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Photo credit: Heidrun Lohr

The Obscene Madame D  by Theatre Kantanka is back in the Rex Cramphorn Studio. Last year this work was the Major Project, and Inside Rehearsal students were fortunate to observe how this performance was created.
Returning in 2017, this project is a continuation of their last residency, with ‘Obscene Madame D ‘ being just one of four works comprising a new event called ‘Sonic Lumiere’. This residency will include efforts in writing, physical improvisations, work with multi-media and Soundscape creation.

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You’re invited to a special event this Friday with Honorary Associates Robin Dixon and Chris Hay leading a workshop on Elizabethan dramaturgy and performance conventions. Details below. Hope to see you there.

Chris Hay and Robin Dixon

The Comedy of Errors is not one of Shakespeare's most frequently staged comedies, but performing it might reveal all sorts of useful information about Elizabethan theatrical conventions and spatial dramaturgy, as well as the adaptation of Classical drama and the ways in which audiences use character exits, entrances and stage positioning to make sense of plots. At any rate, that's the hope of this research project.

This coming Friday, ten actors will present two staged readings of the play, rehearsed according to the Elizabethan "parts" technique, and we warmly invite anyone with an interest in these topics to attend one reading and a subsequent focus-group discussion session.

Timings will be as follows:

10am-12pm: The Comedy of Errors on a five-entrance "mansions" or "Classical" stage
12-1pm: Discussion

2-4pm: The Comedy of Errors on a two-door stage
4-5pm: Discussion

Both the stagings and the discussion will be held in the ​AV Room (S113) on Level One of the John Woolley Building (A20). We would love to see you at one of these sessions (there is no need to attend both). Please don't hesitate to contact Robin ( or Chris ( with any questions. This session will also function as a 'warm up' for our Seminar paper later in semester, where we'll be reporting on the outcome of this pilot project on 9 June.

Robin Dixon and Chris Hay are Honorary Associates of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney, from which both graduated with PhDs. After distinguished teaching at NIDA, Robin is currently writing up his doctoral research on Plautine Comedy and the dramatury of the Roman stage. Chris is currently Lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of New England, Armidale.

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artwork by Georgie, aged 4 years
Imagination my old friend

Is there a safe space into which to imagine? Where mystery and uncertainty will be embraced, caressed, nurtured. Sometimes it is hard to find a space where creativity can exist. Where an idea won’t be extinguished in an effort to name, identify and be classified. I am holding this space for you. A small invitation to what feels exhausted, tired of fighting and tired of being harnessed and attached to what is already named and known. Sometimes dangerous and sometimes a saviour. I am making this space for you. I don’t have a plan for you or a goal. Please just come in, you don’t need to bring anything or do anything. Be engaged, be disengaged, just ponder or become obsessed. I am not going to boss you around. I will make some structures into which you can manifest but that’s your choice. I promise to keep out of your way. Are you still alive in there? Please come out.
A multidisciplinary exploration using words, space, objects, the body and relationships to others. 


Image credit - Julie Samerski

On Saturday 24 &25 March The Living Room Theatre Company premiered BLACK CROWS INVADED OUR COUNTRY. Following this brief introduction to the performance is a reflection by Danielle Celermajer, professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy.

This performance is an artistic contextualisation of the public lecture in the merging of academic research with indigenous story, performance, and sound art.

The Living Room Theatre returns to the JD Stewart Building – home of the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney for a collaboration with the academic community of the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) for the performance of ‘Black Crows Invaded Our Country’, based on the Humboldt Foundation research of environmental philosopher and author, Associate Professor Thom van Dooren (UNSW), The Unwelcome Crows: Hospitality in the Anthropocene.

Animateur Michelle St Anne juxtaposes this lecture to the haunting and complex issue of human migration. She sees parallels in the inconsistencies of logic, scapegoating, justifications and fears of what promises to be a problem in a perceived future.

The project gathers a diverse range of artists, performers, researchers and activists who respond to these ideas through performance, dance, sound, field recordings, voice samples, climbing, and lecture, allowing the audience to reflect on the content in an emotional and intellectual way.

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Friday Seminar Series: Friday 31st March
Kick off is at 3pm in the AV Room (S113) Woolley Building, Manning Road, University of Sydney.

Speakers are Lisa Schouw and Aine De Paor (abstracts below)

Refreshments and—as the Irish would say—good “craic” assured.

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Friday afternoon seminars in the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney are back up and running for Semester One, 2017.

This week’s guest is Dr Lowell Lewis, Honorary Associate of the Department, who will be speaking “to” Chapter Five (“Embodiment, Emplacement and Cultural Process”) of his wonderful book, The Anthropology of Cultural Performance.

And the key details:
When—Friday 17 March, 3pm-5pm
Where—AV Room (S113), Level One at the back of the John Woolley Building (entry from Manning Rd)

About Lowell Lewis’ Anthropology of Cultural Performance
Michael D. Jackson (author of Lifeworlds: Essays in Existential Anthropology) describes the book’s scope as follows: "A masterful and nuanced expansion of Victor Turner's pioneering work on the ritual process and on culture as a procession of quotidian events and critical performances. Drawing on Peirce's semiotics and on phenomenology, J. Lowell Lewis simultaneously provides an interdisciplinary perspective on performance studies and opens up new theoretical horizons on role-playing, ritual and dramaturgy in social life."

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Internship Opportunity with Playwriting Australia:
PWA will be in the Rex Cramphorn Studio for the week of 27 March, hosting script development workshops. These workshops are a highly competitive opportunity for playwrights, providing them with resources (incl time, space, actors, directors or dramaturgs). The workshop is devoted to craft and exploration, without the pressure of an expected performance outcome. It is expected that the workshops will enable the writer to significantly progress the script.

 Generally PWA get one student on each project to make notes and observe the entire process. If you would like to be considered you must commit to being available every day of the week, for either the morning session (10am-1:30, OR the afternoon session 1:30pm – 5pm). Both sessions run Monday through to Friday – so you will have to commit to the five days, but either morning OR afternoon session. Generally each intern will be required to make notes and observe the entire process.

