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Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP, Image by Arunas

It’s hard to believe that it was over two weeks ago when Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and Dr Stanley Quek of Frasers Property launched our archival doc 1,386 days at FraserStudios. It was a fantastic night; about 250 guests and the perfect mix of artists, industry and stakeholders reflecting the collaboration that’s taken place over the last three-and-a-half years to make this project happen.

If you were unable to make the launch and would like a copy of the book, send through your mailing address to marketing@queenstreetstudio.com by close of business tomorrow (Wednesday 20 June) and we’ll send you a copy for free!

Since then, we’ve hosted a week of fantastic masterclasses and free classes, plus a very popular Platform 5 with Linda Luke from The Weather Exchange, a Tess de Quincey Co. initiative.

Last Thursday our program stepped up a gear for the final two weeks, with an informal artist talk and showing from performance trio POST, a highly interactive (and competitive!) game show format night from Tin Shed called the “Tin Shed Camping Tours” on Friday night, and a beautifully nostalgic and fitting tribute to the Studio 14 dance space from Martin del Amo and Julie-Anne Long (with cameos from Heidrun Lohr, Tess de Quincey, Rosie Dennis and our own James Winter and Sam Chester) on Saturday night.

Plus, the Cake Wine Bar opened with a resounding bang, with over 1000 people stopping by Thursday-Sunday to have a drink (from Cake’s very own wines from the Adelaide Hills and a careful selection of cider and beer) and enjoy performances from Mrs Bishop, Joyride, and Future Classic DJs, and jaffles from the super cute Jafe Jaffle Kombi van.

Coming up this week it’s a showing from stunning dancers Venettia Miller & Ryuichi Fujimura on Thursday, an evening of short works hosted by Matt Prest called “Cardio Church Gala Performance” on Friday night, and a very special WHIP IT evening of improvised performance on Saturday night.

All performances start at 7pm and tickets are available at the door. And if you haven’t seen the “Our House” exhibition of current Visual Arts Residents’ work or “100”, a photography exhibition by Arunas Klupsas, they’ll be open daily 2-6pm, during performances and while the Cake Wine Bar is in operation…

The Cake Wine Bar will be open Thursday-Friday 5-10pm, Saturday 3-10pm and Sunday 3-9pm and they’ve programmed some more amazing DJs and acoustic acts to keep the bar crowd entertained… check out their calendar below or visit their website for more info.

This is for a strictly limited time and FraserStudios will close its doors on Saturday 30 June with a final BBQ everyone’s invited to!

Click here to see the full 30 DAYS & 30 NIGHTS program.

 

This Friday 1 June, as part of the exclusive book launch for our archival document 1,386 days at FraserStudios, current Visual Arts Resident Yvette Hamilton has created a stunning light projection work entitled “Gone But Not Forgotten: A Mourning Survey”, visible from the outside of the building. Featuring current residents and staff, we’ve had a sneak peek at the work during its testing stages and we can’t wait to see it this Friday night!

The launch will also kick off 30 days & 30 nights; a month-long celebration of FraserStudios before we close the roller doors for good on Saturday 30 June. Click here for full program info.

Just a quick one to help spread the word about the mid-year intake of UWS’ Associate Degree in Creative Industries, which close next Friday 1 June. The promise is that if you bring the creative, they’ll give you the business… well worth looking into.

Click here to head to the website and find out more.

Strings Attached were our very first Performing Arts residents at FraserStudios. Rigging some very impressive scaffolding in the Studio 12 Exhibition & Gallery space back in 2009, they worked on a very early development of their show Return to the Trees, which debuted at Carriageworks last week. We’ve invited Strings Attached to perform at our exclusive book launch of 1,386 days at FraserStudios next Friday night and they’re also presenting a one-day masterclass as part of our 30 days & 30 nights program.

Here’s an unedited interview with LeeAnne Litton from Strings Attached, an excerpt of which appears in our book:

You were our very first Performing Arts Residents to occupy FraserStudios. Do you think you left a legacy for other performers?

Ha, ha! Not at all! Perhaps others got a bit inspired by the unusual use of the space and thought of possibilities that never occured to them before. We hope, but I think we never thought about it.

Tell us about your time at FraserStudios. What were you working on while you were here? 

We were researching ideas around a new set and movement vocabulary for a show about climate change. The residency  helped us to consolidate our ideas and dreams around the new show and especially about the possibility of creating a large structure that seemed very ambitious at the time. But the gained experience gave us the courage to apply for funding and now, after three years of a very steep learning curve, the ideas have become a show!

