Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures

Equality

When subsidised theatre companies announce their seasons for the year, one of the hottest topics around relates to an industrial issue – employment opportunities. Whilst there is also great interest in what shows will be produced, it’s the jobs and casting that draw the attention of a city’s artists and creatives. As to the issue of gender equity in role opportunities – 2011 is not a good year for female actors in Brisbane.

The 2011 mainstage season plays for both Brisbane subsidised companies have more male roles – considerably more – than female. Whilst employment in a mainstage production is not the whole picture for a professional theatre actor – there are other job opportunities in the sector from play readings, teaching, touring in educational programs and from non-award waged engagement in various independent projects in the city – there is no doubt that a contract for a show produced by QTC or La Boite is highly prized. Gender-blind casting notwithstanding, it became clear early on that there were going to be far more jobs for the boys this year at QTC and La Boite. Continue reading Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats

2010 Groundling Awards: and the winners are …

If you landed here, you may have clicked the Nominate Now button on Greenroom’s front page. You have jumped the gun a bit! Nominations open for the 2011 Groundlings Awards at one minute past midnight on 1st January. Click on the Nominate Button then or at any time after that until midnight on 31st January and you will find the Nomination Form here … promise! While you are here, though, check out the 2012 Groundling Awards winners.

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural 2010 Groundling Awards, the people’s award for achievement in theatre in Queensland. The winners in each category are highlighted in green below with the other nominees.

Whilst we were forced to close balloting some 28 hours or so before we’d planned, nearly 600 individuals had already cast their votes and there were finally  3 565 valid votes to count and collate. The category which drew the most votes was that for Outstanding Contribution by a Director. Suffice it to say the Greenroom elves are exhausted, and have retired to the back room to rest. They may not be seen for some time.

We wish we had shiny trophies or cash or something to give all of our winners to mark the occasion. For now, they are just going to have to bask in the support of their fans and we in the memories of their fine work throughout 2010. Well done to them and to all Groundling nominees.

Outstanding Contribution by an Actor

  • Julia Billington in My Name Is Rachel Corrie (La Boite Indie)
  • Jason Klarwein in Thom Pain (Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Lucas Stibbard in Boy Girl Wall (The Escapists for !Metro Arts Independents)

Outstanding Contribution by a Director

  • Michael Futcher for Grimm Tales (Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Steven Mitchell Wright for In God We Trust (Queensland Academy of Creative Industries)
  • Tim O’Connor for Jesus Christ Superstar (Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Set Design

  • Greg Clarke (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Lucas Stibbard and The Escapists (Boy Girl Wall for !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Josh McIntosh (Jesus Christ Superstar for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Costume Design

  • Greg Clarke (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Noni Harrison (The Timely Death of Victor Blott for Dead Puppet Society & !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Josh McIntosh (The Secret Story of Cinderella and her Fabulously Fashionable Footwear for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting Design

  • Jason Glenwright (Jesus Christ Superstar for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)
  • Ben Hughes (Furious Angels for !Metro Arts Independents)
  • David Walters – body of work in 2010 including Grimm Tales and Hamlet

Outstanding Contribution to Sound Design

  • Tony Brumpton (The Timely Death of Victor Blott for Dead Puppet Society & !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Phil Slade (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Steve Toulmin (Hamlet for La Boite Theatre Company)

Best New Play in an Inaugural Queensland Season

  • Boy Girl Wall by Lucas Stibbard and Matt Ryan
  • In God We Trust by Chris Beckey
  • The Bitterling by Sven Swenson

Best Production by a Queensland Independent or Subsidised Company

  • Boy Girl Wall: The Escapists and !Metro Arts Independents
  • Grimm Tales: Queensland Theatre Company
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: Harvest Rain Theatre Company
  • The Secret Love Life of Ophelia: Fractal Theatre

Best Co-Production

  • The Clean House (Queensland Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company)
  • King Lear (Queensland Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare)
  • (Body of Work) !Metro Arts with all of their independent company production partners throughout 2010

Best Community Outreach Program by any Company or Group

  • ACE (Arts in Community Enhancement) Project at Borallon Correctional Centre: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble
  • Empire Theatre Projects Company’s production and school workshops:  April’s Fool
  • 2high Festival: Backbone Youth Arts

Best Use of Social Media by any theatre or group

  • Harvest Rain Theatre Company for its integration of social media in marketing (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, website, e-letters)
  • La Boite Theatre Company for its integration of social media in marketing (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, website, e-letters)
  • I Love You Bro: La Boite Theatre Company for its innovative use of social media in marketing and audience engagement

Outstanding Contribution to the Independent Theatre Sector

  • !Metro Arts for their continuing, tireless support for independent production of new work, and for providing professional development opportunities for developing talent
  • Harvest Rain Theatre Company for their continued contribution to musical theatre development and performance in Brisbane
  • Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts for their Talking Shop and Fresh Ground programs

2010 Groundling Awards: and the nominees are …

Sorry if you’re trying to vote for the Groundlings in this last 24 hours or so of voting, but we were inundated by a spam-horde of identical votes from the same IP address on Saturday evening. Greenroom got hit by ballot crashing – people not playing nicely at all – so, in order to keep things fair, we closed voting at this point. Stay tuned for the results on Monday.

