With Love: Black Swan State Theatre Company reveal 2021 season

Black Swan State Theatre Company have announced their homegrown 2021 program, and it’s loaded with love.

Launched last night at the State Theatre Centre of WA, the state company are celebrating 30 years with a celebration of the company’s heritage through stories of rebellion, truth, hope and, the uniting force, love.

“We will bring to the stage old plays in new ways; a bold, original work that confronts us with our past; exciting collaborations with the local WA theatre sector; a contemporary dance work; a free two-day festival during NAIDOC week; and a choose-your-own onstage adventure in which we invite our audiences to vote for the Shakespearean play they would like us to present, in celebration of our 30th birthday,” Artistic Director Clare Watson announced.

“A creatively thrilling, yet slightly terrifying proposition for a theatre company.”

After the smashing success of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet at Perth Festival, Black Swan’s 2021 season begins with a picnic in The Cherry Orchard. Chekhov’s renowned play has been adapted by Adrianne Daff and Katherine Tonkin, and will be staged at the Sunset Heritage Precinct under the direction of Clare Watson.

Teaming up with The Blue Room Theatre, the award-winning play from local writer/director Scott McArdle tells a modern coming-of-age story that delves into the ways we hurt each other, and how we help others who are hurting.

Black Swan are also collaborating with Indigenous and intercultural dance company Marrugeku on their work Le Dernier Appel/The Last Cry. Inspired by New Caledonia’s referendums independence from France, and Australia’s debate over First Nations recognition and treaty, Le Dernier Appel explores the aftermath of colonisation, seeking what to embrace and what to let fell.

The inaugural Maali Festival is also coming to the State Theatre Centre of WA, to be held during NAIDOC week (July 2021). Curated by Wilman Noongar person Ian Michael and Yamatji Nhanda person Chloe Ogilvie, the two day festival celebrates the breadth and diversity of the world’s oldest living cultures with a multi-disciplinary gathering of First Nations artists.

2021 will also see the world premiere of York, set around an abandoned hospital on Ballardong Noongar country, Every Brilliant Thing, a life-affirming comedy about dealing with mental illness and Animal Farm, as reimagined by Van Badham.

Finally, the season will wrap with an ambitious project, connecting the company’s 30th year to their beginnings. Audiences will have the opportunity to vote on That Shakespeare Play, which will allow theatre fans to decide which of The Bard’s works will be staged at the end of the year.

For the full 2021 season program and more information, head to BSSTC.com.au

OIP Staff, image: Richard Jefferson

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