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Theatre installation brings new perspective to the Phee

Photo of smiling woman in front of a house in the 1960s.

Monday 29 July 2019

Every nook and cranny of the Phee Broadway Theatre will become part of the scenery when theatre artist Samantha Bews installs the latest At Home residency project The Language My Mother Speaks.

The Phee’s stage, auditorium, loading dock, dressing rooms and corridors will become part of the theatre piece. The audience is invited to wander around the space, engaging with different stations of action which will include video and audio works. The audience will not only participate in the work, they will become part of the work itself.

The inspiration for ‘Language’ was the time Samantha spent with her mother as she lived with advanced dementia. Although a difficult time, it also challenged Samantha’s understanding of what it is to be a person. As such, the installation explores notions of consciousness and personhood within a multi-dimensional reality.

Samantha is collaborating with filmmaker Denise Martin and lighting designer Tim Preston for the project. Denise has an extraordinary eye for subtle beauty and Tim has many years of experience in designing for all kinds of theatre and dance.

Samantha assures audiences that walking around the installation is not like the embarrassing ‘audience participation’ of old.

“Everyone will be engaging with the work in the same way,” said Samantha.

“Think of it more like exploring a strange, new land. It is an adventure,” she said.

Language is the fifth At Home Residency supported by the Mount Alexander Shire Council in 2019 in which creatives have access to the theatre to create a new work.

Cultural Development Officer Vicki Anderson is excited to see how visitors will engage with the venue's spaces which are usually off-limits to the public.

"Samantha's project truly shows how our community assets can be reimagined and repurposed when you let creative minds play freely," said Vicki.

"The At Home program continues to surprise and delight us all,” she said.

Event details

What: The Language My Mother Speaks
When: 2-4pm, Saturday 3 August, and 2-4pm, Sunday 4 August
Enter at any time. It will take between 20 and 60 mins to walk through the installation.
Where: Phee Broadway Theatre, Mechanics Lane
Cost: $15
Bookings: http://bit.ly/MtAlexBoxOffice

Works to upgrade the Castlemaine Library will not impact theatre performances.

For more information about the At Home program visit www.pheebroadwaytheatre.com.au.

Image: Samantha’s Mum circa 1969.

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