I understand that classes might prevent anyone from taking up this offer, but if you have the free time in your diary this is an excellent opportunity.

Please contact if you are interested, preferably by the end of this week (17 March 2017).



Harriet Gillies (director), Pierce Wilcox (writer), Mark Rogers (dramaturg)
and Hugh O'Connor (designer) will be the key creatives of the collaborative
project. They are in the Rex 14-26 March.

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We are very excited to have our favourite Theatre Company for Young People with us in the Studio again. Monkey Baa never fail to delight us with their innovative and creative take on the Australian classics. But it is also more than that, they have a firm commitment to relaxed showings, advocating access for all children to enjoy the delights of theatre and performance, as well as a dedicated history of working with teachers in ways to use drama as a tool in education.

Millions of young people around the world have adored the multi award-winning picture book, Diary of a Wombat. Now finally this iconic work by Australian Children’s Laureate (2014/15), Jackie French and Bruce Whatley comes to the stage.

Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Bored with her daily routine, Mothball goes in search of shelter and food, creating chaos in the lives of the humans around her.

Doormats, bins and washing lines are no match for this mischievous marsupial. Between a packed schedule of scratching, sleeping and eating Mothball discovers that with a bit of persistence, humans are quite easily trained!

Monkey Baa Director, Eva Di Cesare and a team of revered artists including Puppetry and Movement Director, Alice Osborne (War Horse 2012/13), Designer Imogen Ross (Hitler’s Daughter) and accomplished composer/cellist, Oonagh Sherrard use the magic of puppetry and live music to bring this delightful story for ages 3+ to the stage.

Diary of a Wombat runs at the Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre from 18 – 24 April & 27 May.

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FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres will present Metadata, an immersive work from the acclaimed dance performance company, De Quincey Co. Metadata includes two works, Pure Light and Moths & Mathematicians, created by leading Australian dance, video, sound and animation artists.

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Martin del Amo and Sue Healy photographed by Gavin Clarke.

Coming to the Rex Cramphorn studio for a three week residency in September/October are independent dance artists Martin del Amo and Sue Healy. They will be conducting choreographic research for their upcoming project The Seeing Space, focusing on issues around presence, presentational aesthetics and the observer/observed relationship.

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Elisabeth Burke is seen here examining the collection of 35mm slides that includes documentation as well as visual material from the archives of Entr’Acte Theatre. Other boxes hold video cassettes in every format from 1 inch Beta to Sony HD, reels of magnetic audio tape, b&w publicity stills, printed programmes and posters, company reports and teaching materials. Photo by Barbara Campbell.

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The four week development of Theatre Kantanka’s Obscene Madame D.—the Department’s major project for 2016—has sadly come to end. Mountains of white fabric, lacey lightfittings, fish bowl, cardboard fish and arte povera-style masks have all left the building.


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Theatre Kantanka was in the University's Radio Studio last week recording the script for Obscene Madame D, the department's major project for 2016. Seen above are Carlos Gomes directing Arky Michaels and Katia Molino with the large-eared model Hillé wearing binaural microphones. Photo by Gail Priest.

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Griffin Theatre’s production of The Bleeding Tree by Angus Cerini has been nominated for three Helpmann Awards in 2016 including for Best Play; Best Direction of a Play (Lee Lewis); and for Best Female Actor in a Play (Paula Arundell).

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The Department of Theatre and Performance Studies welcomes Theatre Kantanka as company-in-residence in the Rex for the creative development of their new work Obscene Madame D. This four week development represents the Department’s major project for 2016 during which undergraduate students have the opportunity of observing and documenting the skills and intuition that go into crafting those magic moments an audience will later encounter in performance. The collaborators on this project are Katia Molino, Carlos Gomes and Gail Priest, all established artists with extensive experience as devisors and performance makers.

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Mens rea explores the concept of shape-shifting, set against the background of the Indian epic Ramayana. Shifting between three of its principal characters Jatayu, Sita and Ravana, Handa explores how their changing intentions trigger physical and emotional transformations. Jatayu (a demi-god vulture) attempts to rescue Sita (the wife of the god Rama) but is captured and mutilated by Ravana (a shape-shifting demon).

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From the 26th of April to the 7th of May, the Rex Cramphorn Studio will host a unique collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.
A 3.2 m cube will represent a blank canvas for lighting designers and researchers to discover techniques to enhance the perception of scenic and architectural structures. During this residency Joelene Elliot will explore the visual effects of lighting design methods that manipulate the apparent size of space. Joelene notes, 'I am fascinated by the tangibility of our intuitive response to light. This research has the capacity to enhance designer’s ability to adapt stage lighting strategies to architectural environments'.
As part of the research, Joelene will conduct a series of interactive workshops based on perception, where the viewer will roam through an exhibition-type construct.

Date Saturday 30/4/2016
Time 6:00 - 10:00pm Activity Open for general viewing

Tuesday 3/4/2016
Time 5:00 - 8:00pm Open for general viewing

Wednesday 4/5/2016
Time 5:00 - 8:00pm Open for general viewing

Thursday 5/5/16 6:00
Time 7:30pm Sydney Ideas discussion panel
7:30pm - 11:00pm Open for Sydney Ideas attendees and invited guests

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playwright Julian Larnach and director Luke Rogers

In Real Life is a new play written by playwright Julian Larnach, developed with director Luke Rogers.

This new work currently in development, In Real Life, will bring to life a chilling portrait of our digital lives; a psychological science fiction thriller that seeks to find a human and theatrical response to the technological world around us. The play explores issues of grief and loss, our human need to connect, the essence of identity and personality, and the dilemmas that arise when scientific development goes beyond our moral templates for the world.

This project was conceived whilst Luke Rogers was a Resident Studio Artist at Griffin Theatre Company in 2014. He teamed up with former Griffin Affiliate Playwright and ATYP Resident Playwright, Julian Larnach, and together they researched and interviewed broadly around the subject area of how social media and technology is changing the way we interact and the long-term consequences about how we engage and communicate with one another, consulting with specialists in psychology and media technology to offer further provocations and perspectives.

