Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS) is thrilled to reveal Festival Fatale’s inaugural program.
Six staged productions, four play readings and 11 cabaret acts will be announced, making up a two-day theatre festival celebrating female-driven theatre works on 29 and 30 October at the Eternity Playhouse.
Festival Fatale comes as a response to the wider movement within Sydney’s theatre community to celebrate and enhance the ways we tell ‘Her Story’ in theatre.
“Festival Fatale’s program includes diverse, relevant and ground-breaking work that champions women artists and women’s stories. By not providing women with equal opportunity – as we have seen in historically male-heavy theatre season programming – Sydney audiences have been missing out,” said Festival Fatale Artistic Director and Co-Founder of WITS Lizzie Schebesta. “WITS hopes that by showcasing women in theatre, more companies will follow our lead and give greater volume and quality voices to women on stage,” Schebesta said.
Kate Gaul – representing the selection panel – announced the women-led independent theatre companies and their female-majority creative teams that will make up Festival Fatale (full list below).
“Under 30% of plays produced on Australian stages are written or directed by women, and of those many are at the smaller, often independent theatres where remuneration is minimal. In 2016 we are still educating theatre producers that women are capable and eager to contribute in all areas of theatre, including writing, directing, designing and producing. Festival Fatale encourages theatre goers to see performance work by women and reminds producers that equity matters to their audiences,” Gaul said.
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FESTIVAL FATALE 2016 PROGRAM
Gr8Skin is a feminist satire exploring the myths of beauty.
D+NA is a conceptual work about how collective feminism might look. The performance is framed by data and looks to results that can be charted concerning our identity and politics.
Abigail faints. She’s developed uncontrollable tics. Soon the whole town is afflicted. Normal asks questions about mass hysteria and the struggle for teenage girls to fit in.
Presented by She Said Theatre (Melbourne)
Australian Booty is a work consisting of a series of jokes, songs, stories and spoken word tracking Candy B’s journey from booty shame to booty pride. The work explores fierce intersectional feminism and empowerment in Australia in a delicious way.
Writer/ Performer: Candy Bowers
Composer/ Sound Designer/ Performer: Kim “Busty Beatz” Bowers
Lighting Designer: Daniel Anderson
(Note Original Director: Nelly Thomas)
Slut aggressively explores the sexuality of young women in contemporary society. Lolita is the only named character, and is a slut. The play maps her rise and fall, her navigation of the line between sexy and slutty. It examines young women’s politics and the crucible of adolescence.
Writer: Patricia Cornelius
Director: Erin Taylor
Assistant Director: Laura Johnston
Actors: Maryann Wright, Julia Dray, Jessica Belle-Keogh, Danielle Stamoulos, Bobbie-Jean Henning
Set & Costume Design: Isabel Hudson
Sound Design: Nate Edmondson
Producers: Edgeware Forum and Rue de la Rocket
Ronnàd is a selkie – a mythical being that is a seal in the water but a human on land. She finds herself trapped on the beach and is taken in by Séan, but struggles to fit into “human” life. Selkie is a play about “other”, cultural assimilation and emotional abuse from an intimate partner.
Writer: Finn O’Branagain
Director/Producer: Nicola James
Composer: Helen Grimley
Designer: Shelly Jam
A Little Piece of Ash
The play is about a young Aboriginal woman dealing with grief. It explores how to deal with loss and the survival of the modern Aboriginal woman.
Writer: Megan Wilding
A comedic, satirical, cabaret-style piece that draws from famous cinematic female duos in order to subvert notions of power, beauty and age.
Writer/Performer/Producer: Kate Smith
Writer/Performer: Liesel Badorrek
Designer/Stage Manager: Annete Twenlow
Too Rude takes inspiration from television Variety Hours and explores the complexity and problems of gentrification: renewing neighbourhoods, pop-up galleries and art in the city. The work is a comedic and experimental interdisciplinary work.
Writer/ Musician/ Performer: Emma McManus
Performer: Maria White
A group of young women who sing and accompany themselves on the ukulele. They have a repertoire of 22 (and counting) original songs. The group is encouraging young women, their families and schools to get involved.
Director: Danielle O’Keefe
Sarah Gaul’s cabaret tells the story of her life and the people she knows – all the stories feed back into her identity as a woman. Through song and comedy, she explores issues such as LGBTQI equality and the ethics of religion. She aims to empower through her show.
Come on a rural journey of a small town with big problems, sink holes, deadly snakes, diesel shortages!
Writers/Performers: Hannah Reilly, Eliza Reilly
Alysia Rose’s music is lyrically compelling and speaks to female issues such as abortion, objectification of women, love and the unspoken sisterhood all women share regardless of race and age.
Six Quick Chicks
CHICKS performances are different every time; they all rely heavily on audience interaction and provide quirky and empowering entertainment. They’re a collective of independent female artists who each have their own 5-10 minute piece in a Variety Show style format.
One-woman cabaret act.
Billie Rose sings her original work coming off the back as the successful lead singer/rapper of Daily Meds.
Curtains shows showbiz disasters accumulating through the style of black comedy and lesser-known music theatre songs. A bio-cabaret recounting O’Reilly’s life and the theatrical disasters that went with it.
Blockhead & Singing Saw
Marlena Rosenthal’s acts focus on typically “masculine” skills such as comedy and dangerous stunts, which aim to subvert female roles in entertainment. She presents a powerful, queer, funny woman on stage.
Why did She Leave Me?
An interactive cabaret featuring originals and covers about a feminist comedy duo splitting up.
Performer: Irene Nicola
Kate Hood performs a selection from her play reading application for Triple Take.
Playwright Patricia Cornelius, whose play SLUT is programmed for a full staged production at Festival Fatale said on the news, “I’m delighted to have SLUT in Festival Fatale. It’s timely for a festival of Australian women’s work. In fact it’s long overdue.”