Strings Attached, photo by Arunas Photography

Tell us about the work.

The work is called A Return to the Trees and the show has had two development periods already. It premiered last week at Carriageworks.

What is your funniest memory from your residency?

Hard to remember any funny moments. I think we were mainly just excited and happy. The themes that we were exploring were too painful for laughter at that stage and the dangerous set made it really difficult to laugh at accidents, so we didn’t have many funny moments. But we had lots of tenderness!

Who else did you come across while you working here? 

The residency gave us the opportunity to invite a diverse group of performing artists to come and participate in a few Open Days.

Did you ever write anything on the infamous FraserStudios toilet walls? Anything you’d like to own up to?

No, not one thing. I did read a few, though, trying to find some creative inspiration!

Do you miss anything about FraserStudios?

Our time at FraserStudios was quite magic. It was our first “proper” residency too.

Nobody telling us what to do, no agenda, no pressure and most importantly: nobody harassing us with liability fears and mistrust! We were so excited with our project and also with working with a new group of collaborators with whom we built amazing friendship and working relationships that we still keep.

It was graduation time at that point and after that we were thrown into the real world!

Did you leave anything behind? 

Only a big bag of memories.!

Describe a typical day in the studio. 

Arrival!

Warm up!

Open Improvisation!

Discussion and documenting images/ideas and processes!

Exploration on movement skills/Ideas!

Lunch!

Structured Improvisation!

Discussion and documenting images/ideas and processes!

Exploration on movement skills/Ideas!

Favourite place to drink / eat / nap / meditate near (or in) FraserStudios? 

That is a tough one to say. It would be between the couches in the common space and sitting in the steel tube home (structure-set) that we built.

Does Sydney need another space like FraserStudios? 

Yes. FraserStudios is going to be missed immensely! The diverse range of artists this place brought together, I don’t know of any other venue that does this in Sydney.!

Why do artists need space? 

To have a hub that has a creative buzz for inspiration and networking. To also be able continue to work on the art!

Is it difficult as an aerial artist to find suitable spaces to work in?

Yes. Aerial spaces are scarce in Sydney and those that exist are not financially viable for individuals or small non-for profit companies. The big rehearsal spaces can also be very very strict on liability issues and their overly-tight “safety rules” don’t make our art-form safer, but simply unaffordable. A genuine concern for other people’s safety opens the doors to trust, care and responsibility. But when the concern is based on the fear of our own liability, the doors that are opened only lead to mistrust, blame and more danger. These are great obstacles for creativity. At FraserStudios people listened to us (especially Sam Chester) and worked from our side to help us to be safe, but for our own sake. We learned since then, that if you do it this way, liability is a simpler issue to deal with, simply because nobody gets hurt.

If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Our dream spaces would either be an old industrial warehouse with lots of character and close to the city where we could work for longer periods of time with little expenses, or a piece of bushland with a large shed on it where we could do the same but with a bit more of a residential feel to it (and again, lots of time!).

Imagine this was the FraserStudios Year 12 Yearbook (or maybe one of those terrible autograph bears). What would your message to the space be? 

FraserStudios you rocked our world!! I believe without the opportunity of the performing artist residency Strings Attached would be in a totally different place, you helped us launch our first funded creative project as professional performing artists!

Anything else you’d like to say? 

Here’s your chance. A big thankyou to all those behind the scenes of FrasersStudios! Without you guys and all the hard yards you guys have walked, the Sydney Arts community wouldn’t be the same.

Awww shucks LeeAnne…

If you’re interested in taking part in Strings Attached’s masterclass, taking place on Tuesday 5 June, click here for more info and registrations. We’ve also got workshops with Kaz Therese, The Fondue Set and Kate Gaul. Our Kate Champion masterclass has already reached capacity, so make sure you register now before you miss out on the others! 

 

Kate Gaul, director of Siren Theatre Company, ex QSS-Resident and TOOLKIT professional development facilitator, will hold a one-day Directing Masterclass as part of our 30 days & 30 nights professional development program in the first week of June.

1,386 days at FraserStudios

We spoke to Kate Gaul for our book 1,386 days at FraserStudios, which is launching next month, and thought you might like to see the full interview here:

What is your favourite memory from your time at FraserStudios? 

My favourite memory is of the workshops I have ran in the space.  The space has a real magic to it — the way it inflames our imaginations to create performance from scratch, under the pressure or time — each nook and cranny of the studios rich in story.