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We would like to invite you to our new dance short works event HAPPY HOUR. This
is the first of 3 HAPPY HOURS we will hold in 2016, supported by the wonderful
City of Sydney. The program has been created to support the independent dance
ecology in Sydney by providing a platform for developing new work whether they
be slices of a larger work or completed pieces.

HAPPY HOUR (no 1) is curated by dancer, choreographer and film maker Dianne
Busutill and will feature works by Omer and Sharon Backley-Astrachan performing
TOHU and Anna Kuroda performing KANJI.

There are two performances that we can invite you to.
1. Friday April 1st at 5:30pm (this is an extra performance especially for the
ACPE school students)
2. Sunday April 3rd at 5pm (performance for the general public)
We would like to invite you to our new dance short works event HAPPY HOUR. This
is the first of 3 HAPPY HOURS we will hold in 2016, supported by the wonderful
City of Sydney. The program has been created to support the independent dance
ecology in Sydney by providing a platform for developing new work whether they
be slices of a larger work or completed pieces.

HAPPY HOUR (no 1) is curated by dancer, choreographer and film maker Dianne
Busutill and will feature works by Omer and Sharon Backley-Astrachan performing
TOHU and Anna Kuroda performing KANJI.

There are two performances that we can invite you to.
1. Friday April 1st at 5:30pm (this is an extra performance especially for the
ACPE school students)
2. Sunday April 3rd at 5pm (performance for the general public)

At: Readymade Rehearsal Space (above the KU Childcare Centre), Level 1, 247–257
Bulwara Rd, Ultimo NSW 2007
PLEASE NOTE: Entry is OFF HENRY AVE close to the corner of Quarry Lane
, up the
staircase to level 1

RSVP to [] with the date of the performance you would like to attend - let her know that you are from Sydney Uni, Performance Studies.


Take Three is an initiative from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) to support Australian tertiary students and emerging filmmakers/artists by providing up to three minutes of footage/audio, and ten stills, free of licence fees for use in their projects.

NFSA CEO Michael Loebenstein said: ‘We can’t wait to see what Australia’s creative minds will be able to do with Take Three! We hope that tertiary students, emerging filmmakers and artists will be inspired by the NFSA collection; that they’ll use all their creativity to give a new life to our archival content through their own work.’

‘One of the key principles in our Strategic Plan 2015-2018 is that the NFSA is ‘the creators’ archive’, encouraging the public to re-use the materials we collect, preserve and share. Here are 180 seconds, 180 opportunities to be creative,’ added Loebenstein.

Applicants must be Australian citizens: a) enrolled at an Australian tertiary education institution; or b) emerging filmmakers/artists with no more than two short film or webisode credits, and no other government/private funding sources.

Eligible creatives will be able to use the footage/audio and stills in any artistic work, including film and documentaries; live productions such as dance, cabaret, theatre and opera; visual arts and public art works; music and sound productions; research; and lectures and presentations.

Get inspired watching this mash-up Cameras Roll. Watch this

Take Three is an ongoing initiative.

For more details about the eligibility criteria, and an application form visit the NFSA website


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Monkey Baa Theatre Company, rehearsing towards production, THE PEASANT PRINCE
Based on the book by Li Cunxin (illustrated by Anne Spudvilas)
Directed byTim McGarry
Written by Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry

The Peasant Prince will be an hour long theatrical journey, combining text, dance, movement, musical-motif and AV in its storytelling. The actors will play numerous roles, and the staging will encompass the worlds of an impoverished village in rural China during Mao’s reign, the dance studios of the Beijing Dance Academy and the stages hosting the Houston Ballet in the USA. Monkey Baa have developed this work, closely with dancer and author Li Cunxin.

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By Jennifer Peterson-Ward

Wenceslaus Hollar's sketch of the Globe. Image: Yale Center for British Art, courtesy Tim Fitzpatrick.

A University of Sydney academic’s research into the second Globe theatre has led to the world’s first faithful reconstruction in New Zealand.

Tim Fitzpatrick, Honorary Associate Professor from the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, has spent years studying the second Globe theatre, which was built by William Shakespeare and his company on the ruins of the first Globe in 1614.

Unlike earlier research on the Globe theatres, Associate Professor Fitzpatrick’s reconstruction model was based on a reinterpretation of a sketch by renowned Czech panoramist Wenceslaus Hollar - the only known contemporary image of the Globe.

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Co-presented with the Centre for Values and Ethics in Medicine (VELiM) and the School of Public Health in the Sydney Medical School, and the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Sydney

BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer is a collection of performances reflecting on a history of cancer and the patient experience. Drawing from ten years of monologues and spoken word performances, Brian Lobel presents an hour of humorous, provocative, interactive and thoughtful reflections, which have been presented throughout the world in a wide variety of medical, theatrical and artistic contexts.

On the day of his cancer diagnosis, Brian began writing notes about his experience with illness: the unfamiliar language, the awkward silences, the strange sensations. The writing eventually became BALL, his first full-length monologue which toured the world to thousands of audience members including medical students, doctors, patient groups, and people who just wanted to hear the (un)inspiring story.

But just like so many people with cancer, Brian noticed that he did not stop thinking about his body, and particularly how it was changed through illness. Instead of shutting up and getting 'back to normal', Brian continued to create shows from different distances from his illness. Each story captures a different moment in the journey, and asks different questions along the way.

Brian’s performance will be followed the opportunity to ask questions from the floor.

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Don't miss Nigel Kellaways GLORIAS – it will be performed at the Powerhouse Museum on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 February @ 6pm.
Tickets are now on sale here - concession price is available to Performance Studies staff and students: $25.

This work was Department's major project for 2014.

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click here
One of greatest operas of the 20th century The Cunning Little Vixen is a philosophical reflection on the uneasiness of man's relationship with the natural world and his own nature. Told through the intertwining stories of a beautifully glorious vixen and the Forester who attempts to tame and contain her, the opera is at once playful and charming, sexy and deeply tragic.
Students, two-for-one ticket offer for you, too! Use the code word "VIXENCON" here and receive 2 tickets for $30.


