by Brittanie Shipway
7 - 17 September
Theatre Works: 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Another powerful world premiere takes the stage at Theatre Works this September with Brittanie Shipway's latest work, Senser. A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Shipway is a proud Gumbaynggirr and Turkish woman and the recent recipient of the prestigious 2022 Australia Council First Nations Dreaming Award. Currently a resident dramaturge for Theatre Works' First Nations Initiative and the Director of their First Stories Festival, her latest work asks; "Would you risk everything to hear a song one last time?"
Centring around main character Ava, Senser is set in a neoliberal world where everyone is watched by Guardians and music has been censored out of existence. Three generations into this new age people are content with the silence, but Ava hears music everywhere she goes. Determined to share the soundtrack of the past she opens an illicit underground cabaret bar, which is fraught with danger. Because in her world you wouldn't ever dream of being caught singing.
"The Western world is obsessed with social progression and technological advances, but we rarely stop to think of the repercussions of such progress", explains writer Brittanie Shipway.
"Our sense of morality shifts and expands over centuries, but when ideas and social constructs are being shattered in a ten second TikTok, are we moving too fast? What if we make a mistake? What if, in this rapid move forward, we lose something we love? Something we need? Senser isn't meant to be some futuristic prediction - I certainly hope it doesn't come true. But history does show that when society comes to times of new ethical divides, art is the first to go."
A defiant and devilish celebration of music, freedom, and the things that keep us human, Senser will feature original music by Jess Newman and an immersive design by Grace Deacon. Directed by fellow NIDA graduate Miranda Middleton, this compelling new work will transport Melbourne audiences into a dark and enchanting world of drag kings, cabaret queens, and outlawed dance halls.
Proudly supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation and Playking Foundation, Senser is a Theatre Works produced season and an exciting addition to their 2022 in-house season of shows. One of Australia's longest-running independent theatres, Theatre Works is constantly reinvigorating and reimagining the sector by providing a hotbed for artist and audience development. They strive to champion artists and work that embraces difference and celebrates risk, working to provide a platform for marginalised conversations and voices.
Written by Brittanie Shipway
Direction and dramaturgy by Miranda Middleton
Performed by Luisa Scrofani and Adam Noviello
Set and costume design by Grace Deacon
Lighting Design by Spencer Herd
Music Supervisor/Sound Design by David Youings
Compositions by Jess Newman
Stage Management by Andrew Hughes
Image by Underground Media
7 - 17 September
Opening Night: Thursday 8 September, 7:30pm
Tues - Sat 7:30pm
Tickets: $40 Full, $32 Concession, $25 Preview and Student, $20 20 at 20 (+ booking fee)
Bookings: (03) 9534 3388 or online at www.theatreworks.org.au/program/senser
Venue: Theatre Works – 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Duration: 60 minutes no interval
Suitable for audiences 15+
Warnings: use of haze and some dark subject matters