Take Over! Takes On New Theatre Work In Melbourne For Its Fourth Year

Published in Arts  
Take Over! 2020 Take Over! 2020

In partnership with Melbourne Fringe, Arts Centre Melbourne presents Take Over! for its fourth year.


The Take Over! programme supports independent artists, encouraging them to push their creatives boundaries.

Usually spotlighting one artist/company, the 2020 iteration sees ten artists/companies creating new works which will be developed online, presented in a two-week at-home residency, and brought to full life during Melbourne Fringe in November.

These performances can be performed live or online.

In 2020, Take Over! received 94 applications. These applications have been brought down to ten successful artists.

Here, Arts Centre Melbourne Creative Producer (Theatre & Contemporary Performance) Daniel Clarke tells us more about the programme.

This is the fourth year of Take Over! What has been the main thing that has kept it so popular over the years?
It is a unique opportunity for artists to push creative boundaries and explore their practice. The works that have been created are really bold and surprising. Audiences come with an open mind ready to see what has been developed through the programme.

What is the main goal/focus of this event?
The main goal of this programme is to support mid-career to established artists to develop a new idea for presentation at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Fringe. The seed commissioning money for this programme is donated to Arts Centre Melbourne from private donors who are committed to supporting contemporary practice and independent artists. We hope that the opportunity allows artists to explore an idea they may otherwise not have been able to do and then support the company to connect to new audiences.

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'Colossus' (Take Over! 2018)

Why is an event such as Take Over! so important?
The process for selecting the artist, or in 2020, artists, is an open call-out. It means that anyone who thinks they have an idea can submit an application. Sometimes through the process for Take Over! we have also found other projects that we have supported in other ways. Take Over! is important because it supports artists with a strong vision to take creative risks whilst being supported to develop and present a work. It also brings new, younger audiences to Arts Centre Melbourne and ensures we remain a place for all Victorians.

It's a partnership with Melbourne Fringe. Why is that event such a perfect space for work from this programme to be shown?
Simon Abrahams and I (the Creative Director of Melbourne Fringe) talked a lot about what could be a possible partnership between Melbourne Fringe and Arts Centre Melbourne. We decided we wanted to focus the opportunity for mid-career to established artists to develop a work for a Fringe context. Innovation and artistic discovery are important values of both Melbourne Fringe and Arts Centre Melbourne and we wanted to support new work. Audiences during the Melbourne Fringe are adventurous and looking for new ideas and artistic experimentation. It is the perfect platform for a programme like Take Over!

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'Discordia' (Take Over! 2017)

What was in the criteria when looking for the ten successful artists?
This year, the panel considered a number of different criteria when selecting the 10 artists. It was important for us to question the viability of the project; how the idea would extend the artist’s practice; if the work could have potential to find other presentation contexts (either online or live) following the November presentation; and probably most importantly, does the project support the representation of diverse voices and experiences on our stages. We then needed to ensure that all ten projects curated alongside each other offered audiences an exciting and surprising journey of new art works.

How are you hoping audiences respond to the works that have been chosen?
There are such a range of works that are being created so audiences will respond in different ways. I hope that they are surprised, made to think and feel; perhaps see the world in a different way, come away with many questions, excited by the extraordinary talent and ideas from our artistic communities.

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'WAISTD' (Take Over! 2019)

How has COVID-19 affected the operation of Take Over! in 2020, if at all?
We have completely redesigned the programme for 2020! Usually the programme supports one group of artists but this year we have invested across ten projects. The artists will be developing their work in their home and sharing a part of their creative process online with audiences. This is a new component. We are currently looking at all possible scenarios for performance outcomes in November as part of Melbourne Fringe.

What is your favourite thing about being able to supply artists with an opportunity such as this?
My favourite thing is being able to provide an opportunity for creative risk taking and the development of ideas.

2020 Take Over! Artists

Brian Lipson And Mark Wilson: 'The History Of The Damnable Life And Deserved Death Of Doctor John Faustus'
Marcus Ian McKenzie: 'The Crying Room'
Karma Dance – Govind Pillai and Raina Peterson: 'We've been here before'
David Williams: 'Smaller'
Joel Bray: 'Giraru Galing Ganhagirri (The Wind Will Bring Rain)'
Jonathan Homsey, Maggie Zhu, Maggie Chen: 'I Am Maggie'
Moira Finucane: 'I Miss You Antarctica'
Soreti Kadir: 'Namummaa fi Wantoota Namummaa Qancarson – Humanness And What It Took'
Kate Hood: 'Queen Esme Of Collingwood'
Casey Jenkins (Sh): Announced soon

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