 Over the years you have taught a number of TOOLKIT professional development programs for Queen Street Studio. Why do performing artists need to constantly develop and learn new skills? 

… to sharpen and update our personal perspectives on work, how and why we work, what is it to work… Ongoing practice or training is vital to enriching our creativity.

How has FraserStudios been a part of your career over the last three years? What will you miss?

I have held workshops at FraserStudios over the last three years as well as rehearsed a play, held auditions, shot pictures, booked coachings and get-togethers — all creative and passionate events that have fed vitally into my work as a theatre director/producer.

What I’ll miss is knowing that there is a space that is welcoming and that when I step in there with the team we’ll achieve a great result.  There’s something about the space.

 What do artists in Sydney need most? 

Resources of space.  We can make time and money but it’s hard to find space.

Click here for more info about Kate’s masterclass and the others in the series, with fantastic artists Kaz Therese, Strings Attached, The Fondue Set and Kate Champion. Spots are super limited and it’s on the only part of 30 days & 30 nights you need to register for.

Writer Melita Rowston and Director Lucinda Gleeson were a part of Queen Street Studio’s Off the Shelf program in 2009, facilitated by Augusta Supple, developing the early stages of the play Crushed. Three years later, Chester Productions were successful in receiving a Performing Arts Residency at QSS to provide further development and rehearsal space for the play, which opens tonight at the New Theatre.

In this guest blog, actor Jeremy Waters, who plays Jason in Crushed, shares a spooky story about their time in the Studio 14 space… 

 “Actors can be a superstitious bunch. Curses, ghosts and rituals carry a lot of currency within the board-treading fraternity. We’re attuned to any ‘signs’ that shape our theatrical destinies. I think the ephemeral nature of theatre encourages this. It makes sense that strange parts of our universe can be stirred as we go about the business of telling stories.

While rehearsing Melita Rowston’s brilliant new play Crushed as part of a Queen Street Studio residency, Sean Barker, Lucy Miller and I were diligently working through some of the complexities of the play when something occurred that left us all open-mouthed…

There’s a strong balloon motif that runs through the play – literally and figuratively. So, there we were, three actors alone in the big Studio 14 space working on a scene that centres around this motif. We were actually doing work. Really. We were. I was offering a piece of blinding insight towards this crucial scene – really, I was, when I saw a flash of colour in the corner of my eye and Stone The Flamin’ Crows Elsa! a cheeky clutch of helium balloons hovered mid-air between Sean and me. They must have been clinging to the high ceiling then deflated and floated down while we gabbed about the play.

After the requisite ‘Whooooahs’ and ‘What the…s,’ we agreed this was a sign from the theatrical powers that be, a quiet little nudge to let us know that we were not alone as we pushed off from land in the good ship Crushed

When our esteemed director Lucinda Gleeson returned from a production meeting, she was suitably impressed by the cool shit we had seen. Being of our ilk, she quickly recognised ‘The Happening’ for what it was. So, to ensure our director caught a whiff of its presence, our friendly spirit let one last balloon float down and nestle gently at her feet.

Call me crazy (it’s been done) but this was an intervention. We now know that the Crushed team are not alone as we embark on this significant theatrical journey.”

‘And you, a would be player too

Will give the angry ghosts their due

Who threw their voices far as doom

Greatly, in a little room.’

World premiere, presented by Chester Productions, in association with NEW THEATRE / The Spare Room 2012

CRUSHED
By Melita Rowston

In the summer of 1988, ‘Sunny Girl’ Susie turned sweet sixteen. Her boyfriend Jason gave her a Poison t-shirt, her best friend Kelly gave her a name-necklace, and Kelly’s boyfriend Dazza gave her a handful of pills.

That night Susie Greene disappeared and was never seen again.

Twenty-two years later, the blood splattered t-shirt of the missing schoolgirl is unearthed in the scrub and Jason, Kelly and Dazza are brought back together for the bleakest of high school reunions.  As the police uncover more evidence, Susie’s oldest friends are forced to confront their memories of a night they’d hoped to leave buried in their adolescence forever.

CRUSHED is a darkly humorous murder mystery/whodunit, a fast-paced, acerbic Gen X ride that drags the ‘lost child’ of Australian myth into the 21st century. This daring and imaginative play captures the spirit of the 80s with ironic hindsight and explores the sinister violence that lurks beneath the sun-bleached façade of Australia’s ‘she’ll be right’ culture.

