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Open Letter From The Sydney Fringe Director/CEO About Silent Theatre

Published in Arts  
This world premiere event sees four playwrights spending four nights in the Urban Newtown Hotel writing four separate pieces of theatre.

The catch? Audiences will watch their performances play out in four adjoining rooms from the street below, with wireless headphones.

Here, Festival Director and Sydney Fringe CEO Kerri Glasscock pens an open letter about the 'Silent Theatre'.

“Last year we worked on a project called 'Chain Play', placing four playwrights into a hotel room for a night each, while there they wrote a 1/4 of a script and left it for the next playwright to pick up from and write their contribution, afterwards we hosted a staged reading of the script. It was such a fun project that we wanted to build on for this year and the idea of taking it to a whole new level with 'Silent Theatre' emerged.

This year, in the same hotel, The Urban Newtown, we are taking over four adjoining rooms and asking playwrights, divisors and artists to create four stand-alone scenes set in their respective room, after which myself and Director Dominic Mercer will work with a team of performers to bring the scripts to life. The scenes will focus around life in the city, a bustling city where so often intimacy can be drowned out by the noise, speed and pressure around you. What happens in a quiet hotel room is often just as mysterious as what is happening in the house next door, or in the head of the co-worker who sits next to you each day. In a world of high speed technology and apparent connectivity have we lost the ability to connect, to listen?

By placing the audiences outside on the street – the busy street of Newtown – and providing them access to openly become voyeurs we are hoping these questions are felt with a greater magnitude. That's the wonderful thing about creating site specific work, the ability to literally transform an audience's world, to disarm them of the security of a four walled, quiet theatre and to give them the freedom to really go on an adventure... Let's be honest, who hasn't wanted to snoop into the hotel room next door and see what's going on! Audiences will be able to listen to the intimate dialogue via wireless headphones and will catch glimpses of the action inside the rooms and on the balconies. We are hoping it is a super special experience for audiences.”

– Kerri Glasscock

'Silent Theatre' takes place at The Urban Newtown 19-21 September.

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