Outstanding Contribution by an Actor

  • Julia Billington in My Name Is Rachel Corrie (La Boite Indie)
  • Jason Klarwein in Thom Pain (Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Lucas Stibbard in Boy Girl Wall (The Escapists for !Metro Arts Independents)

Outstanding Contribution by a Director

  • Michael Futcher for Grimm Tales (Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Steven Mitchell Wright for In God We Trust (Queensland Academy of Creative Industries)
  • Tim O’Connor for Jesus Christ Superstar (Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Set Design

  • Greg Clarke (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Lucas Stibbard and The Escapists (Boy Girl Wall for !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Josh McIntosh (Jesus Christ Superstar for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Costume Design

  • Greg Clarke (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Noni Harrison (The Timely Death of Victor Blott for Dead Puppet Society & !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Josh McIntosh (The Secret Story of Cinderella and her Fabulously Fashionable Footwear for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting Design

  • Jason Glenwright (Jesus Christ Superstar for Harvest Rain Theatre Company)
  • Ben Hughes (Furious Angels for !Metro Arts Independents)
  • David Walters – body of work in 2010 including Grimm Tales and Hamlet

Outstanding Contribution to Sound Design

  • Tony Brumpton (The Timely Death of Victor Blott for Dead Puppet Society & !Metro Arts Independents)
  • Phil Slade (Grimm Tales for Queensland Theatre Company)
  • Steve Toulmin (Hamlet for La Boite Theatre Company)

Best New Play in an Inaugural Queensland Season *

  • Boy Girl Wall by Lucas Stibbard and Matt Ryan
  • In God We Trust by Chris Beckey
  • The Bitterling by Sven Swenson

Best Production by a Queensland Independent or Subsidised Company

  • Boy Girl Wall: The Escapists and !Metro Arts Independents
  • Grimm Tales: Queensland Theatre Company
  • Jesus Christ Superstar: Harvest Rain Theatre Company
  • The Secret Love Life of Ophelia: Fractal Theatre

Best Co-Production

  • The Clean House (Queensland Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company)
  • King Lear (Queensland Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare)
  • !Metro Arts with all of their independent company production partners throughout 2010

Best Community Outreach Program by any Company or Group

  • ACE (Arts in Community Enhancement) Project at Borallon Correctional Centre: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble
  • Empire Theatre Projects Company’s production and school workshops:  April’s Fool
  • 2high Festival: Backbone Youth Arts

Best Use of Social Media by any theatre or group

  • Harvest Rain Theatre Company for its integration of social media and youtube marketing (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, website, e-letters)
  • La Boite Theatre Company for its integration of social media in marketing (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, website, e-letters)
  • I Love You Bro: La Boite Theatre Company for its innovative use of social media in marketing and audience engagement (vlogs; Twitter)

Outstanding Contribution to the Independent Theatre Sector

  • !Metro Arts for their continuing, tireless support for independent production of new work, and for providing professional development opportunities for developing talent
  • Harvest Rain Theatre Company for their continued contribution to musical theatre development and performance in Brisbane
  • Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts for their Talking Shop and Fresh Ground programs

* Boy Girl Wall was due to have had its inaugural season in 2009 but this was cancelled after two performances due to ill health. The completed 2010 production is considered to be the work’s inaugural Queensland season.

How We Did It

Thanks to all who nominated their favourite artists and creatives, productions and programs from 2010. The Groundlings are a people’s choice award and many joined in to help Greenroom launch the inaugural event.

Sorting through the database took quite a while. First we had to eliminate those nominations made after the closing date. Then we removed second and third votes by individuals – only one permitted – but good to see such enthusiasm from audiences and colleagues! Sadly, some did not indicate which production or role their nominated artist was to have been associated with; we eliminated these nominations too. We then counted the remaining number of individual nominations for each category. The highest scoring top three nominated in each category appear above. There are four nominations for best production; this is because two of the nominees tied with the same number of nominations each.

Voting

Now comes the bit you’ve been waiting for. Click on the big orange button above (right) and go to the voting page. Fill in your selection and vote for one only nominee in all or as many of the categories as you like. You may choose not to vote in some if you have not seen the productions referred to. Your vote – for even one category – will still be counted. Please vote only once, however. If you vote more than once, your initial submission only will be counted; the Greenroom elves have sharp eyes. Fair go, now!

Voting closes at midnight on Sunday February 13 – that’s next Sunday. The winners will be announced on February 14.

We’d love you to send the link to the Groundling vote page to your networks. Click the Facebook share button above or Tweet on. If you like the old fashioned email route, that’s fine too. Just embed the url from this page in your mail, and post away!

Season 2011: Who are the writers?

This entry is part 3 of 11 in the series Facts & Figures

This is the third in the series so far investigating some facts and figures on the 2011 seasons from Queensland Theatre Company and La Boite Theatre Company.

