Season Preview: Your guide to the arts in 2021

Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre has announced its first shows for 2021. Like many Australian companies navigating the ongoing pandemic, La Boite is announcing its season in stages – this is the first of three acts. “It was heartbreaking for our artists, audience and staff when COVID-19 forced us to close the doors to the Roundhouse Theatre and cancel the remainder of our 2020 mainstage season,” Executive Director Zohar Spatz said. “As we began to recover and plot our way forward, we realised what a remarkable opportunity we had to completely revitalise how we program and present work and connect with our community.”

“By staggering our season announcement over three distinctive Acts, we can build flexibility into our programming to keep it current and vital while also tipping our hat to a great tradition of theatre,” she said.

Naked & Screaming. Photo © Dylan Evans

Mark Rogers’ Naked & Screaming opens the season in February. Rogers, who took out the Patrick White Playwright’s Award in 2018 and the Griffin Award in 2019 for his play Superheroes, brings us a two-hander about two new parents.

Naked & Screaming is a searing look at contemporary relationships and the complexities of new parenthood,” said La Boite Creative Producer Sanja Simic, who directs. “The duel perspectives in this new Australian work examine communication, trust and the patriarchal structures that govern domestic relationships, deftly handled by two exceptional Queensland actors, Emily Burton and Jackson McGovern.”

Steven OliverSteven Oliver’s Bigger & Blacker. Photo © Dylan Evans

Following the success of From Darkness in 2019, Steven Oliver returns to the Roundhouse Theatre stage with a new semi-autobiographical comedy cabaret Bigger & Blacker in March, joined by Helpmann Award-winning performer Michael Griffiths, who makes his La Boite debut. “Bigger & Blacker hits that sweet spot between comedy and contemplation and touches on modern love, modern families and the overwhelming urge to escape the modern trappings of fame,” Oliver said.

La Boite’s artist development initiative HWY will become a year-round program of events in 2021, with Act 1 including three visual arts exhibitions curated by Blaklash, artist Q&As held in conjunction with its theatre productions, play readings and the film premiere of The Welcome, created with Brisbane production company Kiosk.

“While we’re doing things a little differently in 2021, one thing remains unchanged: La Boite’s absolute commitment to becoming Australia’s most diverse theatre company,” Spatz said. “We are fiercely proud of our local roots and the crucial role we play nationally as an incubator and producer of new work and a champion of diversity across voices, stories, forms and experiences.”

“Our mission remains the creation of powerful connections between artists and audiences through stories that entertain, move, empower, surprise and transfix,” she said.

Acts 2 and 3 of the La Boite season will be announced in 2021.

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