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Diversity, community shape La Boite's 2022 plans on and off stage


Australia’s oldest continually running theatre will move into 2022 putting their money where their mouth is, programming cutting-edge, politically-driven works onstage and running community programmes for young refugees and mental health support.

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La Boite Theatre’s past year has been shaped by their goal to become Australia’s most diverse theatre company.

In 2022, this goal is becoming more realised, with four main stage productions driven by the personal and the political, as well as theatre programs to support the marginalised and the mental health of arts workers.

Deviating slightly from last year, which saw the announcement of three acts throughout the year, La Boite have announced their four shows as Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, The Last Five Years, a contemporary reimagining of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and new work Tiddas.

La Boite Chief Executive and Executive Director Zohar Spatz said the 2022 Season presents powerful, cutting-edge and impactful theatre experiences while continuing to develop passionate artists and engaged audiences.

“It’s deeply important that Season 2022 sits in a place of optimism,” Spatz said.

The Last Five Years was written by Jason Robert Brown and directed by Darren Yap (Image: La Boite)

“For audiences, we welcome them back into our theatre to escape into a season that celebrates friendship, love, identity, power and hope.

“The theatre we are presenting in 2022 is sharp, entertaining and often deeply funny. A combination of new and existing works that reflect the world around us, as well as the diversity of people and contemporary stories that connect us.”

Beginning the year with the award-winning Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner, a darkly comic interrogation of cultural appropriation, misogyny, and Twitter written by English playwright Jasmine Lee-Jones and directed by Shari Sebbens.

The Last Five Years written by Jason Robert Brown, is a musical about a couple in their 20’s who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, directed by La Boite Artist Company member Darren Yap.

The season continues with An Ideal Husband, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s political drama set in Canberra in 1996 and is capped off with Tiddas.

“Tiddas puts the lives of five very real, very relatable women on-stage in a dynamic adaptation of acclaimed writer Anita Heiss’ incredible novel,” said director Nadine McDonald-Dowd.

“The season strikes a balance between offering highly theatrical work with mass appeal and the risky, politically pertinent story-telling that La Boite is known for nationally,” said La Boite’s outgoing Creative Producer Sanja Simić.

“La Boite’s 2022 season delivers four works that traverse everything from a razor-sharp two-hander by a prodigious international playwright, to a musical love-story in the hands of Darren Yap, to the luscious queer-ing of an Oscar Wilde, to the moving, hilarious and necessary plawrighting debut of one of Australia’s most prolific novelists.”

An Ideal Husband is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play of the same name (Image: La Boite)

La Boite are programming innovative, diverse, and political works on stage but also supporting their community offstage.

The theatre has launched a pilot initiative to support the mental wellbeing of arts and entertainment workers through workplace well-being app Mibo

The app is a response to a growing national mental health crisis among Arts and Entertainment industry workers. La Boite employees will co-design and participate in an eight-week program tailored to improve its workforce’s health and wellbeing.

As well as supporting their staff, La Boite has announced the Multicultural Young Artist Program to support refugees and migrants’ transition into the community.

“La Boite is committed to creating outstanding and transformative experiences for young people from diverse cultural and language backgrounds that empower them in an inclusive environment. Through MYAP La Boite will engage the next generation of refugee and migrant storytellers and leaders in Queensland,” said Spatz.

Created in partnership with Multicultural Australia and Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT), the program seeks to provide support and social adjustment for those newly arrived in Australia.

“Storytelling and creative expression can play a vital role in a person’s healing and recovery from refugee trauma, both validating their personal experience and facilitating increased understanding and empathy for refugee experiences in audiences,” said QPASTT Co-Chief Executive Jamila Padhee.

La Boite’s 2022 Season begins with Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner in February. 

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