Country Arts SA 25

Breaking the Fourth Wall

MOMENT 24 • 2016

The fourth wall is a theatrical convention in which an invisible, imagined wall separates actors from the audience and they behave on stage as if they can’t see us. ‘Breaking the fourth wall’ typically describes those moments during a performance when actors speak directly to the audience.

As the previous stories attest, we’ve been on a long journey redefining the nature of the relationships between the artwork we present and the people who engage with it.

State Theatre Company South Australia’s relationship with regional South Australia goes back decades – indeed architectural foresight saw our performing arts centres match the dimensions of Adelaide’s Dunstan Playhouse to expedite the export of theatre directly – but was rekindled for our inaugural Subscription Season in 1993 with Alan Ayckbourn’s farce Taking Steps.

Since then we can track the first productions to open young student minds with learning resources, post-show Q&As, workshops and work experience, and the expansion of the reach to smaller regional centres sparked by the Regional Centres of Culture. Fourteen theatres, big and small, will see the 2018 State Ed show, Terrestrial, a “mysterious love letter to the abandoned communities of regional South Australia”.

Programming work that springs from or resonates with a particular community, now a core feature of our work, took another leap forward in 2015 through our Regional Theatre Strategy partnership with State Theatre Company. Our first joint commission will be rehearsed and premiered in Port Pirie, where playwright and Greek Cypriot descendant Elena Carapetis has based her story, The Gods Of Strangers, honouring the struggle of her own immigrant family. Company and community will exchange stories – delving into the production’s backstory and rehearsal process, and sharing local migrant stories and food during the two-week company residency prior to the Adelaide season.

Written and researched by Jo Pike for Country Arts SA


Shoring up the Future

For the first time, we have consolidated our shared knowledge into a new Youth Theatre Framework, guided by the principle that young people across regional South Australia will lead the journey of their own arts explorations and aspirations and made manifest through the shared appointment of a new Creative Producer in 2017.

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