From 25 September to 10 October, Sydney Dance Company will be joining legendary songstress Katie Noonan and ACO2 live on stage for Triptych - an evening of breathtaking dance set to the shimmering compositions of Benjamin Britten showcasing dramatic costumes by Toni Maticevski.

SDC are offering a reduced ticket deal to under 30s so for more information please click on the following link.
Sydney Dance Company Triptych Under 30s cheap ticket deal


My Darling Patricia developed The Piper in the Rex Cramphorn Studio as part of PRFM 3962 Inside Rehearsal in 2011. In 2014 it won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Children’s Theatre. It is currently being performed as part of the Edinbough Festival.


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Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (2014, The Flick), Annie Baker's play, The Aliens, will have its Sydney premiere at The Old Fitz. A smash hit in New York and London, Outhouse Theatre is proud to present this award-winning work from the most acclaimed playwright of her generation.

Book online and quote code "Zhoop" at checkout

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Casting Associate, Cinzia Coassin (Hiding, The Code, Camp, Spartacus) is teaming up with Actor,
Mal Kennard (The Matrix, Catching Milat, My Mistress, Pawno) to offer a powerful learning opportunity for actors who want to take their career to the next level.

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One of our (favourite) past students is returning to rehearse The Dapto Chaser.

Dino Dimitriadis of The Apocalypse Theatre Company will present The Dapto Chaser as part of Griffin Theatre’s Independent Season from 1-27 July 2015.

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Win a double pass to Griffin Theatre Company’s THE HOUSE ON THE LAKE starring Jeanette Cronin (The Boys, Holding the Man) and Huw Higginson (The Bill, EastEnders). The House on the Lake is a psychological thriller so crafty it's criminal. Mired deep in layers of deception, it's a puzzle of a play certain to engage the intellect and assault the nervous system.

To go in the draw to win a double pass to The House on the Lake on Tuesday 19 May at 7pm email with the subject line LAKE USYD.



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Image: Lucy Parakhina

This piece was developed in part during a residency at the Rex Cramphorn Studio in 2014. Tukre’ explores how lineage and rites of passage transcend borders. Inspired by the contents of his luggage on arrival in Australia, Raghav creates a memory map of his heritage through music and dance. His movement, which combines delicate linear masculinity with speed and precision, is inspired in part by his grandfather, who as a jewel maker, spent his life “faceting” gems and diamonds – cutting, shaving and shining precious stones. By mapping memories, Raghav uncovers how history is passed down through bloodlines, frying pans and faceting techniques!

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Monkey Baa Theatre Company is once again about to take up camp at the Rex Cramphorn Studio to rehearse a new theatre work The Unknown Soldier. Led by creative director and writer Sandie Eldridge, the company is developing a new work which explores the themes around the Unknown Soldier; who is he and what he represents to young Australians today. Set on the battle fields of WW1 and in twenty first century Australia, the play follows the dual journeys of a 16 year old soldier Albert fighting for King and Country, and 13 year old Charlie, who is coming to terms with his Dad, a returned soldier from Afghanistan Directed by Matt Edgerton designed by Anna Gardiner, this two hander is being performed by Sandie Eldridge and Felix Johnson, and will premiere at Monkey Baa’s home base in Darling Quarter before embarking on a regional tour around NSW theatres.

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Tuesday and Wednesday $20 student concessions on April 21, 28, 29, May 5, May 6

World première April 22nd, King St Theatre Newtown

Melvyn Morrow’s play, Vice, looks at an accusation of sexual assault in an exclusive north shore Catholic boys’ school.

In the shameful and criminal tragedy of sexual assault in schools, Vice provides a disturbing footnote, looking through a dark lens at the maze of motivations swirling around the underworld of staff and students. Every school is a complex and unique human network: inspiring, dangerous, eccentric, funny, political, toxic and frequently like something out of a play or movie. Vice is the play which tackles a controversial subject head on. There are many twisted strands to the hangman’s rope.

Directed by Elaine Hudson and design by Markus Weber, Vice features Margi De Ferranti, Roger Gimblett, Jess Loudon, Christopher Hamilton, Jonathan Deves and Ben McCann.

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Jenny Leong. Image taken from :

In the NSW State elections held last weekend, candidate for the Greens party Jenny Leong won the newly establish seat of Newtown. It is quite well known that Jenny was a student at Sydney University, and that as a postgraduate student she was President of the Sydney University Postgraduate Association and a fellow on the University of Sydney Senate. What is less well known is that she is a graduate from the Department of Performance Studies. In 2000 Jenny completed her Honours degree, with a casebook called ‘Tales from the Rehearsal of O’Punksky’s Bailengangaire’. She later commenced a PhD with the department.


CASTING FOR 3 ACTORS to play troubled Med Students

Medical Humanities in association with Media Production ICT are producing a short video (trailer) to draw attention to bullying and harassment.
Under the project title of ‘Grace Under Pressure: Enacting professionalism’, the aim of this trailer is to interest Med Students to enroll in future workshops that will address these important issues.

We are casting for 3 actors to play med students, with all roles having dialogue and sub-text.
Although we can offer only a token payment of $200, you will be working with a professional crew, including an award-winning Director (who also wrote the script).
We will be filming with 2 HD cameras (Lumix) and catering will be provided.

Shoot Date: Thursday 9 April 2015 |

Times: You will be required from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Shoot Location: Various locations around university, including New Law and the Quad.

Script Title: AMY
Casting briefs:
Amy - already cast – Lead role. Amy's distress is not revealed. It could be from bullying, sexual harassment, humiliation, burnout, or something else.

Beth - 20–30, any ethnicity, casual attire. Beth is a good friend and a strong support for Amy. She reveals a hidden fun side and makes the others laugh.

Craig - 20–30, any ethnicity, casual attire. Craig is a thinker and responsible, who is receptive to new challenges.

Dave - 20–30, any ethnicity, casual attire. Dave loves giving impromptu performances. He sees the fun in things but can also be serious when required.

