Exploring the theme of “different worlds” through immersive theatre, a new independent Brisbane company has launched two original shows for its 2021 season on Facebook Live – complete with rocket launch countdown videos posted in the days leading up to the virtual event held Thursday night.
The Observatory Theatre creative team described their company as “a place to look to the skies, to dwell on the future, to behold new worlds, people and things.”
“’Outside the box’ vision is an important part of our philosophy, and we really want to create exciting experiences that audiences will find unique,” Driscoll explained.
“As a collective of upcoming artists from Brisbane, we aim to devise inventive works that bend the boundaries of traditional theatre, that will immerse and connect audiences to the performance, that will transport them to the world on stage,” reads the company’s website.
Founder and Artistic Director of Observatory Theatre, Lachlan Driscoll, says he met choreographer Kara Fisher at a dance course in 2015, “and here we are six years later!”
Driscoll and Fisher created the first show of the season, ‘Utopia! And the Caravan Calamity,’ which will play at the Anywhere Festival from May 6-23, with tickets on sale in April. Directed by Driscoll and Rory Cooper, and choreographed by Fisher, it’s a short piece with no dialogue, made up of “tap dance, gypsy jazz music, slapstick comedy and vibrant scenery” with design by The Black Box Collective.
The company describes it as the story of a “ragtag group of odd bods, a caravan and a mission of reaching utopia.”
“We’re telling the story with physical movement – tap dance, comedy, clowning, and other physical movement aspects,” Fisher told the Facebook Live audience Thursday night.
‘Utopia!’ features Fisher and Driscoll, plus Sabrina Jobst, Kristin Sparks, Taine Harding, Georgina Sawyer and Tammy Wells.
Written and directed by Driscoll with dramaturgy by Alex Macdonald, Observatory’s second show is called ‘Portraits.’ The “deep dive into the family psyche” is scheduled to tour the South East Queensland festival circuit, followed by three performances at Brisbane’s Old Museum October 1-2.
The play centres around the final days of a dying man who has invited his estranged children to say goodbye and “confront their pasts.”
“When performed in The Old Museum, the play will feature 360-degree sound to pull audiences into the living room of the family mansion,” Driscoll explains. “We’ve designed these productions to be living, breathing worlds.”
‘Portraits’ features actors Rebecca Day, Emile Regano and James Hogan.
Rounding out the company’s creative team are co-directors Cooper, Rachel Hall and Molly Williams, who all trained at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
Any Brisbane creatives interested in getting involved with future Observatory Theatre productions can visit the group’s website or email resumes to email@example.com.
To learn more about Observatory Theatre, visit their website.