City of Newcastle invites local creatives to take centre stage at The Playhouse

28 Aug 2023

Newcastle's creative and performing arts community are being invited to express their interest in presenting new and reimagined works in Civic Theatre's intimate Playhouse Theatre in 2024.

Up to four shows will be selected as part of UpStage at The Playhouse, a new local program that will see each show offered a two-week placement in the atmospheric 195-seat Playhouse, which is co-located in the same building at the iconic Civic Theatre.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle is committed to providing a platform for local creatives while also boosting what's on offer to the local community.

“City of Newcastle and Civic Theatre are investing in local theatre productions, providing creatives with the space and offering marketing and technical support to help give local productions a leg up," Cr Nelmes said.

“The Playhouse is ideal for presenting smaller local community productions, which complement the commercial and professional Broadway shows hosted in the larger Civic Theatre."

Chair of City of Newcastle’s Community and Culture Advisory Committee, Councillor Carol Duncan said Newcastle is attracting a new wave of creatives.

"The timing is right for a local program like Upstage at The Playhouse with talent emerging in the region in need of a launching pad," Cr Duncan said.

"We look forward to seeing what comes through from the expressions of interest to form the 2024 program."

Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said the program, which will take to the stage in March 2024, is all about local shows for local audiences.

"UpStage at The Playhouse will showcase the ability, creativity and diversity of local talent right here in Newcastle,” Ms Wallace said

“We piloted the program last year and local theatre production company Tantrum Youth Arts was successful with their production Good Mourning, which will be presented as part of City of Newcastle’s New Annual festival next month."

Tantrum Creative Director Penelope Kentish said Upstage at The Playhouse gives local theatre companies the opportunity to be part of something bigger.

"We are excited to deliver Good Mourning as part of Upstage at The Playhouse and the opportunity for early career artists to work alongside industry professionals, on such an important platform," Ms Kentish said.

"To have the support and investment from Civic Theatre in new Australian work is paramount for the early career artists we work with, to build and sustain their careers in Newcastle and have local audiences share in their stories.

"Good Mourning is a new theatre production that explores the complexities of loss and grief from the honest perspective of an eight-year-old, who reminds us that while death is scary, life is a celebration.

"We look forward to presenting Good Mourning at The Playhouse from 22 to 23 September, as part of New Annual, in partnership with Civic Theatre."

Expressions of interest are now open and close on Friday 15 September 2023. To register your interest, visit Civic Theatre's website.