PLAYWRIGHT CALL OUT
Salamanca Arts Centre is seeking Tasmanian Playwrights to participate in the creation of a new work in 2022.
Jumpcut is a new program from Salamanca Arts Centre which offers five playwrights from across Tasmania the opportunity to work both together and under the dramaturgy and direction of Chris Mead, to create a full-length play based on this structure with the underlying theme of ‘Crisis, what crisis?’. Each writer will pen two scenes: the first with two characters they create, the second adopting two characters invented by two of the other writers. It’s less confusing than it sounds – and it’s a brilliant writing challenge.
The proffered theme is designed to encourage writers to start with sex, power, identity and class, but through them explore, in a granular, human way, notions of change, politics, cancel culture, the climate emergency, transactional relationships, woke-ness, unceded lands, cows, green jobs, new technologies and methane, macro vs micro, advocacy vs denial, La Niña vs El Niño, call-out culture, institutional sexism, racism and transphobia, Zoom, resource use and distribution, social justice, colonisation, electric cars, personal responsibility, greenwashing, artificial intelligence, fluid sexualities, the role of the artist, the use and abuse of truth, and so on and on. Are we at the cusp of a new dawn, hypnotised by a false dawn or is the sun setting on us all?
It’s a timely, controversial, explosive, and challenging provocation that we will invite all writers to approach with courage, specificity and emotional honesty.
The only limitation: that the writers work with just two superb Tasmanian actors, cast because of their range and acting ability, to play all the characters between them. We understand that the characters, as written, may span age, gender identity, ethnicity, ability etc., with the two actors themselves needing to reflect contemporary Tasmania.
This program is inspired by the play 360 Positions in a One Night Stand directed by Chris Mead, first presented in 2002 at Sydney Festival and then re-staged in 2003 at Melbourne Fringe Festival (read a review of that production here).
In 2001-2 Chris worked with five writers; Ben Ellis, Veronica Gleeson, Nick Marchand, Tommy Murphy and Emma Vuletic, to create a full-length play using the Arthur Schnitzler play Reigen/LaRonde (1900) as a structural template. It consists of ten ‘love’ scenes between pairs of people up and down society’s then class structure. The ten characters each play in two adjacent scenes, each with two discrete lovers.
Those ten characters from 360 Positions in a One Night Stand met on one night in Sydney when the election and mardi gras overlapped and overall the play explored themes of sex, class, intimacy and politics. In the new reimagined version, as in 360 Positions in a One Night Stand, two actors alone would play those ten characters.
An emerging director from the CALD and/ or Disability Community will take an Assistant Director’s role for the project.
Salamanca Arts Centre has committed to investing funds into Stage One of development, and we are seeking funding for future development, production and tour.
Monday 7 – Friday 18 February 2022
The five writers and Chris gather for initial writing sequence.
Salamanca Arts Centre
Each of the five writers will be paid a fee of $2000AUD to attend the residency. If Salamanca Arts Centre is successful with further funding, then writers will receive an additional writer’s fee for their participation in Stage Two.
To apply you will need to provide
- a brief biography
- a 300 – 500-word statement addressing the question ‘Crisis, what crisis?’ in whatever form works best for you.
Applications close 10am 14 December 2021
Notifications will be issued by 7 January 2022
Applications will be reviewed by Lucien Simon, Performing Arts Manager, Salamanca Arts Centre and Chris Mead.
STAGE TWO – FUNDING DEPENDANT
If funding is successful, proposed date are as follows:
March – July 2022
Monthly zoom salon sessions
8 – 12 August 2022
Play reading on Thursday 11th August
1 September 2022
Delivery of final draft
1 – 22 November 2022
Rehearsals in Launceston
Proposed performance dates
- 23 – 30 November 2022
Launceston (Venue TBA)
- 1 – 14 December 2022
Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart
ABOUT CHRIS MEAD
Chris Mead is the Head of Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts.
His previous positions include Literary Director, Melbourne Theatre Company; inaugural Artistic Director, Playwriting Australia; Literary Manager, Sydney Theatre Company; Literary Manager, Belvoir; Curator, Australian National Playwrights’ Conference; and Festival Director, Interplay, the International Festival for Young Playwrights. His recent directing credits include Ross Mueller’s A Strategic Plan (Griffin 2016), Richard Frankland’s Walking into the Bigness (co-directed by Wayne Blair, Malthouse 2014), Ian Wilding’s Rare Earth (NIDA 2011) and Quack (Griffin 2010), and Damien Millar’s The Modern International Dead (Griffin 2008) which won Best New Play (Sydney Theatre Critics’ Awards) and the WA Premier’s Literary Award. He has a PhD from Sydney University. His Currency House Platform Paper on institutional racism and outreach strategies was published in 2008 and his new book with Currency, Wondrous Strange, is due out in December 2021.
In the past three years he has worked closely with many writers including Benjamin Law, Anchuli Felicia King, Joanna Murray-Smith, Andrea James, Merlynn Tong, Dan Giovannoni, David Williamson, Eddie Perfect, Lally Katz, Aidan Fennessy and Jean Tong.
Photo credit | Chris Mead | Supplied by MTC