In light of current restrictions on public gatherings, Antipodes Theatre Company (Brandon Pape, Artistic Director) has decided to postpone planned productions of Murder for Two and The Humans until 2021. Other events will now take place online, including ongoing programs like ATC Drama Club and the Ricochet Free Reading Series as well as new initiatives such as a Winter Development Retreat for new work and Mental Health Workshops for Artists.

From Artistic Director Brandon Pape: “As devastating as it is to halt plans for our mainstage productions, we support the efforts being made to preserve medical resources and protect those most at risk. We look forward to revisiting both Murder for Two and The Humans in 2021, ideally with the same actors and production staff we already have in place. In the meantime, we are excited to venture into new territory as we move forward with all other programming we had planned for this year – just online rather than in person. We invite audiences to join us as we attempt to make the best of a situation that, while not what we expected, could yield inspired results.”

ATC was originally set to produce the Australian Premiere of the new musical Murder for Two in May and the Victorian Premiere of Pulitzer Prize Finalist The Humans in October, both at Alex Theatre in St Kilda. (Ticket holders should contact their point of purchase for a refund.) Until the ban on public gatherings is lifted, ATC will continue with all other programming in a virtual format.

The ongoing Ricochet Free Reading Series features plays that have yet to be seen on Australian stages, including several by Australia-based writers. ATC will welcome guest directors Shamita Siva (.CHURCH.) and Clary Riven (Rebel) to join Pape in directing new works by Noel Anderson, Robert Caisley, Gregory Vines, Don Winsor and Laura Zlatos. The final play for 2020 will be chosen from submissions and directed by Maude Davey (Gender Euphoria). According to Pape: “Developing new work is paramount to fulfilling ATC’s mission, and we are thrilled to have Maude Davey involved as part of the selection committee.” Writers are encouraged to send scripts to [email protected].

June will see the introduction of another program focused on supporting new work, the Winter Development Workshop, in which a variety of projects across multiple disciplines and at various stages of development will be chosen to receive artist stipends and virtual support. Submission deadline is 8 May, 2020.

The second term of the ATC Drama Club, led by ATC Committee Member Melissa David, is already in full swing. This free ten-week training platform for artists and creators of all ages culminates in a Virtual Ten-Minute Play Festival in June, where every play will be written and performed by Drama Club members.

Finally, ATC will host a series of Mental Health Workshops for Artists led by Will Centurion. These two-hour workshops will take place every month beginning in May to help those dealing with the ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak manage issues such as career anxiety, self-doubt, and coping with change.

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Image: Junior Deluise