RSVP: [Before Thursday 2 April 2015.]
If interested and available, please contact Julie Beesley (Production Manager) for further details and a copy of the script.
E: | T: 9351 7014


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To read more about the rehearsal process click read what Nick Hope has to say Here


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Five thematically interlinked explorations of male narcissism: Five Properties of Chainmale

Five Properties of Chainmale is a new Australian play to be rehearsed in the Rex Cramphorn Studio. It was written by, and will be directed by a PhD graduate of the Department of Performance Studies, Nicholas Hope. It premieres at the Griffin Theatre on the 15th April.

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Barbara Campbell, performance still, “Well, there you are”, 2015

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The seminar this Friday, 13th March, 3pm—5pm, in the AV Room (Woolley S113) is with Dr Lowell Lewis, Honorary Associate, Department of Performance Studies.

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Oppenheimer is a modern Noh play in English about the American scientist, J Robert Oppenheimer, and the development of the atomic bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. It explores issues of guilt, atonement and redemption, but within a Buddhist rather than a Judeo-Christian framework. Here tensions between insight and responsibility/karma are explored through the Zen story of Hyakujo and the fox and themes of liberation/redemption are framed by the actions of the fearsome Buddhist Wisdom King , Fudo Myô-ô and the wheel of samsara (endless birth and death).

Oppenheimer has the structure and form of a traditional mugen Noh , where the main character is the ghost of a person who, because of some karmic hindrance, is unable to leave their human form at death. In many cases, the action of a mugen Noh play will free the ghost from the wheel of samsara, so that they can attain liberation. In this play, the ghost is that of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who, tormented by the horrible consequences of his action in fathering the atomic bomb, is condemned to return each year to Hiroshima to himself suffer the agonies that his weapon caused. Through a contemplation of the traditional Zen story of Hyakujo and the fox (Mumonkan, Case 2), the ghost of Oppenheimer is finally released from his suffering when he encounters Fudo Myô-ô within the fires of Hiroshima. Fudo gives Oppenheimer his sword and snare, so that he can dance for the liberation of all beings from suffering, and in particular the wounds and scars that we all bear as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

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Team MESS and the development of TROJANS

A colleague of the Team recently described their practice as being “allergic to content”, and with Trojans that might be truer than ever. Even a couple of hours before doors open, they don’t have a show. What happens between the projected idea and its realization is exciting to watch unfold.

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image taken by Michelle St Anne, Living Room Theatre Comapny rehearsals for She only barks at night.

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The City of Sydney seeks Expressions of Interest for Art & About Sydney 2015/16.

Do you or an artist you represent have a big idea that temporarily transforms public and unusual spaces in the City of Sydney? Ideas and proposals from all art disciplines are welcome.

We’d love to hear from visual artists, curators, performers, collectives, filmmakers , musicians, writers, composers, theatre companies, producers, choreographers and anyone with a big idea that meets our brief.

A range of projects and installations up to the value of $80,000 will be considered.

Art & About Sydney 2015 will run from 18 September – 11 October 2015. In addition to our 2015 Festival, we will produce a number of works outside the festival period on a project basis.

For a copy of the brief and submission form visit



CDP Theatre Producers is an award winning theatre production house specialising in boutique theatre of the highest quality.
CDP’s productions for children and families include adaptations of popular books including 
The 26-Storey Treehouse, The 52-Storey Treehouse, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and
The Gruffalo’s Child. 2015 will also bring a new adaptation of the iconic tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

CDP requires casual merchandise assistants for our productions throughout 2015 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Duties include stocktaking, display set up, merchandising, customer service, cash handling and some daily reporting. There may also be some lifting required as part of the role.
Hours and days will vary from production to production making this role perfect for those seeking flexible hours. We are looking for people who are friendly, flexible, comfortable working with people of all ages and interested in the performing arts industry.

Please send through a cover letter and CV to Erin Fenech ( more information, feel free to visit our website CDP theatre producers.

Applications close Friday 28th November 2015
Email to:


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AnNua Productions, working in Ireland and Australia, have received funding through Arts Northern Ireland and the British council to gather audio and visual material toward the creation of their new production ‘Home’. ‘Home’ is a play which uses live performance, digital audio and visual composition and shadow play to tell the cheeky and dark story of child migrant from Irelands troubled North. In doing so, it investigates and includes input from migrants and refugees from numerous locals while commenting on people movement, borders and nationalism within Australia and elsewhere.

During November AnNua will be experimenting with samples of light and sound gathered from Ireland and Australia’s physical and social environments in the Rex Cramphorn Studio.
The Director, Paul Moore is a Phd graduate from Performance Studies, Sydney University.

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Photo credit: Heidrun Löhr

During his residency, choreographer and dancer Martin del Amo continues his collaboration with acclaimed dance artist Sue Healey. The focus of their studio investigation is to generate choreographic material for a new duet set to Morton Feldman's Piano and String Quartet.

Martin del Amo is an Honorary Associate of the department.


The Department of Performance Studies enjoys working closely with the Griffin Theatre Company. I recently went to the launch of their 2015 program and was delighted to see that two of our recent student graduates are involved in performances that make up the 2015 program.

Nicholas Hope graduated with a PhD in Performance Studies in 2010. He has written and will now direct ‘Five Properties of Chainmale’ which previews 15-16 April, and it’s season runs 18 April – 9 May. You will hear more about this soon, as the cast will rehearse in the Rex Cramphorn Studio from the end of March 2015.

Dino Dimitriadis, a recent Honours graduate is the Producer for ‘The Dapto Chaser’ which runs 1-25 July 2015. I will contact Dino soon and interview him about this play, let me know if you’d be interested in having him come in to chat to us about what he’s doing.



A workshop-symposium led by


24 – 29 NOVEMBER 2014

Monday-Saturday 10:00am – 5.00pm daily

Public Symposium 30 November 2014 3.00pm – 6.00pm

The University of Sydney

Following from the highly successful 2012 and 2013 events Frank and Tess will continue to share and explore the legacy of images that were an integral part of their BodyWeather training and performances within Min Tanaka’s MAI-JUKU performance group in Japan from 1984 until 1991. In addition, a new Image flow will be developed that reflects current cultural and scientific developments and interests.

