Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre today announced a powerful 2020 season featuring three world premiere productions – all developed at Red Stitch – two Australian premieres and the Victorian debut of two new plays.
One of the highlights of the year will be the world premiere of Summer Special by master writer and Artistic Director of Scotland’s Lyceum Theatre, David Greig (Outlying Islands, Midsummer, Solaris) and developed with the Red Stitch ensemble. Red Stitch first introduced Melbourne audiences to Greig in 2004 and have continued to produce his work since, resulting in this relationship with the world-renowned writer. Directed by the company’s Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell (Oil, The Antipodes, Fury, Incognito), this brand-new play is about what happens when the small wins, the big lies and the little compromises of life come face to face with the idealism and clarity of youth. Summer Special is being developed in collaboration with local youth theatre groups, some of whom will also feature in the work.
In its fourth year, Red Stitch’s wildly successful new writing program INK will showcase two world premieres. Single Ladies by Michele Lee (Going Down, Rice) is a buddy story of three women on a one-day mission through the sanitised urban grunge of Collingwood, and the unlikely friendship that results. hypnotic black comedy Prayer Machine by Eric Gardiner (Bounty, Blood Sports), focuses on a pair of high school lovers who reunite in middle age. Single Ladies will be directed by Bagryana Popov (Uncle Vanya, Them), Prayer Machine by Krystalla Pearce (She Is Vigilante).
The year opens with the Victorian premiere of The Feather in the Web by Nick Coyle (The Queen of Wolves, Sarah’s Channel – ABC), presented as part of Midsumma Festival. Acclaimed theatre maker Declan Greene (Wake in Fright, Blackie Blackie Brown) directs a lacerating satire of mainstream culture that revels in all the magnificent, awful parts of ourselves.
Alice Birch (Revolt, She Said. Revolt, Again.) delves into the lives of three generations of women and the challenges that binds them together in the Victorian debut of Anatomy of a Suicide. Directed by Jenny Kemp (Escaped Alone, Splendour), it is a sophisticated tapestry of family connection and the shadows of one’s past.
Critically-acclaimed US playwright Sharr White’s The True delves into America’s diplomatic past through the eyes of the powerful and loyal females in the male-dominated world of mid-1970s politics. An Australian premiere, it is based on the real-life relationship between a long-serving Albany mayor and his chief advisor. Directed by ensemble member Brett Cousins (Ulster American, Fury, Incognito, You Got Older)
In its Australian premiere, UK playwright Mark Ravenhill’s new play The Cane follows the life of a dedicated teacher who looks forward to celebrating his retirement, but things don’t go as planned in this exploration of fear, power and accountability. Director Kirsten von Bibra (Grounded, Sunshine) returns to the company to direct.
US playwright Sarah Ruhl’s (Eurydice, The Clean House, In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play) dreamy adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s famous tale Orlando is brought to life through the eyes of director Stephen Nicolazzo (Suddenly Last Summer, The Moors, Abigail’s Party) in this sumptuous, tender exploration of queerness, sexuality and love.
Summer Special and Orlando will both be presented at Red Stitch’s new sister theatre, Cromwell Rd Theatre in South Yarra with the other six productions staged at the Company’s home theatre in St Kilda East.