Archer commissions play from Bankstown company

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A THEATRE company based in western Sydney has been commissioned to create an original new theatre piece for the Centenary of Canberra. 

A scene from an Urban Theatre Projects play
The Bankstown company,  Urban Theatre Projects, plans to collaborate with  some of the most marginalised members of  the Canberra community to devise a new work.

“Catalogue of Dreams”, created by the company’s new director Rosie Dennis and her predecessor, Alicia Talbot, concerns three  teenage friends who have fallen through the cracks of the welfare system.

Although the commission is bound to raise eyebrows in Canberra’s theatre community, which has been feeling a bit marginalised itself, the Centenary’s creative director, Robyn Archer, says,  “This is exactly the kind of project that exemplifies approaches to the Centenary.”

She goes on to argue, “We have actively created contexts which invite local involvement (there are multiple projects by and with local artists and other communities), and where the expertise (in this case, Urban Theatre Projects) comes from outside Canberra (in this case not very far – Western Sydney), and we have also ensured that the content and participation is local.”

Archer added that the work would reveal an important aspect of life in the capital and would be told “by and through local voices.”

Dennis said the work would show “a different perspective on this ‘hot’ political and social issue.”

She described the company’s process in which “experts” are drawn  from a variety of backgrounds connected to an  issue, saying this “not only grounds the work socially, but also imbues it with a profound authenticity.”

The production, she said, would  emphasise that Canberra is “a place where community matters and where all people are embraced regardless of their socio-economic status.”

“Catalogue of Dreams” will be staged at the Courtyard Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre in July 2013.


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Helen Musa
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