Dancers, artists, artist-academics and academics are invited to participate in a six-day process that consists of a 6-day workshop followed by a public symposium. They will further explore a new format for an interdisciplinary exchange between practitioners and writers in order to enhance the amalgamation of theory and practice research of images within the moving body.

Besides a rigorous introduction to the images and methods of BodyWeather image-practice, participants are asked to reflect upon areas of interest for further shaping whilst engaging with writers and thinkers to tease out questions underlying the physical work.

Dr Amanda Card from The University of Sydney will facilitate the input from the artist/academics observing or integrated within the image practice and research during the workshop phase. Daily review and coordination by Frank, Tess and Amanda will ensure a balance of physical and discursive work throughout the process.

The final day opens out this process to audiences in a symposium with a focus on the nature and function of ‘images’ and their embodiment from a BodyWeather perspective. Besides exploring the use of imagery across different cultures, this public event will include the demonstration of workshop and image techniques as well as the construction and articulation of images from an ancestral and cross-cultural perspective with contributions from a number of independent BodyWeather dancers.

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image credit: Mayu Kanamori

Linda Luke is a recent artist-in-residence and the work she developed (STILL POINT TURNING) while in residence with the department will premier at the Melbourne Festival this weekend. We would like to congratulate Linda Luke on her work, and also Justine Shih Pearson (recent PhD graduate from the Department of Performance Studies) for her costume design on STILL POINT TURNING.

STILL POINT TURNING will tour to the following venues in 2014.
Oct 17 & 18 at Dancehouse for Melbourne Festival Melbourne Festival

Nov 27 – 29 at Parramatta Riverside Theatres for Dance Bites Program
BOOKINGS: Bookings

Dec 13 at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

For more information about the development of this work visit our blog:
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In the Rex Linda Luke 1

Image: Mayu Kanamori


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author of 'Girl Shut Your Mouth' Gita Bezard.

An exciting collection of new plays for development in the Rex Cramphorn Studio this October.
The National Script Workshop is Playwriting Australia’s most popular and valuable opportunity for playwrights with a new play in development. From one-day play reading with immediate dramaturgical feedback, to an intensive week or fortnight workshop, we offer selected playwrights the time, space and expertise from outstanding creatives and actors to take their play closer to the stage. Workshopped plays are also in consideration for showcase at the National Play Festival each year.

For their October residency, Playwriting Australia is thrilled to support three new plays part of the seven selected works chosen from 99 script submissions, open to playwrights nationally as well nominations by theatre companies working with playwrights from diverse cultural backgrounds.

The three selected playwrights Gita Bezard, Joe Lui and Melissa Reeves will work on their new plays with PWA's Artistic Director Tim Roseman, Associate Artist Iain Sinclair and guests artists across two weeks from Monday 6 October - Friday 17 October.

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Image: Justine Shih-Pearson, Richard Manner and Clyte Smith

Linda Luke has been in the Rex Cramphorn Studio for the past couple of weeks. She had this to say about the final creative development for ‘Still Point Turning’ which premiers at Dancehouse for the Melbourne Festival.

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ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, in association with the Department of Performance Studies and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at The University of Sydney is to host a collaboratory entitled:

‘The Voice and Histories of Emotion: 1500-1800’

Dates: 29th September to 1st October
Venue: Department of Performance Studies (29 September - 1 October) The University of Sydney
9.00am to 5.00pm

· Prof Will West, Northwestern University

· Dr Richard Wistreich, Royal Northern College of Music

The Centre for the History of Emotions (CHE) Performance Programme explores how emotions were performed and experienced within their historical contexts. The voice is a principal instrument of human communication and expression and as such, a crucial site of our investigation. Spoken, thundered, squeaked, screamed, coughed, solo or in chorus, on stage or in the street, the voice invites critical consideration as the circumstances and circulations of its performance as captured in archival, textual, imagistic traces are varied and variable. This collaboratory affords the opportunity to interrogate research methodologies available; question what research evidence of the ‘voice’ in history comprises – its validation processes and the problems it presents – and explore new theoretical and methodological approaches to ‘voice’ and the histories of emotion in which it operates. Though voice is a broad category embracing physiological and phenomenological concerns, this collaboratory proposes four main rubrics:
Skill and the Natural Voice
Voice, Place and Body
Harmonies and disharmonies
Audiencing: the generative work of listening to and interpreting the voice

For more information History of Emotions.


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Ok, so you all know by now that we love artists - but now you know what we really love - we love their dogs. Meet (Honorary Associate) Tess de Quincey's gorgeous standard poodles, Flame, Trotsky, and Chagall, sitting in Dr Card's office discussing serious Bodyweather matters.


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Image credits: Linda Luke. Image taken by MAYU KANAMORI

Linda Luke is back with us for the final creative development of her solo work 'Still Point Turning', which has been developed in the Rex Cramphorn Studio over the past couple of years.
Linda will host a full showing of this work on Friday 26 September, if you would be interested in attending the showing please email Kirstin will then email you with the exact time once it is finalised.

A synthesis of dance, video, sound and installation, Still Point Turning explores perceptions of time, stillness and turbulence. Initially inspired by TS Eliot’s poem Burnt Norton, Linda Luke’s solo reflects upon the fragmented nature of contemporary culture, alluding to Eurocentric history and our obsession with ‘clock’ time. Alongside the steady beat of temporal time is the nature of cosmic time - the cycle of living and dying and that deep, yet elusive, silence that resides in every one of us.

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Tess de Quincey and Martin del Amo (Honorary Associates), Impro-Exchange performance at Performance Space in May 2010.
photographer: Heidrun Löhr
It’s a bit quiet here in the Performance Studies department with two of our Honorary Associates off performing in London this month.

