Presented by The Blue Room Theatre, Mitch Whelan, Michelle Hall & Liz Skitch, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Chelsea Gibson

Winter Words

Winter Words - 01


    $5 each inc. booking fee ('Ode to the OP' First Nations Poetry Readings is free)

    60 Mins per event (The Mothers of Invention: Occupy! runs for 2 Hours 30 Mins)
  • AGE

    15+ (The Mothers of Invention: Occupy! is for all ages)
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Talks and forums exploring theatre craft and culture

Directors in Discourse
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre

Perth’s newest artistic directors in conversation.

In 2019, Luke Kerridge and Eva Grace Mullaley have stepped up as Artistic Directors of Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company respectively. This facilitated conversation with the two of them is a chance to check in with them at the start of that journey, to hear what drives them to take up the challenge, what has shaped them as artists and what they hope to achieve within Western Australian theatre.

Luke Kerridge is an award winning theatre director, and the Artistic Direcytor of Barking Gecko Theatre (BGT). Luke has an established practice as an arts educator and has worked as a teaching artist for companies including Malthouse, Sydney Theatre Company, atyp, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, The Victorian College of the Arts and Shopfront Contemporary Arts Centre, where was an Artistic Associate. Most recently, before his appointment at BGT, Luke was the Artistic Associate at St Martins Youth Arts Centre in Melbourne. Some of his directing credits include Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories with Barking Gecko Theatre (which won a Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children and was nominated for Best New Australian Work in 2016) and Dream Home at Darebin Speakeasy, Melbourne (nominated for 6 Green Room Awards).

Eva Grace Mullaley is a Widi woman from the Yamatji Nation in the Midwest region of Western Australia, has recently been appointed to take over the reigns as Yirra Yaakin’s next Artistc Director. A gradute of WAAPA’s Aboriginal theatre course, her 15+ years in the industry has seen Eva take on the roles of director, associate artist, administration, stage manager, tour manager, producer, event manager, actor, dramaturge, lecturer and workshop collaborator. Eva has also been a member of the Board and part of the Next Training Program before heading off to Tasmania and Melbourne, where she immersed herself in all-things theatre.

Wed 24 July, 6pm

Queer Visibility
Presented by Mitch Whelan

Q&A, but gayer.

2019 sees the 2nd instalment of Queer Visibility Night. A panel discussion to bring together, ask burning questions about, and celebrate the LGBTI community at its various, glorious intersections. This year, the panel meet to discuss arts practice vs politics vs identity. This is your chance to discover your new Gay Icon™.

Fri 26 July, 6pm

The Mothers of Invention: Occupy!
Presented by Michelle Hall & Liz Skitch

Join in creating culture change with fellow occupiers and mother-arts-leaders:

Eva Grace Mullaley AD, Yirra Yaarkin Theatre
Helen Hristofski, CEO, Barking Gecko Theatre
Natalie Bell, Executive Producer, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre
Liz Skitch, Melbourne based clown/cabaret artist and producer of Moulin Beige cabaret

Join us as we OCCUPY! the Blue Room main space and make motherhood visible with a FORUM-IN-DISGUISE. Egged on by clown and MC Liz Skitch, we will get silly and have a serious conversation about the challenges of trying to continue a career and a practise in the arts industry once we have a child.

We will draw up a MOTHER FESTO, a mandate for all arts organisations to recognise the rights and needs of mothers working in the arts (in all kinds of roles). Plus there is going to be a live-reading from Melbourne cabaret/clown artist Liz Skitch’s play MOTHERMORPHOSIS, which premiered at La Mama theatre in 2019.
It’s child friendly so bring your little one, Barking Gecko Theatre are kindly providing craft and supervision to support us to have an adult centred conversation that asserts our value as mothers and makers.

Tell ALL your mother-friends that work in the arts to come along and let’s OCCUPY!

Sat 27 July, 12pm

‘Ode to the OP’ First Nations Poetry Readings
Presented by Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company & various artists

Ode to the Original People.

After an intensive workshop run by two First Nations rhythmic artists, emerging First Nations poets will present their work in an intimate setting, cultivating the evening with story.

Wed 31 July, 6pm

Dancing with the Void
Presented by Chelsea Gibson

Depicting the Demon: Mental Health in Arts.

Storytelling is an empathy machine.

How do expressions of mental health affect the audience and the artist?

Local artists and performance psychologist Shona Erskine explore depictions of mental health and illness in multiple art forms.

What are they saying? Who is this for? Where do we go next? How to they avoid cliché?

Fri 2 Aug, 6pm

Political Badassery with Van Badham
Presented by The Blue Room Theatre

Van Badham is an award winning Australian playwright renowned for incisive and original work that goes to the heart of contemporary life and politics. In Australia her work has been commissioned and presented by companies including MTC, Malthouse, Griffin, Merrigong and Hothouse theatre companies. Internationally, her work has been staged at six Edinburgh Festivals, in London at venues including the Royal Court Theatre, the Bush and the Battersea Arts Centre also in many other countries.

Van comes to The Blue Room Theatre days after the premiere of her new play Banging Denmark at Sydney Theatre Company. Here, she will lead a workshop for Perth artists in theatre-making badassery and, for the final night of Winter Nights, is joined on stage in conversation with academic and artist Dr Renee Newman. Their conversation will explore the playwright as political activist and public intellectual, art in a time of political anxiety and Van’s public activism around feminism and social justice. Come and get to know the playwright labelled by one fellow Q&A panellist as the “Red Queen”; a title she has adopted with relish …

Van Badham is a writer, commentator, activist, occasional broadcaster, theatremaker and one of Australia’s most controversial public intellectuals. In addition to a weekly column for Guardian Australia, her work has appeared in The Age, Australian Cosmopolitan, Daily Life, Southerly, Women’s Agenda, Britain’s Daily Telegraph and in anthologies for UQP, Hardie Grant and Monash University Press. She is a frequent guest on panels for ABC’s Radio National, The Drum and Q and A, Channel 7’s Sunrise, the All About Women festival and The Festival of Dangerous Ideas. As a playwright, her work has been performed across Australia and the UK, in the US and Canada, and in Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Germany and Austria, and she is the recipient of three Premier’s awards for stage writing. Her first novel, Burnt Snow, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2010. Born in Sydney, Van is a very proud alumnus of Port Hacking High School Miranda, the University of Wollongong, the University of Sheffield (UK) and Melbourne Uni.

Sat 3 Aug, 6pm


As part of Winter Nights 2019
Proudly supported by Minderoo Foundation

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Image Ryan Sandilands