Three collectives to present new work following flagship artist training program

Visual theatre virtuosos Dead Puppet Society have announced THE DPS LAB 2022, a showcase of three brand new visual theatre works from Brisbane’s next generation of contemporary performance makers to be presented at Brisbane Powerhouse on 2nd November 2022. Clocking in at just twenty minutes per new work, this high impact line up of bite-sized performances offers an exclusive first glimpse at the future of visual theatre in this city.

Exploring the human nature, magic and tragedy, and political disillusion – audiences can expect the experimental and unexpected from multidisciplinary artists including Grace Law, creative duo BLAT Productions, and independent theatre collective Yours Sincerely. Dead Puppet Society’s Associate Creative Director, Matt Seery, describes this years’ line-up with palpable excitement.

“The artists performing at THE DPS LAB 2022 are perhaps the most eclectic line-up in the LAB’s history. We have creatives joining us from all sorts of artistic backgrounds; their skillsets, onstage personalities, and the ideas that they are exploring are truly worlds apart! I think it’s going to make for a really exhilarating night; three wildly different performances direct from the rehearsal studio, presented back-to-back for one night only.”

Grace Law, a skilled contemporary circus and visual performance artist, has assembled a cross-disciplinary team of circus artists, poets and physical-theatre makers including Lauren Hale, Regan Ainslie and Claire Alcock, with support from director Celia White, to create a gravity defying theatre piece that throws into question the very idea of “being human”.

Combining the spectacle of circus with the softness of spoken word, “How to be Human” is an exploration of the tension between our head and our heart. Through playful puppetry and amazing aerials, the everyday is transformed into the absurd, and the absurd is transformed into the earnest. In turn joyful and sombre, this enchanting cross-genre collaboration is for anyone who feels overwhelmed trying to keep up with life.

THE DPS LAB 2022 sees the debut of BLAT Productions; the creative partnership of actor and playwright Egan Sun Bin and creative producer Victoria Barns. Drawing loose inspiration from Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, they have created an intimate and surprising new work that brings new meaning to the “magic” of live performance.

An intimate family story about how we find hope from the people we miss the most. On a cold winter’s night, a girl lives in a blanket castle. Alone with her grief, perhaps wishful thinking could bring her the thing she wants most? Relish in the wonders of a whimsical, imaginative world that enthrals audiences to find the light in the dark. “Ta Da!” combines elusive shadow puppetry with original musical compositions and movement to create a mystical experience for audiences young and old.

Celebrated local performance collective Yours Sincerely continue to straddle the line between contemporary theatre art and political revolution, bringing their latest work “Deep Breath In” the THE DPS LAB 2022. From the minds of writer/performer trio Madeleine Border, Luke Diamond and Honor Webster-Mannison, this provocative new work features alienating portrayals of the human body to interrogate individual agency within a decaying political landscape.

A politician, a donor and a swing voter walk into a bar… only one leaves alive. When a town’s air quality is so bad that a single deep breath can prove lethal, there’s a newfound urgency in the political process. “Deep Breath In” transforms our system into a dislocated and dysfunctional body. What’s the prognosis for this ailing political anatomy; is it terminal? Or is there a road to recovery?

Presented in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse with support from The Jelley Family Foundation and Arts Queensland, each new work has been created as part of DPS Academy. Now in its fifth year, DPS Academy is a highly sought after 14-week creative development program which invites a handful of local artists to develop innovative original works under the guidance of visual theatre experts Dead Puppet Society.

Seery continues; “THE DPS LAB is unlike any other night you’d have in a theatre. It’s the smashing of a champagne bottle against the hull of a ship, or the moment a space rocket launch countdown hits zero. THE DPS LAB is a night for theatre-makers and theatre-lovers to come together and witness ambitious new artists launch cool new things onto the stage for the very first time.”

With their first public appearances at THE DPS LAB 2022 fast approaching, the creators will continue crafting their short-form works up until the very last minute. Dead Puppet Society’s Head of Youth and Engagement, Helen Stephens, describes the energy of the rehearsal studio.

“There’s a real sense of anticipation in the room as public tickets go on sale today. We’ve been hard at work behind closed doors for the better part of four months, but now we’re quickly coming up to the most important moment in the early lives of these new theatre works. We’re especially proud of the 2022 lineup; there are names here that I think audiences should expect to see again and again in the future.”

Tickets are now on sale, visit the Dead Puppet Society website.

Media release supplied.

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