[by Pip Miller]
Mark Sheppard. Image: Paul Furse from Frontrow Foto
JUTE Theatre Co's Creative Development for Dare to Dream 2020 Tour
One of JUTE Theatre’s much loved and most experienced actors Mark Sheppard will be joined by an esteemed cast of creative professionals in Cairns next week for the second of two, creative development workshops for new work, Synaesthesia Part II (working title).
Mr Sheppard’s play, Synaesthesia Part II forms part of JUTE Theatre Company’s Dare to Dream touring series for 2020 that follows in the ground-breaking footsteps of Proppa Solid, Bukal and this year’s The Longest Minute.
With support from Arts Queensland and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Dare to Dream is an initiative (launched in 2017) using theatre as a platform to boost cultural engagement and confidence in Queensland’s Far Northern regional and remote Indigenous communities.
An experienced clown whose credits include Circus Oz, Mr Sheppard will build on last year’s first creative development – an improvisational workshop in September 2018 – to progress the production with support of dramaturg and director Briar Grace Smith and Fiona Wirrer-George, performers Rita Pryce, Cleopatra Pryce and Warren Clements and designers Simone Tesorieri and Simona Cosentini, Kim Bowers, Merindi Schrieber.
The second creative development will take be undertaken over two weeks from Tuesday 7 May to Friday 17 May. The production’s premiere season will be presented at CoCA during CIAF 2020 before touring to 10 remote Far North Queensland communities commencing 31 July 2020.
Creative producer for JUTE Theatre Company Yvette Walker said she is delighted to work with Mr Sheppard and the creative team to progress what she says is a multi-artform play employing text, music, dance, circus and scientiﬁc theory to explore a world of sensory connections where the past is a cornerstone for the future.
“The narrative includes family recipes for chicken soup, memories of a Cairns childhood, the taste of the ﬁrst mango of the season, the cleansing of the Barron (Walsh) River and the ﬂourishing of the amazingly sweet Black Bream in a production that captures all ﬁve senses of audience members.
“Synesthesia Part II celebrates the richness of First Nations’ cultures, the legacy within Aboriginal families and the resilience of communities. It will enhance the sense of cultural identity and connectedness in Indigenous communities, while oﬀering non- Indigenous audiences’ access to Queensland First Nations stories,” Ms Walker said.
Synesthesia Part II emerges from Mark Sheppard’s pioneering performance work with young people in remote Indigenous communities. WAAPA-trained, Mark has worked with Yirra Yaakin, Kooemba Jdarra, JUTE Theatre Company and Circus Oz. His one-man show, Chasing the Lollyman, toured extensively around Australia and established Mark as a unique voice in the national landscape. Over several years of touring (with Chasing the Lollyman and Proppa Solid), Mark has developed a strong sense of creating work with and for young Indigenous people that inspires them to dare to dream.
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