Don’t presume someone else will read this

Sometimes, what we presume is not always the truth.

Sometimes, what we presume is not always the truth.

For example, last week I handed over this column to NSW Shadow Events Minister, George Souris, who put his opinions across on the Sydney v Melbourne battle for theatre premieres and very much put the blame on the State Government of NSW as to why the southern state was winning that battle.

Some people on our forums and via email suggested such a move was proof of my political leanings. It’s an easy excuse to throw up but the truth is that Mr Souris contacted us, and asked if he could put across his views. We accepted and at no stage has his ministerial counterpart offered the same opportunity, nor has anyone else in the NSW State Government.

The funny thing is, that regardless of political leanings, Mr Souris was exactly right. It’s as obvious as the nose on your face that Government support in Victoria is one of the big reasons shows premiere there, so if this whole debate is actually a big issue, then yes, what Governments do and what support they show has become a crucial part of it all.

We presume things at every turn. We, as humans, tend to be reactive and our reactions can sometimes be our downfall.

One presumption many make is that there’s very few new people creating theatre. I had a long conversation with someone recently about the lack of interest when it came to theatre producers in Sydney. He cited the departure of Wayne Tunks from the theatre producing scene (albeit temporarily) as proof of his argument. He said, quite simply, that our “want is now” society meant people were not interested in producing theatre anymore because the light at the end of the tunnel was so far away.

The truth is, however, that there is a strong new breed of theatre producers coming through the ranks, producers who are presenting good quality shows for little return – other than respect. In Sydney, a few shows from these new theatre companies are about to premiere and they are deserving of our support.

We cannot presume it will be bums other than our own that will fill the seats of the respective theatres these shows are playing at.

From March 25, a new Sydney company called James Anthony Productions will bring the song cycle Edges to the Parade Theatre at NIDA.

James Anthony Productions is the brain-child of Sydney-based young theatre professionals Stephen Doorey, George Youakim and Alex Mair. The trio recently joined forces to develop and produce new and progressive theatrical work throughout Australia. These guys aren’t just producing any old show – Edges is not well known and has rarely been performed in Australia, so kudos to those involved for the risk they are taking.

They deserve our support.

Then there’s Edison Kane Productions, which is a new company presenting Italian American Reconciliation at the Newtown Theatre from April 20. Again, despite being written by the acclaimed John Patrick Shanley, the play is not well known but this young company is willing to put it on the stage and again, our bums should be on the Newtown Theatre’s seats.

Meanwhile, A group of hot young actors are set to launch their new theatre company with the Australian premiere of a dark and sexy play about twenty-something men behaving badly.

The Things Good Men Do, by award-winning young British playwright Dan Muirden, premieres at Sydney’s Tap Gallery this April with an appropriately fresh, young cast and production team.

The play and the locally trained team behind it (new production company Come Again Jnr) offers a unique interpretation of relationships and the moral dilemmas that every person faces.

The fact that these three theatre companies, all with generally limited experience and probably bank accounts as well, are willing to put so much on the line for the art of theatre deserves front pages, metropolitan radio coverage and so much more. Of course, none of that will happen, but we can all open our wallets and show some support.

It’s time we committed to getting out and supporting young Australian producers. They all deserve it, and if we want to keep them, we need to play our part.

Never presume somebody else is going to do what you should do.

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