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We are thrilled to offer our Congratulations to Angus Cerini, who has just won the 2014 Griffin Theatre Playwriting Award for The Bleeding Tree. See: Griffin Theatre Co.

That makes it two years running that we've been able to support the winning play through further script development in the Dramaturgy course taught by Dr Laura Ginters (last year was Donna Abela's Jump for Jordan that went on to a hugely successful season).


Nigel Kellaway and Katia Molino in BREIF SYNOPSIS
Photo taken by: Heidrun Lohr
The 2014 Major Project is the creative development for GLORIAS by The opera Project Inc. This is not the first time The opera Project has been our major project, and we are thrilled to be able to invite our students into the rehearsal room to see how this fine group of artists will develop a new work.

Over the next couple weeks I will post some iformation about each of the artists involved, but for now here is a little bit about the work and the presenting company.

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In the AV Room… 10 – 29 June is Director Dan Graham, a recent graduate from the Department of Performance Studies.
The Sydney premiere of Orphans is the first play to be announced in The Second Half, The Old 505’s first programmed season. This show premiers July 5 – 20, 2014

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In the AV Room… 10 – 29 June is Director Dan Graham, a recent graduate from the Department of Performance Studies.
The Sydney premiere of Orphans is the first play to be announced in The Second Half, The Old 505’s first programmed season. This show premiers July 5 – 20, 2014

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Image credits: Barbara Campbell, close, close (detail), 2014, responsive video installation, 5 mins. Photo: Gary Warner

A PROJECT BY BARBARA CAMPBELL, Honorary Associate of the Department of Performance Studies

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Playwriting Australia are looking forward to this week-long residency in the Rex Cramphorn Studio. Casey, Troy and Abe will be working in the space with acclaimed theatre director David Williams, dramaturg Sopa Enari and a cast of actors on the second stage development of the project, before going into rehearsals for the National Play Festival.

Don't miss their public performance at Carriageworks on Thursday 12 June, 3pm.

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image taken by Chris Hertzfeld

Dancers Lisa Griffiths and Tobiah Booth- Remmers are artists-in-residence in the Rex Cramphorn Studio from 6-18th May.

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Image Credit: Lucy Parakhina, Tukre' (Pieces in Hindi)

Current artist-in-resident Raghav Handa would like to invite you to a work in progress of his new piece Tukre’ .
Please come
4pm at the Rex Cramphorn Studio
Department of Performance Studies
Woolley Building, Manning Road
University of Sydney

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WORKSHOP – open to everyone to participate in, or to observe
10-11.30 am Tuesday 15th @ The Rex

Led by Raghav Handa, the workshop will explore the qualities, dynamics and creative process of Raghav's latest solo work, Tukre’ for the 2014 Next Wave Festival. He will introduce participants to his choreographic approach, which draws on Kathak and contemporary dance, while integrating speed and rhythm combinations of 1,2,3,4-1,2,3-1,2-1,2

Participants will be expected to have a creative input and examine with Raghav various methods of improvisation leading to the development of their own material and movement ideas/structures. A warm up class, will be followed by a repertory-based workshop allowing participants to fully experience the dynamic and detailed movement vocabulary, using sequences and movement material from his latest work.


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Image Credit: Lucy Parakhina, Tukre' (Pieces in Hindi)

In Tukre’ (Pieces in Hindi) Raghav Handa explores how cultural lineage and rites of passage transcend borders and oceans. Inspired by the contents of Handa’s own luggage when he arrived in Australian from India to attend boarding school, this dance work explores the shifting connections between our past, present and future and the importance of family – even when they are thousands of kilometres away.

To be performed at Dancehouse from Thursday 1 – Sunday 11 May 2014

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Little Spoon Theatre Co would love you to see their latest show.

Student Special: Any night at $20 (except preview and Cheap Tues as they are $20 already).
Code is LSSS2014 -
You MUST select Concession ticket for the discount to work.

Booking Link:

26th March - 12th April
TAP Gallery Theatre
Produced by Little Spoon Theatre Co.
Upstairs Theatre, TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer Street Darlinghurst

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Sport for Jove are currently preparing for their largest indoor season at the Seymour Centre, including the staging of the mistakenly oft maligned rarely performed Shakespeare classic All's Well That Ends Well. The director Damien Ryan is putting together a fantastic show, and they'd like to get as many people out to the previews as possible, and as such are offering free comp tickets. The offer is good for any of the March 27th, 28th, or 29th (morning or afternoon) performances. (I know this is last minute).

Anyone interested in taking up the offer can write to Steven directly (they can bring up to one guest), and he will add them to the comp list. First in best dressed as they say, but they'll try to fit in as many people as possible.


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Image credits: Taken by: Heidrun Lohr.
Narelle Benjamin from IOU solo performance of NoBody.

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cast of Pete the Sheep: Big Bob, Shaun, Bungo & Ratso (the boss) catching up on some reading
photo by

We are excited to have Monkey Baa back in the Rex Cramphorn Studio. Monkey Baa has a unique artistic niche – they adapt the very best of Australian children’s literature for the stage.
Pete the Sheep is a brand-new 50-minute musical, based on Jackie French and Bruce Whatley’s quirky and quintessentially Australian picture book.

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Photo taken by David Williams
Our next artist-in-residence is David Williams, Honourary Associate of dPS. While in the Rex Cramphorn Studio David will develop 'Smurf in Wonderland', a performance about football, tribalism, belonging, rivalry, geographic identity, politics and damned good branding.

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Photo taken by Talya Rubin, from a series for a stop motion animation she made for this work 'The Bluebird Mechanicals'.

It’s 1937 and the end of the world as we know it is nigh, only we don’t know it yet. Hitler is creating flying devices for the bloated and the rich. An artist and his muse are fishing in the moonlight. The artist is already dead, shot himself in the head he felt like such a failure, lived in a time where he was misunderstood. Tap dancers dance so happy their feet hurt. Come have a drink with us on the floating titanic in the sky. Strap yourselves in for the ride of your life, 36 people won’t get out of here alive. The birds up above are watching it all and they know more than you think. Outside this world of curiosities sits a Russian woman. She is having her portrait taken and telling the story of a lifetime. The world is coming unraveled. Sing a song, dance along!

