CLARE Watson revealed Black Swan State Theatre Company’s (BSSTC) 2018 season last night at Heath Ledger Theatre.
It is the first season Watson has shaped since starting her role as BSSTC artistic director and she has made her mark with an intriguing list of production pairings, programmed to begin conversations.
Watson said the 2018 season was a result of asking herself, “What are the big conversations we should be having right now and how can theatre contribute?”
She found her answer in eight shows (three world premieres) making four conversations that would happen between the two State Theatre Centre of WA theatres, Heath Ledger Theatre and Studio Underground.
May’s conversation one “The boys are back in town” features Ray Lawler’s Australian play Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and the gender bending Hir by Taylor Mac.
June’s second conversation “Hit me with your best shot” brings Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical Assassins paired with contemporary British play The Events starring Catherine McClements.
Conversation three “Together in electric dreams” includes We Know We Belong Together, a co-production with Perth Festival and DADAA in March, and Skylab, a co-production with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company in August.
While October’s fourth and final conversation “Girls just want to have fun” embraces the roles and representation of women with In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl and Xenides about 1980s game show hostess Adriana Xenides.
“Our season in 2018 is designed to encourage compassion and extend empathy and most importantly, to entertain,” Watson said.
BSSTC executive director Natalie Jenkins said it had been difficult to keep a lid on the new format for season 2018 which complemented the company’s refreshed logo, new website and new ticketing system that would be launched for the new season.