Arts / Ancient Greece to pop-up in Civic

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There’s a new pop-up outdoor theatre venture in town, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced today.

aspen“The Public Theatre” will see a two-week program of performance, music, spoken word and film coming to The Multicultural Fringe’s former stamping ground, Civic Square, in the second half of November.

The project is the brainchild of Julian Hobba, artistic director of the relatively-new Aspen Island Theatre Company, who said the space was being reconceived by project partner Cox Architecture, inspired by the “timeless design” of the Classical Greek theatre but realised in a pop-up aesthetic.

Visitor to the launch were treated to a small sampling of the coming performances and viewed architectural drawings of The Public Theatre structure shown by Graham Humphries from project partner Cox Architecture

“Civic Square is the political and cultural heart of Canberra. Like the ancient Greek theatre next to the Parthenon, we want to enliven the space with performance and ideas,” Hobba said.

The two week program, he said, would feature “great local performers and examples of the country’s finest established and emerging theatre talent.”

Supported by Design Canberra, the Hellenic Club, SpringOUT and Canberra CBD Ltd, the initiative aims at fulfilling Aspen Island Theatre Company’s mission to “make contemporary Australian theatre in Canberra and seek to engage with national and international theatre practice”.

Highlights include screenings of films such as “Don’s Party” that were based on famous plays, “Bomb Collar”, a one-man sci-fi cabaret by  Nick Delatovic, “Sappho in 9 fragments” performed by Mary Helen Sassman, a conversation about our city hosted by Cox Architecture and, for a very theatrical finish, “Four Day Oedipus”, a moved reading prepared over four days of  Sophocles’ “Oedipus Tyrannos”, to be co-directed by Hobba and Katie Cawthorne.

“The Public Theatre” in Civic Square, November 17 -29, further details at

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Helen Musa
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