Arts centre stages big 2020

PIGGING OUT: Shake & Stir Co's Animal Farm comes to Geelong next August. Picture: Justine Walpole

Geelong Arts Centre (GAC) has announced its 2020 theatre season featuring eight new shows plus six special “out-of-the-box” additions.

The season was “a celebration of stories that need to be told by voices that need to be heard”, according to GAC’s chief executive officer Joel McGuiness.

“Storytelling is embedded in every fibre of what we do,” he said.

“Whether the stories are told through song, movement or words, they are there to challenge, entertain and inspire.

“Most importantly though, they allow our audiences to see the world through a new lens.”

The season begins on 25 March with David Williamson’s darkly comedic drama Family Values featuring screen stars Belinda Giblin and Andrew McFarlane, directed by Lee Lewis.

In June GAC hosts a 30th anniversary revival of Bran Nue Dae, Australia’s first Aboriginal stage musical, written by the late Jimmy Chi.

Another Indigenous production follows that month, with physical theatre company Legs On The Wall bringing original play Man With The Iron Neck to Geelong.

Written by Ursula Yovic, the play follows a small town Australian family finding hope and embracing life after trauma.

In August a Michael Futcher’s stage adaptation of Animal Farm brings George Orwell’s political commentary to life through a cast of dynamic Queensland actors.

Then, in September, Doorstep Arts and GAC will collaborate to present Australian musical Metro Street.

The Geelong-developed play will provide up to three roles for local actors with auditions beginning in early 2020.

The next show to hit Geelong in October is Rovers – a poetic work woven from true stories and wild schemes.

Actresses Roxanne McDonald and Barbara Lowing celebrate the grit and daring of Australian women trailblazers in this comedy-drama.

Winner of the 2018 Griffin Award, Suzie Millar’s one-woman show Prima Facie exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system.

Sheridan Harbridge plays the lead role in the play, which comes to Geelong in November.

Later that month Circus Oz enlists the help of Geelong Symphony Orchestra in season finale Tutti Circus.

The show fuses two dramatically different art forms, treading the tightrope between music and silence, circus and stillness, tension and release.

Geelong Arts Centre’s “out-of-the-box” additions begin February when five prominent storyteller-cooks share the secrets behind the important dishes of their lives.

Cooking legend Elizabeth Chong, media personality Benjamin Law, kim chi specialist Heather Jeong, actress Valerie Berry, and dancer Nirmal Jena join forces in the culinary theatre delight.

Independent theatre company A Slightly Isolated Dog tells a terrifyingly sexy and raucously funny version of Jekyll and Hyde, integrating popular culture and audience interaction.

Indigenous performer Jessie Lloyd takes audiences on a musical journey in the The Mission Songs Project in May, while XFactor winner and Eurovision finalist Isaiah Firebrace comes to Geelong in July

Michaela Burger’s A Migrant Son tells the true story of her Greek father’s Australian experience and Jude Peel’s cabaret-style I Have a Face explores mental health and adulting.

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