Jobs for the girls? Logging the stats


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”

Review: Julius Caesar – La Boite Theatre

Thomas Larkin (Mark Antony) Photo: Al Caeiro

Julius Caesar, currently playing at Brisbane’s Roundhouse Theatre is the second offering of La Boite’s 2011 season. It’s a welcome back surprise to the in-the-round format for this production too; how I’ve missed it. Speaking of good surprises in the theatre, I love going to La Boite; you never quite know what to expect. From the configuration of audience to performance space, to the exploration of the ‘full grammar of performance – movement, music, and the visual arts as much as the spoken word’ (La Boite program note Julius Caesar) you’re never going to experience a dull night in the theatre. Artistic Director David Berthold is taking his company into some pretty exciting places. But to this production …

I must say I have felt really sorry for the backstage crew of a lot of new Australian productions I’ve seen in the past couple of years. I’m trying to find a phrase that sums up the kind of messy mayhem attacking our stages in plays like Anatomy Titus (QTC 2009); STC’s recent Oresteia; Belvoir’s Measure for Measure, and now Julius Caesar which is directed by David Berthold and designed by Greg Clarke.  I think ‘splatter play’ is going to have to do because that’s what happens an awful lot of the time in these shows. Actors and audiences are subjected to lots and lots and lots of fake blood, gore and other goo – baby powder, chocolate pudding (acting for you-know-what) as well as canned fruit salad – the old stand-by for vomit. These are liberally sprinkled, spattered and squirted – everywhere. Add booze and food (as food) to the mix and you have a Stage Manger’s nightmare. By the way, they are all classics or draw upon classical texts for their inspiration. Continue reading “Review: Julius Caesar – La Boite Theatre”

Here come … or there go the Matildas: 2011

This is the third post on Greenroom about the annual, self-styled ‘Queensland’ Matilda Awards for excellence in theatre. Let’s get one thing straight though – they are no such thing, appearing as they do to exclude consideration of the work of the state’s regional professional and independent theatre communities. Right now the Matildas are Brisbane-centric awards, period.

In both previous posts we asked some questions and raised a few issues. If you missed them and the comments they created, here are the links:

Queensland’s Matilda Awards – where to now?

And now for the 2010 Matilda Awards

As for 2011, the nominees for this year’s Matilda Awards were announced this week. Members of the theatre community in Brisbane are naturally excited to be able to celebrate the achievements of the past year, and why not? They should have an opportunity to do so in a high-profile, prestigious and meaningful event. Certainly the Matilda Committee itself acknowledges the Award’s role as

a key forum for publicly celebrating and promoting Queensland’s theatre industry, and notes

Given the importance of the awards, it is essential that their profile keeps growing, not only within the State but also nationally.  The Matildas aim to be on a par with both the Sydney Critics’ Awards and Victoria’s Green Room Awards. (About).

Unfortunately, the guidelines or criteria appear to have been compromised this year with the inclusion of non-eligible work, but perhaps we are missing something. What happened?

An open letter: World Theatre Day 2011

Dear Theatre Colleague,

World Theatre Day is March 27!

For 3 years now, I have been involved along with other facilitator-colleagues for World Theatre Day. Under the auspices of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), World Theatre Day (WTD) is celebrated annually on the 27th March by the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion. We would like to invite you to join the party!

The World Theatre Day blog has been updated for 2011, and, as with the last two years, will become a virtual hub for sharing World Theatre Day celebrations from all over the world.

If you need ideas about how you can celebrate World Theatre Day in your community, please visit here, in the first instance, for ideas to get you started. Continue to follow along with the blog or via Facebook or on Twitter @WTD11 You’ll find more ideas there as the days roll by and news about how other theatre artists around the world will mark World Theatre Day 2011.

Prior to March 27, we’d love to hear how you are planning to celebrate. You can share your information easily by going to the WTD11 submissions page You can also use this same form to share your actual celebrations on March 27. Please include a photo or a link to a YouTube video so we can share your celebrations with the world! Here’s a sample of the kind of thing you can do – it’s a little video made at the after-show party for That Face a couple of years ago.

The meme in 2009 was to focus on the question ‘What does theatre mean to you?’


That night, 23rd productions did a backstage walkthrough and interval interviews around their then-playing production of The Pillowman.


This is that audience’s response to the meme.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a video; you can upload pictures, audio files or just write and share what you did in words. The important thing is to celebrate along with the rest of the world. Get inspired!

For the past 3 years Queensland artists and companies have led off the global celebrations from midnight on March 27th. Perhaps this year New Zealand will get in first! There’s a challenge! The bonus for the first cabs off the rank is that the fun of World Theatre ‘Day’ actually goes on much longer!

We in Queensland look forward to sharing and celebrating with you!

Kate Foy (Editor Greenroom)