The Geelong Arts Centre has revealed its stellar program for 2020 combining iconic actors, international hits and astonishing acrobatics for an extraordinarily diverse Deakin University Theatre Season. With 8 shows in the main season and extra 6 special addition performances, there is an arts experience to suit everyone, celebrating stories that need to be told by voices that need to be heard.
The season is set to kick off on March 25 with David Williamson’s darkly comedic drama Family Values by Griffin Theatre Company, starring stage and screen stars Belinda Giblin and Andrew McFarlane, directed by Lee Lewis.
Providing a platform for the sharing of First Nations stories is deeply important to Geelong Arts Centre, and thus the 2020 Deakin University Theatre Season will hero two monumental productions by indigenous performers and writers. First up from June 4-7, Opera Conference will present the first major revival and 30th Anniversary production of Bran Nue Dae, the world’s first aboriginal stage musical, written by the late Jimmy Chi in collaboration with the band Kuckles. Next up, after receiving incredible accolades across the national festival circuit, Australia’s leading physical theatre company Legs On The Wall will bring original work, Man With The Iron Neck to the Art Centre from June 10-12. Written by Ursula Yovic, this is a confronting, heartfelt story about a small-town Australian family, finding hope and embracing life after trauma.
Taking to the stage in early August, Shake & Stir Co. demonstrate just how enduring the themes of George Orwell’s political commentary, Animal Farm remain in a stage adaptation. Directed by Michael Futcher and performed by a cast of Queensland’s most dynamic actors, Animal Farm promises to be one of the most shocking, relevant and wickedly funny theatre events of 2020.
Late August will see Geelong’s own independent theatre company Doorstep Arts and Geelong Arts Centre collaborate to present the fresh, invigorating and quintessentially Australian musical, Metro Street. Nominated for five Helpmann Awards, Best New Australian Work and Best Direction of a Musical (among others), Metro Street observes three generations bound by blood and stretched by the modern world. Revitalising and profoundly moving, it’s one to pop in the diary. There’s also an opportunity for up to three roles for local actors in this one. Auditions will be held in early 2020.
Critical Stages Touring and The Belloo Creative comes to Geelong in October with Rovers – a delightful, poetic work, woven from true stories and wild schemes, while November sees winner of the 2018 Griffin Award, Suzie Millar’s, taut, rapid-fire and gripping one-woman show, Prima Facie, which exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system where it’s her word against his.
The Geelong Arts Centre 2020 Deakin University Theatre Season suite rounds out with an irreverent and thrilling collaboration between Circus Oz and Geelong Symphony Orchestra, Tutti Circus. Fusing together two dramatically different art forms, Tutti Circus treads the taut tightrope between music and silence, circus and stillness, tension and release.
Six special additions punctuate the season with out-of-the-box theatre experiences – because, why the heck not?!
February will see sumptuous storytelling and culinary experience with Double Delicious while April-May features a terrifyingly sexy and raucously funny tale of Jekyll and Hyde seamlessly integrating popular culture and audience interaction. The universal human tradition of storytelling through song drives the remaining four additions including: The Mission Songs Project – a faithful exploration of the musical journey of Indigenous music by Jessie Lloyd; an intimate performance by X- Factor winner and Eurovision finalist, Isaiah; Michaela Burger’s A Migrant Son – the true story of her Greek father’s migrant experience; and Jude Peel’s cabaret-style I Have a Face – a generously honest insight into mental health and adulting.
“Our 2020 Deakin University Theatre Season demonstrates how storytelling is embedded in every fibre of what we do at Geelong Arts Centre,” says CEO Geelong Arts Centre Joel McGuinness says. “Whether the stories are told through song, movement or words, they are there to challenge, entertain and inspire. Most importantly though, they allow our audiences to see the world through a new lens.
“We are incredibly proud to present eight outstanding productions as part of our 2020 Deakin University Theatre Season, as well as six special additions that explore important themes of cultural diaspora, mental health, women’s rights and the experience of our First Nations people.”
The Geelong Arts Centre 2020 Deakin University Theatre Season offers a package to suit the spectrum of art lovers – with savings of up to 25% for subscribers. Single tickets are also available for each and every show. For more information, visit geelongartscentre.org.au