the Pulitzer prize-winning American drama Our Town by Thornton Wilder. This will be a one-of-a-kind theatre event celebrating the extraordinary lives of ordinary people under the stars in the State Theatre Centre Courtyard. Directed by Clare Watson with a cast of professional actors and featuring members from our community.
Back by popular demand will be Julia Hales’ You Know We Belong Together, presented in the Heath Ledger Theatre. This co-production with Perth Festival and DADAA starring Julia Hales and friends is a deeply personal account of her experience of finding love as a daughter, actor, dreamer and person with Down syndrome. For those that missed this joyful celebration of community spirit and love last year - you have one more chance to see this extraordinary show.
Water is the third play in the 2019 season and a world premiere new Australian work by Jane Bodie. The story follows the journey of families born at different times in our country’s history who are seeking safe passage for their loved ones. An epic drama about what it means to be free, is politically charged and topically relevant. This marks the first writing commission by Clare Watson, for the company and is directed by Emily McLean.
In June we present the overlooked Australian classic The Torrents, by Oriel Gray in a co-production with Sydney Theatre Company. Set in the 1890s Goldfields, where J.G. Milford arrives to take a job at the local paper, for a reception that neither she nor the community expects. This newsroom comedy was joint winner with Summer of the Seventeenth Doll for Best Play of the Year in 1955. Starring Helpmann Award-winning comedian Celia Pacquola (ABC’s Rosehaven, Utopia), and directed by Clare Watson, we hope to bring this neglected classic back into the spotlight.
A radical update of Euripides’ Medea by Kate Mulvany and Anne-Louise Sarks follows next. An new drama in collaboration with WA Youth Theatre Company that observes one of history’s most notorious family breakdowns. A smart, sharp and bittersweet story told from the perspective of the two children of Medea and Jason, directed by Sally Richardson.
Nakkiah Lui’s raucous smash hit Black Is The New White directed by Paige Rattray comes to Perth, from sell out seasons in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s a hilarious meet-the-parents shake down presented with Sydney Theatre Company. A very Australian romantic comedy that will captivate and delight.
The final play of 2019 is a world premiere co-production with Barking Gecko Theatre Company and directed by artistic director Matt Edgerton. Fully Sikh is written and performed by Australia’s Got Talent sensation, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa. It’s the first Aussie Sikh story to hit our stages. Slam poetry from our suburbs like you’ve never seen before.
The 2019 season will deliver three shows in the Heath Ledger Theatre, three shows in the Studio Underground, and for the first time a show presented in the State Theatre Courtyard, as part of Perth Festival under the stars. This includes two world premieres, two collaborations with Sydney Theatre Company, and co-productions with local companies WA Youth Theatre Company and Barking Gecko. A dinner event, play readings, panel discussions and a dance party will also be included.
Images: Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa - Fully Sikh, Hayley McElhinney - Medea and Kylie Bracknell (Kaarljilba Kaardin) - Black is the New White.
Photographer: Richard Jefferson