BATS Theatre Pulls Back the Curtain on 2013 STAB Season
Chorus of children for Pandemic. Photo by Tabitha Arthur
BATS Theatre Pulls Back the Curtain to Reveal the 2013 STAB Season
On Monday evening 9th September 2013, the Chair of the BATS Theatre Board, Victoria Spackman, pulled back the curtain at BATS Out of Site to reveal to media and gathered members of the arts community details of the 2013 STAB season.
Behind the curtain installations offered a taste of the two commissioned shows, Pandemic and Broken River, which will open in November.
A small chorus of children in 1918 dress sang as a white-capped nurse tended to an ill patient, while a mysterious white-suited stranger sat at a piano beneath a dynamically lit irrigation sculpture.
The creator and director of Pandemic, Kerryn Palmer, spoke of the inspiration she found for the show in one of her grandfather’s old photos which shows nine young children (including her grandfather) only months after the death of both of their parents in the 1918 flu pandemic that swept New Zealand.
The experiential and immersive show will lead audiences through New Zealand’s largest and most forgotten natural disaster and pose the very real question of would happen if another Flu virus entered the country.
Are we ready?
Writer and director of Broken River, Ralph McCubbin Howell, introduced Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science/Ecology at Massey University Dr. Mike Joy, who has been influential in the research for Broken River.
Dr. Joy presented some hard-hitting facts about the state of New Zealand’s rivers and commended Trick of the Light Theatre for tackling one of the most pressing environmental issues in New Zealand today.
Broken River - Tane Upjohn Beatson. Photo by Tabitha Arthur.
Broken River fuses live performance with cutting edge kinetic sculpture to explore the different views on irrigation of farmland in New Zealand.
STAB is an annual commission of cutting edge performance works that aim to defy theatrical boundaries and confront audiences with unique experiences.
STAB began in 1995 and is now the biggest commission of its kind in the country - made possible due to generous funding from Creative New Zealand.
Previous participants that have gone on to success both here and abroad include the illustrious Flight of the Conchords boys, Jo Randerson, Taika Waititi, Duncan Sarkies and Hackman – whose 2008 interactive STAB production, Apollo 13, recently toured to America and last month announced significant financial investment from Walking with Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular creator Bruce Mactaggart.
Pandemic Director Kerryn Palmer. Photo by Tabitha Arthur.