ActNow Theatre announces the 2021 MakeSpace Residents

ActNow Theatre is delighted to announce that Juliana Nixon, Lachy Barnett, Yasemin Sabuncu and Samuel Lau will be the first MakeSpace Residents.

Yasmin Gurreeboo, ActNow Theatre’s Co-CEO and Artistic Director Says:

We chose these artists for their clear artistic vision, their willingness to challenge themselves and their dedication to creating work that provokes and inspires. They represent voices too often locked out of the mainstream in South Australia’s theatre scene, voices we all need to hear.

The MakeSpace Residencies offer emerging South Australian artists an extraordinary opportunity to develop new work. The four artists will be paired with mentors, provided free use of ActNow’s CBD venue, MakeSpace, along with a stipend and additional funds to support collaboration with artists of their own choosing and/or equipment and any additional production costs.

Rhen Soggee, Co-CEO and Executive Director of ActNow Says:

The focus of the Residency is on digital outcomes and ActNow’s Digital Innovator, Blake Taylor, will be working closely with the artists to produce work that expands our reach and feeds into an exciting new world of performance that straddles live and online platforms, a hybrid of the best of both worlds.

A new venture from ActNow Theatre, the MakeSpace Residencies are an extension of the company’s commitment to democratising storytelling. ActNow are committed to stripping back barriers to pathway building with dedicated spaces for their communities to develop, collaborate and create at the next level.

Meet the 2021 MakeSpace Residents

Juliana Nixon is an actor, theatre-maker, filmmaker, musician and 2013 graduate from the Flinders University Drama Centre acting program. As part of her Residency, she plans to explore themes of religion, culture, shame, and sexuality through the medium of Pochinko clown.

Nixon Says :

I hope to explore how complicated and multifaceted human sexuality is, and the lengths that people and cultures go to ignore, suppress, dismiss, shame and deny humans their right to a complex and layered sexual identity.

Lachy Barnett is a writer, puppeteer, actor and workshop teacher. Barnett will use his time at MakeSpace to develop a script and concept for a new multimedia work, titled Flora’s Fauna about a koala who lost her home and family in the 2019 -2020 Australian bushfires. Barnett envisions his protagonist as “biting and witty ‘Aussie Battler.’” Flora will serve as a personified embodiment and mouth piece of Australia’s natural ecosystem as the narrative unfolds through screened stop-motion animation, live hand-rod puppetry, and live audience interaction and contribution.

Yasemin Sabuncu is a multidisciplinary creative who works as a writer, director, actor, artist, photographer and comedian. Sabuncu’s work explores themes of belonging, identity, liminality, spirituality, the environment, race, health and being “the other.” At ActNow, she is interested in investigating her own sense of self, and how our identities are being complicated and reshaped through social media, algorithms, technology, dopamine hits and trends.

Sabuncu Says:

Most of my life I often felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere, not even in my own body at times due to my disability or neurodivergence, I want to do a video, performance piece that reflects my journey towards greater self-acceptance.

Drawing upon her Muslim, second-generation Australian, queer, disabled, and neuro divergent, identity and experiences Yasemin will explore the multifaceted nature of existence in the modern world.

Samuel Lau is an actor and musician. A second-generation Chinese-Australian man, he is passionate about having theatre and film in Australia that is inclusive and representative of its multicultural identity. Through this Residency, Lau will work closely with his collaborators to explore their cultural identity and questions of trying to find your place, people and home.

If I was asked to ‘define’ my nationality, I would undoubtedly say Australian. I would never say I am Chinese,” Lau explains, adding, “Yet, there is always the feeling that I am not ‘truly’ Australian, and will justify, jump and exhaust myself through mental gymnastics when I think about it too much.

This is the crux of his investigation at ActNow – how this constant questioning and cultural-clash manifests.

The MakeSpace Residencies were made possible with funding from Arts South Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts.

For more information click HERE

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