2009 – What an extraordinarily year full of excitement, achievement and nervousness!
The excitement of launching the company’s first full subscription program, the prospect of our first commissioning project having a series of rehearsed readings as part of Ten Days on the Island, a season in Launceston as part of the Theatre North subscription program and the World Premiere of a new Tasmanian play created in partnership with Griffin Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company!
I was overjoyed to be able to include I Am My Own Wife in the 2009 program. This play has been long been dear to me. Not many actors are suited to this acting marathon and our production reminded us all how lucky we are to have Robert Jarman living and working in Tasmania. A sell-out season in Launceston and a near sell-out in Hobart confirmed the popularity of this special piece of theatre.
When I first heard Steve Rogers’ play Savage River read at the 2008 National Play Festival in Brisbane, I knew I wanted to produce it for a Tasmanian audience. When the opportunity arose to partner with Griffin Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company for a production directed by Peter Evans, Associate Director at MTC, I jumped at it. The result was a fabulous three-way production of which we were all very proud. Unfortunately the terrible August weather in Hobart and, perhaps the title of the play, discouraged some patrons leading to less than hoped for audience numbers.
I then had the opportunity to direct my first play in Tasmania for over twenty years, The Messiah – a play which afforded the audience and everyone associated with the production a great deal of fun. It was a perfect way to launch the silly season and actors Guy Hooper, Iain Lang and Noreen Le Mottee truly shone.
2009 saw the first of what we intend to be an annual playreading series featuring new plays by Tasmanian playwrights. Ten plays were selected and read by a talent pool of Tasmanian actors throughout the year. This series offers playwrights a very valuable chance to hear their work read by professional actors and to hear open and frank discussion about their work afterwards.
The Aurora Energy Community Enrichment Program continued to flourish under Iain Lang’s guidance, again winning the Tasmanian Toyota Community AbaF Award in 2009. We were delighted to receive support for the program from the Tasmanian Community Fund, the myState Financial Foundation, the Hobart City Council and the Coca-Cola Foundation.
The year was not without disappointments. A chance that state government funding for the Company might be cut diverted a great deal of energy from the business of making theatre but it also demonstrated the depth of support in the Tasmanian community for its professional theatre company.
In addition to support from the Tasmanian Government we were delighted to form or continue partnerships with Aurora Energy, Cascade, The Old Woolstore, the Hobart Bookshop and Southern Cross Television.
We anticipate 2010 with excitement as we build on our achievements in 2009.
Thank you all for your support of the Tasmanian Theatre Company and see you at the theatre in 2010.