From his office in STC’s newly reopened offices in Walsh Bay, Sydney Theater Company artistic director Kip Williams can hear the chimes inviting the morning audience to the Wharf Theater to see Play to Beatie Bow. And every time he hears that familiar sound, he’s almost in tears. “The way the audience came back to the theater was such an affirmation and a boost in confidence,” he says. “It was way beyond our wildest expectations.”
According to him, “It’s really reinforced that people are tired of watching TV at home and playing Netflix on their laptops in bed. They want to go out and see performers live, connect with audience members and laugh together, cry together and experience stories together. And that’s what we’re here for.
Huge line-up unveiled for Act 2 of STC’s 2021 schedule – plus a juicy piece on how STC’s hit production of The image of Dorian Gray hardly happened – Williams explains why he felt he had to go big with his vision of reviving the theater in Sydney after his year-long hiatus.
Last year, this highly anticipated cover of the 1995 hit examining what it means to be an Aboriginal woman in Australia was written by power duo Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. But nothing could prevent it from coming back in an updated version that guarantees 25 years later, it’s as vital as ever. Resident director Shari Sebbens takes the reins, with Elaine Crombie starring.
“I have a very strong connection to the show, given that it was one of the first that I have ever seen in the business. My mom took me to see the Wayne Blair-directed production which starred Ursula Yovich, ”Williams said of the opening salvo of Act 2.“ I had always wanted to program it while I was here. , and the fact that Shar is leaving to perform this extraordinary text for the public of 2021, after so much in the last 12 months with the Black Lives Matter movement and the discourse on justice for Australian Aborigines and the treated, is exciting.
Theater legends John Bell and Linda Cropper join an exciting cast of rising stars as James Majoos, Johnny Nasser, Zindzi Okenyo and Guy Simon in this new play by Bess Wohl about the end of a 50-year marriage. Directed by Jessica Arthur (Wonnangatta), Williams says he expects to be blown away again.
“It’s a really fun play, especially after the lockdown, you know, with the impact that moment had on families, and older Australians as well. I think a lot of people, especially in a certain age group, see old age as a time not to die. It’s time to live. “
Renaissance ‘trans-queen’ and all Ice Chase award winners to rock STC with their latest work Triple X, fresh out of a stint at the Queensland Theater. The wildly provocative play, depicting a romance between an engaged Wall Street banker and a charismatic trans drag performer stars Glace and Josh McConville, and is directed by Paige Rattray and
“This piece is going to become an instant classic,” says Williams. “I was in Brisbane for the opening night and it was given a standing ovation. It is not a surprise. I read the play a few years ago and was amazed both by the remarkable quality of the form Glaze perfected, as well as the uniqueness of the narrative she placed in that form. We think this is one of the very first trans love stories to be shown on a main stage, and we’re very, very proud of it. It is breathtaking.
We’ve called this an “insanely funny satire,” so we’re excited to see the return of this pullback of a surprisingly racist ad that went viral in all bad ways by in-demand playwright Anchuli Felicia King. As directed by Priscilla Jackman trust us you won’t want to miss this reminder.
“This piece is an absolute cracker,” says Willaims. “The way Felicia looks at Pan-Asian relations and racism, advertising and beauty concepts, and the dangers of the internet, she has such an extraordinary contemporary voice and it’s no surprise that she is in demand. worldwide. This will be the very first show in the new Wharf 2, and many brilliant actors are returning, including Vaishnavi Suryaprakash.
Unless you were settled in your apocalypse bunker until about five minutes ago, it’s inconceivable that you haven’t heard the loud applause for a woman’s whirlwind from Eryn Jean Norvill. through a film version of Oscar Wilde’s gothic fable. We’ve sounded the five-star alarm bells, so don’t delay in booking your ticket for its recall season. Surprisingly, this hardly ever happened as a result of you-know-what.
