Leading Melbourne independent theatre company Theatre Works is launching their 2022 program with a new venue and a stacked lineup.
The theatre company’s 2022 schedule packs in 50 productions, plus an additional eight works in development, seven artist development programs, seven festival seasons, and one additional multi-purpose new artist space.
It’s a huge turnaround for the St Kilda-based arts purveyors, who have survived nearly two years of lockdowns, cancellations, funding cuts, and uncertainty but now appear set to thrive as a pillar of Melbourne’s rejuvenated arts scene.
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Perhaps the biggest news is the company’s new Explosives Factory – a versatile work- shop and development space complete with accommodation, bathroom, and kitchen facilities – located around the corner from the much-loved Acland St venue. A former genuine explosives manufacturing factory, the space also has a 60 seat performance venue, broadening Theatre Works’ potential oeuvre throughout the calendar.
In their 41st year, Theatre Works executive director Dianne Toulson says Theatre Works is set to reach new heights both in theatrical productions and by supporting new artistic talent in 2022
“We want to be there from the start and be an integral part of the evolution of the artist and the development of their work,” she says.
“We haven’t been cautious about going big and bold in 2022. We are better resourced and focused than we have ever been and this will be reflected in what can only be described as a massively diverse and eclectic year. It’s not a recovery year for us – while there are productions that have been reprogrammed, it will be a year of exciting shows providing a myriad of outcomes for artists.
“We firmly hold our place in the eco system as a unique producer of independent work. Artists and the arts have struggled so much over the past two years so we’re keenly aware that what we do in 2022 will feed the future of theatre across Australia, supporting the recovery of an industry that has been decimated by the lack of vision and investment by governments.”
What’s on at Theatre Works in 2022
From January, Theatre Works will host shows from five festivals in the first three months of the year; Mullet Festival, Midsumma, First Stories, Radical Acts Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival all touching base.
Theatre Works will also be conducting new development and inhouse programming including Associate Artists, She Writes, a Deakin University Partnership, Little Legends and Regional Arts Development and Accommodation Residencies alongside much more.
They’ve also launched their Blackbox Cafe & Bar, which opened in early 2021 as not just as a revenue stream, but as a way of giving work to artists, and now it’s set to turn into yet another performance space. During Summer, their Acland Street forecourt will transform into an outdoor stage for up to 60 patrons. Keep an eye out in the program for Mullet Fest and Midsumma Festival shows lighting up the Blackbox stage.
Theatre Works’ full 2022 program brochure can be accessed here before January spearheads a huge variety of performances, from comedic highlights like Mullet Fest – delayed from the Fringe Festival – to intergalactic joys like Shakespeare Aliens and so many more.