Green Room: From stage to screen, SALA winners

SA arts and culture news in brief: A new role for Windmill Theatre’s artistic director, friends of the Mercury urged to attend extraordinary general meeting, local theatre group set to debut with provocative climate satire, SALA Award winners announced, what’s in store at Nature Festival, and Girls Rock! at Foyer Fridays.

Sep 02, 2022, updated Sep 07, 2022
Rosemary Myers on the set of Windmill's 'Girl Asleep'.

Rosemary Myers on the set of Windmill's 'Girl Asleep'.

Changing roles

Windmill Theatre Company’s long-time artistic director Rosemary Myers is leaving the role to take up a newly created position overseeing the company’s film and television projects.

Myers has led the award-winning Adelaide-based theatre company for the past 14 years, during which she has directed shows including Pinocchio, Rumpelstiltskin, and the teen trilogy Fugitive, School Dance and Girl Asleep. She also directed Windmill’s first feature film, the 2015 screen adaptation of Girl Asleep, and in 2017 was awarded the Australia Council Theatre Award.  

In her new role as artistic director of Windmill Pictures, Myers will be in charge of the company’s screen projects, which include Beep and Mort, a television series for pre-schoolers set to premiere on ABC Kids later this year.

Outgoing Windmill chair Bruce Speirs (who ends his tenure in October) said Myers’ vision and ambition had transformed the company “and seen it perform on some of the biggest and most prestigious stages in the world”.

“The company has also successfully transitioned to making film and television under Rose’s initiative, and it’s an exciting development to consolidate this expansion of our operations through the creation of this new role for Rose within the company’s screen arm, and to recruit a new artistic leader for the theatre company.”

A national search has begun for a new artistic director of Windmill Theatre Company (details here).

Meanwhile, Patch Theatre has announced that SA theatre-maker Sasha Zahra ­– currently associate director at Windmill Theatre – has been appointed to the new position of creative producer within its senior management team.

Zahra has almost 20 years’ experience working in the arts, and Patch artistic director Geoff Cobham says her “collaborative spirit and commitment to creative leadership” are well suited to the children’s theatre company.

She will play a key role in planning and producing Patch’s in-theatre performances, in-schools program, and interactive installations, as well as developing presentation partnerships for touring programs and helping create the company’s next four-year strategic plan.

SALA winners

A viewer watches Impressive and Vibrant Fantasy Buffet at AGSA. Photo: Nat Rogers

The team behind a short film that reframes works on display in the Art Gallery of South Australia through pop culture references and the language of food have won two major prizes in this year’s SALA Awards.

Impressive and Vibrant Fantasy Buffet: 5 essential rules to help achieve an Auguste Rodin torso in under two months is a cinematic interpretation of a series of playful guided tours that SA artists Kurt Bosecke, of Tutti Arts, and Emmaline Zanelli led through AGSA during this year’s Fringe. The absurdist film was produced with filmmaker Eloise Holoubek and exhibited at the gallery throughout August. Bosecke, Zanelli and Holoubek were presented with both the $7000 Incubator Award and the $5000 Digital Media Award at the 2022 SALA closing event on Wednesday night.

Other major winners included Deborah Prior, who won the $5000 Contemporary Art Award for her exhibition at JamFactory Seppeltsfield; Anna Révész (Emerging Artist Award); Allison Chhorn (Don Dunstan Foundation Award); Saxon Rudduck (Active Aging Award), Sarah Northcott (Contemporary Curator Award) and David Hume (SALA Solo Photographic Opportunity).

Multi-disciplinary artist Helen Fuller will be the featured SALA artist for 2023 and the focus of the 2023 South Australian Living Artists Publication.

The fight to save the Mercury

Mercury CX is holding an extraordinary general meeting at the Mercury Cinema on September 13 to discuss the future of the not-for-profit organisation and venue after the recent revelation that the State Government had rejected its funding request.

As reported by InDaily in June, the funding submission for an ongoing operating budget of between $700,000 and $1.2 million was knocked back ahead of the state budget, with Mercury CX CEO Karena Slaninka saying at the time the organisation was at risk of having to close its doors.

In a formal notice, the board “strongly urges” everyone with an interest in supporting the continuation of Mercury CX and Mercury Cinema to attend the meeting, where they will outline “the outcome of discussions with Government and the subsequent future of this beloved cultural institution”.

A reminder yesterday on social media ­– titled “Join the fight to save the Mercury” and #SaveOurScreens ­– says limited places are left for those wanting to attend in person, but people can also attend online via Zoom (registrations here).

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Kill Climate Deniers

Kill Climate Deniers in development.

South Australian theatre and arts group The Kinetik Collective is set to open its first major show next week – a new development of Australian writer David Finnigan’s provocative play Kill Climate Deniers.

The satirical black comedy sees Australian politicians held hostage by extremist eco-terrorists demanding immediate action on climate change. When it was written in 2014 it created a backlash from some conservative commentators but went on to win a major playwriting award.

The Kinetik Collective – formed last year by Bianka Kennedy and Clara Solly-Slade – describes its production as “part action-movie spoof, part political satire, part rave party wrapped up in a piece of documentary theatre”.  It has collaborated with multi-disciplinary artist Dave Court to create an integrated digital design for the piece, which will feature actors including Anna Steen and Kate Cheel, as well as live music by Mat Morison.

Kill Climate Deniers will be presented at Slingsby’s Hall of Possibility from September 8-17 as part of State Theatre SA’s Stateside program (details here). Read more about the collective and the development of the production in this previous InReview story by Michelle Wakim.

Back to nature

An artist’s impression of We Can Be Heroes, which will be part of the Nature Festival.

The program for next month’s Nature Festival was launched this week, with highlights including a nature-based film festival featuring a Q&A with That Sugar Film and 2040 director Damon Gameau.

There will more than 200 events spanning talks, walks, workshops, art exhibitions, workshops and open gardens across South Australia from October 6-16.

Among the arts-meets-nature events are We Can Be Heroes, large-scale inflatable sculptures that will float above Light Square and Wellington Square over two days and nights; Evenings with Birdsong, two avian-inspired concerts with visual projections at Elder Hall; a Forest Photography Adventure at Blackwood Forest; an exhibition showcasing political poster art for climate action at The Mill, and Nature in Art tours at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Foyer Fridays

Participants at the recent Girls Rock! camp. Photo: Mariah Anzil

Girls Rock! Adelaide is curating a free live music program in the foyer of the Woodville Town Hall to support the headline acts in the spring season of the venue’s Foyer Fridays program which kicks off tonight.

While the main hall will host swing band Lucky Seven (September 2), contemporary folk musician Kaurna Cronin (October 7) and singer-songwriter Kelly Brouhaha (November 4), Girls Rock! ­– a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to empower girls and gender-diverse youth in music – is programming a line-up of diverse talent for the foyer.

“Having just run our successful Rock Camp, this is a great way to stay connected with our community and to continue to support talent by locking in paid performance opportunities for participants and gathering to see them play,” says co-founder Elli Cleary.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

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