“There were many, many meetings with the finance team where I had to make it very clear why we would spend the money on a one-man show that was a new adaptation of an Oscar Wilde novel.” , reveals Williams about his new adaptation, which he is also directing. “Its budget has been cut three times. And in many ways, it was the little big show that could when it opened and received the critical reception and audience response that we’ve had. It was a great moment of vindication, and the very, very special performance of EJ at the center of it is truly to be seen.
Shari Sebbens is also acting as director for this groundbreaking play written by the late Lorraine Hansberry. It was the first by an African-American woman to light up Broadway, and it continues to move audiences generations later. This new production casts Zahra Newman and Bert LaBonté.
“It truly is one of the great plays of the 20th century,” says Williams. “Lorraine was only 29 when she wrote it and tragically passed away a few years later. She was speaking at a time when she was far ahead of the historical context in which she lived. And so for us to come back to this piece now in 2021, in the wake of Black Lives Matter, it’s a great privilege to be able to listen to this young black female voice and think about what has changed since then, but I also think to recognize what has not changed.
Sigrid Thornton makes his STC debut alongside Charles Wu in this breathtaking, Broadway-facing true story by David Murrell, Gordon Farrell and Jeremy Kareken. The show uncovers the fake news when a young intern checking the facts of a writer he idolizes realizes something has gone horribly wrong.
“It’s one of those pieces that you read and you say, ‘How did they hit the Zeitgeist in such a proper way? Williams says. “It speaks so directly to the post-truth era, a time when faith in journalism has been denigrated on all sides and the notion of truth has been turned upside down. It talks about all of these phenomena in a very funny way and we’re very lucky to have the brilliant Anne-Louise Sarks directing. It’s gonna be a cracker.
We can’t confirm or deny if chickens will be harmed in the making of this Roald Dahl classic adapted by Shake & Stir Theater Co. Although we can say this one is aimed at kids with a taste for stories that don’t. don’t shy away from the dark side of the story.
“I was obsessed with Roald Dahl when I was a kid, absolutely obsessed,” Williams says. “It’s extremely entertaining work that uses a lot of projections. And I think for parents who have locked their child inside for a while, it’s a great excuse to get them out of the house.
Another Great American PlayTM gets a brand new broadcast with National Treasure Wayne Blair stepping into Willy Loman’s worn shoes in this Ballad of Shattered Dreams directed by Paige Rattray.
“Paige has this weird ability, as she demonstrated in Leenane’s beauty queen, to take a room that we think we know and find in it a depth and a truth, a darkness and a pathos that you never knew was there, ”says Williams. “And also a sense of humor. And Wayne is one of the greatest of all time, one of our living legends, so to have him take on that iconic role, you know, it’s a once in a generation.
Speaking of unique moments in a generation, the long struggle to reveal the ‘palace papers’ recently shed new light on the forced removal of the Gough Whitlam government, making it the perfect time to revisit this constitutional clash. But make it a musical. Designed and directed by Jay James-Moody, he co-wrote the book with Blake Erickson, with Laura Murphy on music and lyrics.
“The 1970s was a time of incredible opportunity, and the Whitlam government did a lot and a lot was prevented from doing,” Williams says. “The musical is delicious. It examines how our political system works and, in particular, who comes to power and why, and what they need to do to stay in power. And that kind of poses the question, you know, has anything really changed since 1975? I think that’s a very relevant question to ask, especially at this time.
Audiences can expect even more political punches when Williams directs a new staging of Shakespeare’s blood-soaked Ides of March tragedy to round out STC’s 2021 season.
“One of the central characters of Julius Caesar is the audience, so telling that story right now, with spectators literally staring at each other all night long will be really powerful, ”Williams says. “Especially in Trump’s day, but not just in America. In the UK, here in Australia, in many countries of the world, the democratic experiment has become a farce. And we are seeing, more than ever, how leadership is something that depends on manipulation to get and maintain, and the moral crisis around leaders who are interested in taking a role, as opposed to those who are interested. to serve the public interest. “
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