Directed by Lucinda Gleeson
Produced by Jennifer Campbell for Chester Productions
Set and Costume Designer Eliza McLean
Lighting Designer Richard Whitehouse
Sound Designer Simon Choi
Dramaturg Erin Thomas
Performed by Sean Barker, Lucy Miller Jeremy Waters

SEASON:
16 May–9 June

PERFORMANCES:
Tuesday–Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm

TICKETS: 
$30
$25 concession, groups (10+)
$15 previews Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 May
$17 student rush
Cheap Tuesdays (‘Pay What You Can’ $10 min)

VENUE: 
New Theatre 542 King Street Newtown

TICKET GIVEAWAY!

If you’d like to score tix to Crushed tomorrow night at the New Theatre, email through to publicity@newtheatre.org.au with QUEEN ST STUDIO COMP as the subject line.

30 days & 30 nights

Last week we released the program for our 30 Days & 30 Nights celebrations taking place at FraserStudios in June 2012. It’s our last month in the building and we’re giving the public a final chance to come and enjoy the space, see our artists’ work, and have a drink with us in the amazing warehouse building we’ve called home since October 2008.

You can click HERE to head to our website for all the info, but here’s a run through (we’ve tried to keep it brief):

First up is the launch of our archival document 1,386 days at FraserStudios. We’re launching this, and the rest of the 30 Days & 30 Nights program, with a swanky ‘do on Friday 1 June. It’s invite only, but we have tried to invite all of our ex-residents, so if you’d really like to come and celebrate with us (and Clover Moore!) email julia@queenstreetstudio.com and we’ll see what we can do.

We’ve also collaborated with the super lovely  wine brand Cake Wines to have a pop-up bar in Studio 10 for the whole month of June. Open Thursday-Sunday, The Cake Pop-Up Bar be serving wine, beer and cider and announcing some special programming of their own over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

In Studio 10 our final Visual Arts Residents will present an exhibition called “Our House”; playing with notions of home, domesticity and family. With work ranging from installation, sculpture, painting, audio-visual work and community-based projects, this eclectic exhibition is not to be missed (and well worth a trip down to The Cake Pop-Up Bar which is sharing the same space).

In Studio 12, our archival photographer Arunas Klupsas will display one hundred of some 24,000 photos taken at FraserStudios over the three-and-a-half years. Arunas’ images capture the many and varied transformations of the space and the people who have inhabited it so we can’t wait to show some of his work off!

Strings Attached

And in Studio 14, co-founders & directors Sam Chester & James Winter have put together a program of masterclasses, free drop-in classes, final commissions and showings from some of our favourite Performing Arts Residents past and present…

From Monday 4 June — Friday 8 June, daily masterclasses will be held at an affordable rate of $65 a day with fantastic Sydney artists Kaz Therese, Strings Attached, The Fondue Set, Kate Gaul and Kate Champion. Spots are limited and this is the only part of 30 Days & 30 Nights  we need you to register for in advance. So if you’re a performance-maker, actor or dancer who wants to brush up on their skills, click here for more info or to register.

That same week we’re also offering some FREE drop-in classes from our FraserStudios regulars, not only for performers but for anyone who wants a final turn on the tarkett. There’s Bollywood, stage combat, Jamaican Dancehall & Reggae and Konga… all for free!

POST, Venettia Miller & Ryuichi Fujimura and Wrong Solo have each been given four days in Studio 14 to develop an old or new work, which will then be showed in the space on Thursdays at 7pm, also free. We’re excited to facilitate the creation of work one final time in our beautiful concrete-walled Studio 14.

And last, but certainly not least, Friday & Saturday nights at 7pm will feature Platform 5, curated by Linda Luke, Tin Shed Camping Tours, Double Trouble with Julie-Anne Long & Martin del Amo, The Cardio Church Gala Performance with Matt Prest & James Brown, WHIP IT with Nikki Heywood & Ryuichi Fujimura and The Modern Social, with Anton… a true celebration of all the amazing things that have happened in our space and a chance for you to get involved (sometimes even on the dancefloor!) for one last time.

Then we’ll wrap it all up with an old-school Backyard BBQ on Saturday 30 June at 2pm. Everyone’s invited!

Click HERE to view the full program (and times!) online. We can’t wait to see you in the month of June.

This coming Monday 30 April, QSS co-founder and co-director James Winter will be on a SAMAG panel which aims to facilitate practical discussion for arts entrepreneurs considering setting up their own arts organisation. Here’s the spiel:

Arts entrepreneurs at some stage will consider setting up an organisation – especially if they want to benefit from tax concessions, government grants and philanthropy.

