Tiny Universe: a view inside the beautiful worlds we imagine for ourselves

Comprising 60 years of impact in the Australian arts landscape, Shopfront Arts Co-op and Milk Crate Theatre are joining forces on a bold new intergenerational work, Tiny Universe, which will premiere at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists in Erskineville from May 20 – 29.

Co-directed by award winning team, Shopfront’s Creative Director, Natalie Rose, and Milk Crate Theatre’s Artistic Director, Margot Politis, Tiny Universe explores the delineation between inner and outer worlds – what we present to the world, and what is actually happening behind closed doors. It invites audiences to consider what we carry with us through life, and how that changes over time. What are the rituals we perform, the modicums of self-soothing that occur in our own little corners of our lives?

Who are we – and how do we cope – when no one is looking, especially if we feel there is something about ourselves that makes us different from others? Do we ever get used to the uncertainty that life throws at us?

Through conversations with “self”, Tiny Universe reveals how we reckon privately with social pressures, systems, and expectations, through the exploration of set, space, movement, lighting, and text.

The devised work reflects both companies’ commitments to championing the voices of artists from under-represented communities and backgrounds. Through this new partnership, Shopfront and Milk Crate Theatre will bring forward the stories and artistic expression of young people and people with lived experience of homelessness, mental health issues, and disability.

“The most wonderful thing about this work is the collaboration between the two companies, the artists and the creative team,” says Shopfront’s Creative Director Natalie Rose.

“The process has proven that regardless of lived experience, we are all the same. We share the universal – we all want to feel safe and be the best versions of ourselves whenever we can.”

Milk Crate Theatre’s Artistic Director Margot Politis describes her excitement at “bringing our dynamic theatre organisations together on this project,” explaining that the performers are all “exploring the very painful as well as the very funny experiences of life – and the reasons why sometimes it is easier to just hide away.

What we’re finding is that the issue of self-discovery is something that affects us at all stages of our lives – maybe when we are older we just get a little more used to the uncertainty.”

The production has been developed in collaboration with a team of cast and creatives, including Desmond Edwards, Harrison Bishop, Lana Filies, Lily Hayman, Lisa Griffiths, Matthias Nudl, Steve Konstantopoulos, and Nick Vagne, and will feature the work of revered composer, James Brown, lighting designer Liam O’Keefe, and support artists Lucy Watson.


More information and to purchase tickets: www.shopfront.org.au/tiny-universe

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of AussieTheatre.com. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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