STCSA launches it new season of work, a family affair to celebrate all that it is to be human, at home and abroad.

Over the past three years the father and son team at the helm of the State Theatre Company of South Australia (STCSA), Rob and Geordie Brookman as CEO/Producer and Artistic Director respectively, have grown the Company from strength to strength, building reputations and careers. And, as they proudly reveal the shows on offer throughout 2016, it seems that family is very much at the heart of it all, in its many shapes and guises.

The season will see the Company work with some of Australia’s leading artists. Many are hidden in rehearsal rooms and behind the scenes, but those in the spotlight include Lisa McCune who will make her STCSA debut in Machu Picchu; Catherine McClements, who will return to the Company after a 20-year absence to star in The Events; and the entertaining Paul Capsis who will return to be part of Rumpelstiltskin.

As well as picking enough star billings to headline, touring and co-productions have become the hallmarks of the Brookman years and 2016 sees this continue to grow. Rob Brookman revealed that six of the seven subscription season shows would be co-productions with major players on the Australian theatrical landscape, including Malthouse and Sydney Theatre Company, with several major tours planned, locally and interstate too. The biggest coup, however, was the announcement of the Company’s first-ever international co-production, with the award winning UK theatre company, Frantic Assembly.

Charles Mayer in The 39 Steps

The collaboration will bring to life a new Australian play, Things I know to be true by Andrew Bovell, a writer Geordie Brookman describes as one of our greatest living playwrights. “He is a master of story, character and structure and his new play is a love letter to the trials and tribulations of family and the way the globalised world is slowly impacting working class Australian suburbia.”

Brookman will codirect the piece with Frantic Assembly’s Artistic Director, Scott Graham, a director with an outstanding reputation for his inventiveness of text and enviable creativity within the rehearsal room. Although the two have worked once together before, it was five years ago when Brookman was Graham’s assistant director. This new partnership will be an interesting one and many will be watching to see what evolves from it.

Things I Know to be True will open in Adelaide before moving to Canberra and then on to London, although the venue there is yet to be announced. It’s all a major step for the Company but one that Brookman says he is delighted to be doing, particularly with a brand new, commissioned Australian play.

Catherine McClements in The Events

“It reinforces the Company’s commitment to new Australian writing and our South Australian artists, as well as bringing some of the best of the best from around the country to create work right here in Adelaide.”

As well as the international highlight, much of what is being done closer to home gives cause for celebration too. STCSA will team up with Brink Productions for Tartuffe and Windmill for Rumpelstiltskin. Local actor and playwright, Elena Carapetis’ new play, Gorgon, will tour the State with Country Arts SA. And a growing group of talented SA based actors, such as Charles Mayer, James Smith and Lizzie Hay, litter the programme.

Whilst much was said of the challenges of getting a season right, Brookman’s offering for 2016 is well balanced and thoughtful. His selection will offer theatre goers, both in SA as well as much further afield, some afternoons and evenings of great entertainment.

Artistic Director Geordie Brookman

However, having claimed to be such advocates of Australian stories, some may be left wondering why the voices being heard and the faces being seen are so white. But this is unlikely to worry loyal subscribers who after four years, undoubtedly, feel very much part of the family.   

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