The COVID-19 era has been a challenge for all – but it's also been an opportunity to reset, reimagine and reignite creative energy, and that's the case for WA's Black Swan State Theatre Company.
The company will emerge from 2020 with a refreshed vision and purpose: To create brave and playful conversations.
"We will bring to the stage old plays in new ways," Black Swan Artistic Director Clare Watson says. "A bold, original work that confronts us with our past; exciting collaborations with the local WA theatre sector; a contemporary dance work; a free two-day festival during NAIDOC week; and a choose-your-own on-stage adventure in which we invite our audiences to vote for the Shakespearean play they would like us to present, in celebration of our 30th birthday – a creatively thrilling, yet slightly terrifying proposition for a theatre company!"
You can join Black Swan on a picnic blanket before 'The Cherry Orchard', or in deep discussion around 'Le Dernier Appel'. Perhaps you'd like to revisit the independent production ' Playthings' or laugh in the aisles during 'Animal Farm'.
Kicking off 2021 will be an Aussie makeover of 'The Cherry Orchard' by Chekhov. This adaptation by Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin, directed by Clare Watson, has never felt more relevant – or fun!
Next up, in collaboration with Blue Room Theatre, is 'Playthings', written and directed by Scott McArdle. It's a modern, coming-of-age story exploring how we hurt each other, how we help those who are hurting, and how your music taste is never better than a teenager's!
'Playthings' – Image © Duncan Wright
Marrugeku's 'Le Dernier Appel/The Last Cry' is inspired by the ongoing series of New Caledonia's referendums on independence from France, and Australia's debates over Indigenous recognition and treaty. Directed and co-choreographed by Serge Aime Coulibay and Dalisa Pigram.
Showing in 2021 will be the inaugural Maali Festival – a take-over of the State Theatre Centre of WA to be held during NAIDOC Week and curated by Ian Michael (Wilman Nyoongar) and Chloe Ogilvie (Yamatji Nhanda). The festival will acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of the world's oldest living cultures. From traditional dance to a return season of 'Bindjareb Pinjarra'.
The world premiere of 'York' directed by Clare Watson and Ian Wilkes will open during Maali Festival, set in and around an abandoned York hospital on Ballardong Nyoongar country.
Performed in the round, 'Every Brilliant Thing' is an internationally-renowned production of life-affirming humour. Audiences will become part of the story, playing fathers, lovers and friends following a person's life in the shadow of mental illness. Starring Luke Hewitt and directed by Adam Mitchell.
Political powerhouse Van Badham delivers an internet-fast adaptation of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'. Directed by Emily McLean, 'Animal Farm' boils with the potency and emergency of a viral tweet.
Black Swan will return to the playwright and stage where it all began at the Octagon Theatre, inviting audiences to vote for the Shakespearean play they'd like to see at the end of 2021. 'That Shakespeare Play' will be directed by Matt Edgerton. Tickets for the 2021 season are on sale now.
Black Swan's 2021 season begins with 'The Cherry Orchard'.