What are the important first steps?

What are the key issues to make sure my start-up company survives?

Where can I go for help?

What are the lessons other organisations have learnt?

Join us for a practical discussion with our panel of arts entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. We will discuss the challenges and share some practical tips on how to make your start-up company a success.

On the panel:

Andrew Batt-Rawden is an emerging composer. He co-founded Chronology Arts in 2007 with composer Alex Pozniak, is on the Sydney Arts Management Advisory Group committee, and has worked with the Song Company and Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School in administration and management. In 2012 he was a NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the Year.

Prior to being appointed Artistic Director of Aurora New Music Inc in 2010, he had been a board member of the company since 2009. He is currently writing a book (Business Plan for the 21st Century Composer), a song cycle in collaboration with poet Chris Mansell and is studying for a Masters in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Catherine Keenan is the co-founder and executive director of the Sydney Story Factory, a not-for-profit creative writing centre for young people opening in Redfern in July 2012. She was formerly a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald, where she worked as literary editor and as an arts and features writer, and in 2007 co-edited The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. She has published hundreds of stories, book reviews and interviews for publications including The Times Literary Supplement. She holds a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University, and has tutored at the University of Western Australia and Oxford. She is an honorary associate at the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney.

James Winter is a co-founder and director of Queen Street Studio; a non-profit management team who provide Sydney’s independent Performing and Visual Arts communities with space to create, Queen Street Studio currently manages FraserStudios and Heffron Hall, Sydney.

Since graduating from the Centre for the Performing Arts (Adelaide) in 1993, James has been Artistic Director for Brand X Theatre, D Faces of Youth Arts and Ashfield Youth Theatre, along with Associate Director for Urban Myth Theatre of Youth. James has also worked in Cairo (Egypt) with African refugees on a six month Australia Council program “Out There Everywhere” to establish theatrical and community cultural development projects for artists in exile. James is an event coordinator for South Sydney Youth Service’s Mad Pride Youth Event and has created festivals for Centenary of Federation, Feast Gay and Lesbian Cultural Festival and the 2002 Sydney Gay Games Cultural Festival.

Lew Palaitis General Manager Sydney Fringe

RSVP & INFORMATION

Monday 30 April, 2012
6.00 ­– 8.00pm
Australia Council for the Arts
372 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

Please register by emailing Lizzy Galloway at info@samag.org.

FREE to 2012 SAMAG members — $10 for non-members / $5 for students

Please pay at the door — cash or cheque only.

Click here for to head to the website.

 

PACT centre for emerging artists’ Ensemble program has allowed many of Sydney artists to get their foot in the door, make some excellent connections and get on stage.

They have just extended their application deadline for the 2012 Ensemble to 30 April, with auditions taking place on 14 May.

Turning the ripe old age of 10 2012, this opportunity has allowed artists across all disciplines to work with professionals such as Sam Chester, Drew Fairly, Cat Jones, Julie Vulcan, Melissa Hunt and Emma Lockhart Wilson. Disciplinary areas cover movement training, creative development and sound design and composition.

Artists between 18– 30 years are encouraged to take part (it begins in July and ends in December), As part of the application you will be required to prepare a 2 minute audition performance.

To apply for the program, complete the registration form (click HERE to get your hands on one) and send the completed form to Julie Vulcan – associateddirector@pact.net.au with “Ensemble 2012” and your name in the subject.

Good luck!

Queen Street Studio is thrilled to announce an extension of our TOOLKIT professional development program called “Run Around” will be held on Monday evenings (6-8pm) during May.

This program provides actors, dancers and moving artists with the opportunity to enhance their inspiration and further develop their skills with the assistance of professional artists.

It’s also a fun, no strings attached way to get on the floor and get moving as the cold weather sets in! There’s no need to register or commit to the full program, just drop in you feel like having a ‘run around’.

”Run Around” will allow dancers, actors and movers to train with others and understand alternative opinions of improvisation, physical theatre, composition and Butoh,

The classes will start at 6pm and end at 8pm in Studio 14, FraserStudios and cost $15. The first ToolKit class begins on the 7th May with our very own QSS co-director Sam Chester kicking things off in the first week!

Program:

May 7th – Sam Chester (Queen Street Studio Director, choreographer, movement teacher and ex-dancer)

May 14th — Simone O’Brien (Legs on the Wall)

May 21st – Natalia Ladyko (Umbrella Theatre, ERTH)

May 28th – Surprise guest

Click here for more information.

 

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