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Green Room: A new AD for Brink and a farewell at ACE

SA arts & culture news in brief: Award-winning theatre-maker announced as new artistic director of Brink Productions, ACE farewells its AD, Clare Watson unveils her first season for Windmill Theatre, and postcard-sized artworks for sale in unique fundraising exhibition.

Nov 02, 2023, updated Nov 02, 2023
Stephen Nicolazzo is the new artistic director of Brink Productions. Photo: supplied

Stephen Nicolazzo is the new artistic director of Brink Productions. Photo: supplied

Brink’s new AD wants to speak to the unseen

Brink Productions’ new artistic director Stephen Nicolazzo promises there will be no holding back as he ushers in the “next chapter of storytelling” at the Adelaide independent theatre company.

His appointment follows the recent departure of Chris Dummond, who led Brink for almost 20 years.

Nicolazzo was most recently the co-artistic director of arts organisation Western Edge and was the founder of queer theatre collective Little Ones Theatre, both based in Melbourne. He is also a member of Melbourne Theatre Company’s associate artist advisory panel.

The multiple Green Room award winner says it is a gift “to be able to lead with an independent voice”, adding that he wants to speak to the diversity of experience whenever he makes a work.

“I want to speak to those unseen. I want to share battle scars with audiences and artists, and present this with fire, fury, and compassion. No holding back. Ever. And of course, always wanting it to entertain and break some hearts.

“We have the opportunity, as Australian practitioners, to present diverse lived experiences in a variety of gut-bursting theatrical forms. And this is what I hope to bring to Brink’s next chapter of storytelling.”

Nicolazzo starts in his new role in a part-time capacity next month, and will be full-time from April next year. Brink chair Trish Hansen says he will build on Drummond’s “phenomenal legacy” and the company is “confident that he will make a vital contribution to the South Australian performing arts ecology and beyond”.

Brink recently announced the return of two of its shows as part of State Theatre Company SA’s 2024 season: Hew Parham’s Symphonie of the Bicycle (May), and Chris Pitman’s Shore Break (September).

ACE’s AD is moving on

Adelaide Contemporary Experimental (ACE) artistic director Patrice Sharkey is leaving at the end of this month to take up a new role as head of exhibitions and public programs at TarraWarra Museum of Art in Victoria.

The Lion Arts Centre-based visual arts organisation has presented more than 40 exhibitions and 120 public arts programs during Sharkey’s tenure.

In a statement, it said: “ACE’s commitment to creating greater opportunities and more expansive contexts for a diversity of art practitioners in South Australia has been amplified under Patrice’s leadership, with key projects such as the establishment of the Porter Street Commission… and transforming ACE’s Studio Program into a nationally-recognised professional development opportunity for local artists.”

“I am very proud to have been part of ACE’s journey,” Sharkey says. “Indeed, it is not without sadness that I am moving on; I have cherished my time in South Australia and am excited to take the things I have learnt and achieved into my next role.”

A weird and wild journey with Windmill

The artwork for Moss Piglet. Credit: Jasmin Neophytou / supplied

Over at Windmill Theatre, artistic director Clare Watson has this week unveiled her first season for the company ­– including the world premiere of a “live-action action movie” called Moss Piglet, about resilient microscopic critters called tardigrades.

“Tardigrades are mind-blowingly amazing little creatures – a bit cute, a bit icky and completely kick-arse,” says Watson. “They’re known to some as Moss Piglets and to others as Water Bears… some of them even have hot pink radiation forcefields. Strong and stylish!”

She promises that the show, which will play at the Space Theatre next October, will take young audiences on a journey “as weird and wild as tardigrades themselves”. It will be directed by Watson with a creative team comprising Meg Wilson, Gareth Davies, and Elena Carapetis (who, incidentally, just won an award at the Adelaide Film Festival for her debut short film Blame the Rabbit).

Windmill’s 2024 season will open with the return of documentary theatre work Creation Creation in May, and also include a regional SA and national tour of the live show Grug to mark the 45th anniversary of Ted Prior’s popular picture book. The company will also continue its international tour of Bluey’s Big Play.

Wish You Were Here

Postcard-sized artworks will be available to buy for just $80 when the Adelaide Central School of Art’s annual fundraising exhibition Wish You Were Here launches this Sunday.

Artworks are donated by artists from across the spectrum ­­– from well-established artists to emerging artists and current students – with ACSA saying this creates “a unique viewing (and collecting) opportunity for visitors as they are able to see a lively cross-section of contemporary art”. The identity of the artist who created each work remains a mystery until after it is collected, with pieces including oil paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and ceramics.

Wish You Were Here has its official opening on November 5 at Adelaide Central Gallery, with the exhibition running from November 6-17. Funds raised support the school’s scholarships for students.

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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