Shakespeare in the open air – a tale of three festivals

Brisbane Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night

Over the past couple of months I’ve been to three Shakespeare shows in public parks around south-east Queensland. Spring has sprung and it seems we can’t wait to get out and enjoy the best weather the new season has to offer in tandem with some of the works of our favourite playwright.

The first of the three was the annual Brisbane Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare (BSF) on Oxford and, since last year, by the lagoon at Sandgate. The BSF is a week-long romp which is now entering its 5th year. The production – this year BSF presented Twelfth Night – is one part and, arguably, the centrepiece of a whole range of Shakespearean-related activities. The organisers are clearly feeling confident about the continuation of the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival, and have called for ideas for the 2012 festival on Twitter.

My second outdoor Shakespeare production this season was the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble‘s (QSE) production of The Merchant of Venice in Brisbane’s Roma Street Parklands. This was for a very small audience indeed – probably 100 or so at a time. This close proximity of audience to actors enabled a more intimate experience of text in action than did the spectacle of BSF and USQ. The QSE also put the audience under the rotunda and away from any nasty rain that could spoil things as it did for the third company, USQ’s Shakespeare in the Park Festival. Continue reading Shakespeare in the open air – a tale of three festivals

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

This Week in Queensland Theatre: Oct 26-Nov 1

For session dates and times check company websites. Click on the logo on Greenroom’s homepage to access.

Continuing:

As You Like It: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street Parklands
Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed: AS Theatre at !Metro Arts
Up Jumped the Devil featuring the songs of Nick Cave: OzFrank at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC
Montagues and Capulets: 4MBS Classical Players Season – Bulimba and Sandgate outdoor venues – check company website for details

Opening:

The Crucible: Queensland Theatre Company – Playhouse QPAC

This week in Queensland Theatre: Oct 19-25 2009

For session dates and times check company websites. Click on the logo on Greenroom’s homepage to access.

Continuing:

As You Like It: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street Parklands
Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed: AS Theatre at !Metro Arts
Cats:
Empire Theatre (Toowoomba)

Opening:

Up Jumped the Devil featuring the songs of Nick Cave: OzFrank at the Cremorne Theatre, QPAC (Oct 21-23)
Montagues and Capulets: 4MBS Classical Players Season – Bulimba and Sandgate outdoor venues – check company website for details

Other:

At the Centre of the Edge: independent theatre conference !Metro Arts, Brisbane (opens Friday)

Launch:

Harvest Rain Theatre Company Monday 12 noon online company site

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This week in Queensland Theatre: Oct 12-18 2009

For session dates and times check company websites.  Click on the logo on Greenroom’s homepage to access.

Continuing:

The Year of Magical Thinking: Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC  Closes Saturday
The True Story of Butterfish: Powerhouse
The Dream:
La Boite Theatre Company at the Roundhouse Closes Saturday
As You Like It:
Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street Parklands
Three Blokes and Their Barbie:
Tropic Sun on tour

Opening:

Lazarus Won’t Get Out of Bed: AS Theatre at !Metro Arts
Cats:
Empire Theatre (Toowoomba)

This Week in Queensland Theatre: October 5-11 2009

For session dates and times check company websites. Click on the logo on Greenroom’s homepage to access.

Continuing:

The Year of Magical Thinking: Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC

Opening:

The Dream: La Boite Theatre Company at the Roundhouse
As You Like It: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street Parklands

Launch:

Queensland Theatre Company 2010 Season

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