Space to experiment

Eight new works-in-progress spanning dance, theatre, performance art and music will be showcased in the Adelaide Festival Centre’s inSPACE Development Program in 2022.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the program, which has the stated aim of supporting the development of new work by SA independent artists and companies, “fostering innovation, experimentation and risk-taking”.

The 2022 line-up, announced today, includes Unheard, a “live exhibition” featuring work by BIPOC artists that encourages audiences to participate in the discussions initiated, and a further development by SA Playwrights Theatre of its African-Australian musical The Deep North  which will feature soul singer Elsy Wameyo as part of the cast.

There will be a theatre work by writer H Lawrence Sumner and Brink Productions artistic director Chris Drummond called Black, which follows an Aboriginal man coming to terms with his own lived experience of blackness, and a performance by actor and musician Sam Lau exploring the generational cultural clash faced by many Asian-Australians.

Other artists who will present work as part of inSPACE 2022 include playwrights Hew Parham and Jamie Hornsby (with a one-man show inspired by crooner Al Bowlly), choreographer Samuel Hall, and dancers and Helpmann Academy alumni Felicity Boyd and Zoe Gay.

The inSPACE presentations take place in Adelaide Festival Centre’s Drama Centre Rehearsal Room, and audiences can sign up here to received updates and invitations to work-in-progress shows.  As part of a partnership with Country Arts SA, creatives will also have an opportunity to tour their productions regionally.


Still on the subject of works-in-progress, Vitalstatistix is presenting a showing of South Australian director and performer Gabrielle Nankivell’s new work Sightings at Waterside in Port Adelaide this Friday and Saturday.

Sightings explores personal and collective mythologies of place through crowd-sourced mapping and storytelling, choreographed site interventions, video works, documentation and public performance. Nankivell is developing it through an Incubator residency at Vitals, with members of the public invited to contribute to the project by sharing the story of their own connection to Port Adelaide.

Information about Sightings and the free work-in-progress showings can be found here.  

Improving access to the arts

Disability-led arts organisation Access2Arts is undertaking consultation to understand how it can best work to improve access for people with disability to the arts in South Australia.

Access2Arts’ Jody Holdback, manager, access and inclusion services (with guide dog Xanthe), and chief executive Bec Young.

In a statement, the organisation acknowledges the challenges and uncertainty created by COVID-19, saying “we need to look to the future and understand what is the best way forward for the d/Deaf and disability, and contemporary arts sector”.

“COVID-19 has shown for the creative industries to survive, we need new approaches as the world we show our work in is evolving each day.”

The organisation, led by chief executive Bec Young, is working on a strategic plan to articulate its role in the South Australian arts sector. The first step in its consultation process is a 10-minute survey that asks stakeholders – including artists, arts workers, audience members and others – about their positive and negative experiences with the arts, accessibility and inclusion.

There are a number of different ways respondents can give their feedback, including via a short online survey, a paper survey, phone or video interview, or audio file (details here). The deadline for the consultation period has been extended until Monday, October 4.

What is it like to be water?

ACE Open’s latest exhibition, Water Rites, features new and recent work from Australian First Nations artists that examine our relationship to water.

Guest curated by Danni Zuvela and including sculptural assemblage, moving image and sound works, Water Rites is the result of a research-based project and explores the idea of water as a subject (“a thing in its own right, a non-human actor, a vibrant force with agency”) rather than merely an object (“a commodity or a resource”). At its core, the gallery says, the exhibition examines the question: What is it like to be water?

“Water, as a curatorial premise, continues Zuvela’s unparalleled research across non-human consciousness,” says ACE Open artistic director Patrice Sharkey. “At a time when the impact of climate change is having direct consequences for water security and conflict, Water Rites makes an important contribution to understanding the political and social agency of water through Indigenous knowledge.”

The exhibition continues until November 20 and is being presented as part of Tarnanthi Festival, which officially opens on October 14.

Libby Harward, performance documentation (2019), Mulgumpin. Photo: by Keelan O’Hehir

From stage to screen

State Theatre Company SA has been forced to postpone its season of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?previewed in last week’s InReview and due to have its official opening last night ­– due to a family bereavement within the production team.

The company hopes to announce new performance dates for the play in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, one of the cast members, Rashidi Edward, can be seen in an advance screening next month of the new Australian film Akoni.

Akoni tells the story of a homeless Nigerian refugee (played by UK actor Kit Esuruoso) who struggles to integrate into Australian society after escaping the terrorist group Boko Haram, but is offered a place to stay by a young woman he encounters on the street. It is the debut film by writer-director Genna Chanelle Hayes and opened this year’s CineFestOZ Film Festival in WA.

Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas is presenting an advance screening on the afternoon of Sunday, October 10, which will be followed by an in-cinema Q&A with Hayes and Edward (who was also recently seen in State Theatre’s Hibernation).

Passing the baton

Arts leader Sheena Boughen has been announced as the chair-elect of the Adelaide-based Australian String Quartet, and will take over the reins from departing chair Nicholas Callinan in January.

Callinan ­– who in the past seven years has overseen a number of major changes in the group’s operation ­– says Bougen’s appointment “will be key to the continued development of the organisation for the future”.

“I look forward to bringing my national and regional eyes and ears to help shape the next era for the ASQ, and being chair is a leadership role I fully embrace as we seek to bring their beautiful music into people’s hearts and souls,” says Boughen, who joined the organisation’s board earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the Adelaide Festival board announced last week that its executive director, Elaine Chia, had resigned from her role and will leave in November to take on a new role as CEO of “a major interstate cultural project”.

Kathie Massey – whose previous roles have included executive director of Arts SA and deputy chief executive of Sydney Opera House – will take over as interim ED and lead delivery of the 2022 Adelaide Festival, the program for which is set to be announced at the end of next month.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

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