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Image credits: Barbara Campbell, close, close (detail), 2014, responsive video installation, 5 mins. Photo: Gary Warner

Barbara Campbell has performed in Australia, Europe and the USA, in museums, galleries, public buildings, photographs, on film, video, radio, and the internet, in silence and with words, still and moving, since 1982. She has worked with the specific physical and contextual properties of a given site, be it art gallery, museum, atrium, tower, radio airwaves or on the World Wide Web, in developing and presenting her works. In 2004 she received an Australia Council fellowship to produce her durational online performance 1001 nights cast. She holds a Master of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. Barbara is also an Honourary Associate of the Department of Performance Studies.

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"Beautiful One Day"
Developed and produced by Illijerri Theatre Company (Melbourne), Belvoir St Theatre (Sydney), Version 1.0 (Sydney), and the Palm Island Community. Collaborators, which include our own Dr Paul Dwyer, are rehearsing at the Department of Performance Studies this week prior to the Melbourne season. Production runs from 26th Nov - Dec 1 at Arts House (Melbourne).

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Image credit: Katia Molino, Brief Synopsis (2013) Photo by: Heidrun Lohr.

The Opera Project are the artists-in-residence, in the AV Room 18-22 November. They are re-rehearsing Brief Synopsis as part of YOU”RE HISTORY, the 30th birthday celebration of Performance Space.

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Image credit: Tess de Quincey; photographer Lucy Parakhina.

The De Quincey Company are the Rex Cramphorn Studio’s artists-in-residence 11-17 November 2013. They are developing a new work ‘Box of Birds’. Box of Birds will be a live performance installation for YOU’RE HISTORY! Performance Space’s 30th birthday party. Tess de Quincey is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Performance Studies.

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image credit: Peter Fraser
The Department of Performance Studies in collaboration with the De Quincey Co hosted a masterclass and symposium image dance think TANK from 4-9 November 2013.

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Image: Rosie Findlay, recipent of the Dean's Citation for Excellence in Tutorials.

The Arts Faculty recently released their Excellence in Teaching Awards for 2013. We are very proud to announce that both Rosie Findlay and Dr Daniel Johnson were recipients of these awards.

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Version 1.0 are regular artists-in-residence at the Rex Cramphorn Studio.

The Vehicle Failed to Stop is showing at Carriageworks, Sydney from 15-26 October. Tickets for the preview nights on 15 and 16 October are selling for $20. All other nights - $35.

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15 October 2013
Some of you might find this talk by Michael Finneran interesting.

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Ghenoa Gela in Cultivate 2013, image by Heidrun Lohr
Ghenoa Gela is the artist-in-residence at the Rex Cramphorn Studio. This residency is a partnership between the Department of Performance Studies and Performance Space.

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Photo Credit: Marian Abboud. Briwyant
Vicki Van Hout is artist-in-residence at the Rex Cramphorn Studio. This residency is a partnership between the Department of Performance Studies and Performance Space.

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Belvoir Theatre has kindly offered cheap $20 tickets to Performance Studies students to see Miss Julie, on Thursday 12 September or Wednesday 18th September, at 11:30am.

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Honorary Associate of the Department of Performance, and previous academic of the Department, Dr J. Lowell Lewis has recently published ‘The Anthropology of Cultural Performance’ through Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.

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Kate Leader, PhD graduate from the Department of Performance Studies accepts job as Lecturer at Birbeck College, University of London.

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Free Dance events at the Art Gallery of NSW, featuring Agatha Snape- Gothe an Honours graduate from the Department of Performance Studies.

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Photo: Heidrun Löhr
Martin del Amo is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Performance Studies. He is a Sydney based dance artist and movement trainer originally from Germany. As a performer, del Amo is widely recognised as a soloist but he has also collaborated with a number of artists of various genres and styles both in Europe and Australia.

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Chatswood Musical Society is an amateur musical society that has been running for more than 50 years. They are a not-for-profit society. They would like to invite expressions of interest from anyone who would like to participate – the sorts of roles they are looking to fill include, but are not limited to technical crew, costumes, make-up, marketing, advertising, accounts or set building.

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Photo: Shari Sebbens Taken by: John Feely

ARTHUR and Griffin Independent present the Sydney premiere of RETURN TO EARTH, by Lally Katz. The cast will spend a little over a month rehearsing in the Rex Cramphorn Studio. For two weeks they will open the rehearsal doors to allow Performance Studies students to observe their processes as part of PRFM 3962 Rehearsal to Performance.

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The Hansard Monologues: A Matter of Public Importance is a verbatim play by Katie Pollock and Paul Daley. It is a co-production of the Seymour Centre, Merrigong Theatre Company, the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and the Department of Performance Studies at Sydney University. It stars Camilla Ah Kin, a recent Masters graduate from the Performance Studies Department, Sydney University.

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The Physical TV Company is filming pickups for its documentary The Dancer from the Dance on Friday August 9. The filming will take place in a photographic studio in Kensington. Over 15 NSW dance makers will be filmed. We are seeking a few steady, hard-working, capable and flexible screen artists willing to help out in various ways – camera assistants, unit assistants, data wranglers, scribes, etc.

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I want to draw your attention to this excellent way for you to access Griffin Theatre performances at an affordable rate. The Griffin artist card gives you access to $15 tickets to all their shows, discounted tickets at other companies, and puts you in touch with a network of other young theatre-makers. Whilst the form specifically asks for details of your artist-background, just talk about being one of our students.


PHOTO CREDIT: Mayu Kanamori

The De Quincey Company, artists-in-residence 25 June to 7 July 2013. Tess De Quincey is an Honorary Associate of the Department of Performance Studies.

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Image taken by: Heidrun Lohr


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Image caption:
Barbara Campbell, Broome study 8, 2012, charcoal and graphite on Canson paper, 76 x 112 cm . Photo: Heidrun Löhr

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Photo credit: Zan Wimberley

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photograph taken by Mayu Kanamori


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