Posted by Meredith Benke Bell
Since our artist team last checked in, so much has happened. Life at TK has been a whirlwind of Broome performances - rehearsals, costume making, working with fantastic volunteers, and of course, bumping in and bumping out two exciting shows.
We have just said goodbye to the Pitts Family Circus after six weeks of learning, training and performing. It was great to have their creative spark to guide the development of our major circus production, ‘A Sandfly in My Soup.’ From a loose brief that our local trainers and kids conceived, Gareth and Bronte created a restaurant wonderland to satisfy the appetites of all the senses. Scenes were introduced in rhyme, with a nod to a Dr. Suess-style of story telling. I hope you had the opportunity to join us last weekend for one of two wildly colourful nights on stage.
For us, the residency wasn’t just about instant performance results. It was about building the skills capacity locally to help make these kinds of projects happen. Behind the scenes, we had two mentorships occurring. Bella Kenworthy joined Chris Hill to create the amazing sets and props you saw. Oversized cutlery and a mind-bending ring mat were just a couple of their impressive creations. Bella has extensive film and television experience and manual arts teaching qualifications, but was keen to hone her skills for live performance.
For a second year in a row, Sandfly graduate Rachel Sawyer was able to work on a rigging mentorship for the production. This year, Rachel worked under Perth-based rigger and aerialist, Nel Simpson. Nel has worked for Theatre Kimberley on many projects since 2006, so it was great to have her back. We were delighted to be able to offer Rachel relevant industry experience in a supported environment. Thanks to Nel and Rachel and all the stage hands, the show moved seamlessly, while up to 12 people per scene managed rigging and mat changes for acts like the silks and the trapeze.
Production of ‘A Sandfly in My Soup’ would not have been possible without the support of our many sponsors and supporters. Theatre Kimberley and the Act-Belong-Commit Sandfly Circus would like to thank the following who helped bring the Pitts residency and the resulting production to life:
The WA Government Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries; The Australian Government via the Regional Arts Fund; Healthways Act-Belong-Commit Campaign; Country Arts WA; and The Tate Family Foundation.
Many thanks to our business and community supporters:
Kennards Hire, Roadline Civil, Centurion Transport, KD Harburn Gardening, Feral Films, Broome Day Care Centre, The Shire of Broome & the staff at the Broome Recreation & Aquatic Centre.
Our many talented and committed staff, board, circus family members and friends are the bedrock upon which we build great things. For the many hours of their time and their constant dedication, we thank them all!