The two previous posts were Where do the writers come from? and When do the writers come from? (historical origins). There are links to these articles below.

This post looks at who is doing the writing, and does a break down on the gender composition of the writers and authorial teams, for teams they are in some cases. There are works written by a solo author, there are co-written pieces, as well as adaptations and translations.  In a couple of instances (I Feel Awful by Black Lung for Queensland Theatre Company and The Danger Ensemble’s Hamlet Apocalypse for La Boite Indie) there appear to be no author credit as such.  However there are 5 (Black Lung) and 13 (The Hamlet Apocalypse) creators/ensemble members listed under these productions. All up, this season provides a creatively rich mix of new work.

Whilst some might object to my use of the descriptor ‘Original Works’ to separate plays out from Adaptations, I know of no other to do the job as well. I apologise to any who take offence, especially to adaptors whose works are, of course, original in their own right as adaptations. In any case, most adaptors freely acknowledge a source text as their stimulus. My interest here is solely to sketch out as much detail as possible in analysis of the seasonal offerings by play type and origin.

Queensland Theatre Company
Original Works – author credited and/or created via ensemble: 11
Adaptations and/or Translations from original works: 2 (SacréBleu; Treasure Island)

La Boite Theatre Company
Original Works – author credited and/or created via ensemble: 9
Adaptations and/or Translations from original works: 1 (The Gruffalo’s Child)

As to the breakdown of the authorial teams by gender here are the figures for the total number of credited individual authors, adaptors and translators of all plays in the season.

Queensland Theatre Company: 22M; 1F
La Boite Theatre Company: 14M; 11F

FYI, 8 of the 11 women credited for La Boite’s season are members of The Danger Ensemble’s listed creative team for The Hamlet Apocalypse.

So, who are the writers? White guys, dead and alive.

Attention turns next to the directors in Season 2011.

Review: Hamlet in the box ‘Ugly-beautiful’ La Boite Theatre

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Top Posts of 2010

Originally published 15 February, 2010

Toby Schmitz as Hamlet Photo: Amelia Dowd

Let it be known, nothing sums this show up better than its poster: a soaking wet Toby Schmitz (very Trainspotting) arms raised as he pulls his hair back … with just a fine whisper of pubic hair on show. Whilst grabbing my tickets from the box office to see this not-so-subtle erotic piece of marketing on sale for three dollars a throw, I could understand how (if I were a Year 11 school girl) I’d have begun hungrily digging through the bottom of my school bag, gathering change from my tuckshop visit in order to pick up a copy. You get this feeling throughout the show: it’s sexy, cutting, and brutal, and it’s made for the 21st Century Twilight obsessed kid.

Ophelia is seen texting on her mobile phone, the Gravedigger grabs a quick digital pic with Hamlet, letters and messages are sent over an odd Star Trek-like video system. In addition (and I promise I’ll get to the finer points of the actual performances in a moment) it would be hard to find a group of more beautiful actors without resorting to Photoshop. Berthold has assembled a sexy cast, and he knows it. Skin (and on one occasion, full frontal nudity) is shown without hesitation, often in pairing with the four or five rock-opera style contemporary songs.

Hamlet’s play, in particular, makes you feel like you’re at some kind of incestuous drunk dance concert, and I’m not totally certain that this isn’t exactly how Shakespeare would have liked it.

You can’t begin to truly look at the show without placing it in its larger context. Continue reading Review: Hamlet in the box ‘Ugly-beautiful’ La Boite Theatre

Scratch! Dave Burton (Interview 13)

David Burton

Someone on Twitter this morning posted ‘I wish we could have creative development all the time.’ This sentiment is well understood by artists everywhere. Of course, creative development for its own sake is hardly the point. Every theatre maker longs to have the work go before an audience, and, hopefully, be remunerated appropriately for the effort involved. But, to begin at the beginning …

SE Queensland has some rather good creative development opportunities for independent artists and creatives, as well as support platforms for low-cost productions, many of which are of new work. A few are long-standing and well-regarded by the industry. They include various programs out of  !Metro Arts, which most see as the support hub for this kind of work, certainly in Brisbane. There’s also La Boite’s Indie program which has just finished its first year of operation and, if you are to believe those who have taken part, or spoken to audience members around the  place, then it’s been a raging success. Queensland Theatre Company has several long-standing writing programs which include the prestigious Premier’s Drama Award, which is the only one of its kind in offering a full production at the end of a lengthy creative development period. In the regions, JUTE in Cairns is involved in creative development of new work, whilst Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre Projects Company, through its Regional Stages grants, initiated a creative development process for what eventually became David Burton’s April’s Fool. Earlier this year, the play went on to a fully professional production at home, in Ipswich and in Brisbane. The EPC recently also engaged in creative development process for Water Wars, which will get up in the 2011 La Boite Indie Season.  Now La Boite has launched Scratch for 2011. I wanted to know more, so I asked David Burton. He’s one of the 5 newly-created Associate Artists that have been engaged for the year to produce new works from … scratch. Continue reading Scratch! Dave Burton (Interview 13)