News

PYT in partnership with PACT Centre for Emerging Artist and The Q at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.

HIGH/WAY 234: residency is designed to strengthen creative communities across Greater Western Sydney as well as build capacity for next generation artists.

HIGH/WAY 234: residents announced!

PYT Fairfield, PACT and the Q at The Joan are very pleased to announce the two artists who have been selected for the 2017 residency program:

Black Birds (Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule) and Rebekah H. Robertson.

 

Two artists or groups of artists will be invited to complete a month long residency co-hosted by PACT, PYT | Fairfield and The Q at The Joan. Projects must be able to demonstrate a connection to Western Sydney.

Residents will work out of The Joan, Penrith for their first week, PYT | Fairfield for their second & third weeks and PACT, Erskineville for their fourth and final week. Each stage of the residency will be supported by mentorship from the companies’ Artistic Directors: Katrina Douglas, Karen Therese and Nick Atkins and each project will be given $3000 cash for the purpose of artist frees and project costs.

Selected artists will be asked to present a work in progress showing at PACT.

Applications Now Closed

Residency Dates: July 30 – August 27 2017

Everybody’s body is unique. Everybody’s body is poetic. We all have the capacity to move to a personal song that is within us.

Thanks to Powerhouse Youth Theatre and Woodville Alliance, I’ve had the pleasure of working with collaborators Martin Fox (film), Michael Toisuta (sound) and six emerging performers investigating film-making, movement and dance.  My work over the last 20 years has centered around dance, performance making, mentoring and teaching. I work with professional and emerging dancers and actors, and with people from all kinds of communities who aren’t necessarily in the performing arts.

The performers from Woodville are a group of folk living with learning difficulties.  I find language difficult when writing about ‘difference’. All people are different from each other and each of these people from Woodville are as different from each other as much as anyone else. And of course, we all share so much that is the same: passion, curiosity, humor, aspiration, and fulfillment.

With the Woodville group last year, we made a project called Being Moved. This project was a series of workshops exploring ideas around dance and photography and we collaborated with renowned performance photographer Heidrun Lohr. The result was an exquisite A4 landscape book filled with photographs capturing moments from the process.

Being Moved was an awesome ‘get to know each other project’ and in 2016 we have come to work together again and make this dance film entitled Dance Diaries: Woodville. Throughout November and December we have been meeting regularly in the PYT studio developing dance material and shooting the film as we go along.

We wanted to make a dance film responding to notions of home and what home might mean to us. The performers aren’t too keen to speak. It just isn’t their primary mode of communication. So we made colored houses as props, bought squares of fake grass, put it all in the studio and we went from there. That all said, one day I asked Joanne what was her favorite thing in her house. She peered into my eyes for the longest time, sifting through her thoughts and then declared ‘bathtub’. Bathtub! I’d never have guessed…

The most important things I value in a process are not the ‘dance moves’. The most important things are Trust, Respect and Time. So, there is the doing – such as learning dance techniques or performing for camera. Then there’s the feeling; which grows out of Trust, Respect and spending Time together ‘doing’ the stuff. When these three principles are in the room, then you can float the boat that is creativity.

In the workshop process, I’ve observed and listened, weighing up the balance between doing and rest. Sometimes we look at the film rushes together. Or eat lunch together. Some people on some days have more energy and so they might do a bit of solo or duet work whilst others rest and watch. The watching is important.

There are times for spatial and physical challenges too – such as learning and remembering new dance sequences or floor patterns. Every session we also do ‘free dancing’, one person at a time, with everyone else watching. We use a broad range of music. We notice how the music affects how we move and also the feeling of the mood in the room. Once, Karoleen danced fast disco to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It was very evocative.

Working with the Woodville dancers is an immensely rewarding experience. Personally, I learn a great deal about my core values and about teaching and facilitating processes. Not only with people living with disabilities but with all people.

When I was 14 years old I was sent to a special needs school for 2 weeks to do a work experience placement. At first I was quite overwhelmed and my senses were overloaded. I was drawn to one young lady who couldn’t speak at all. She was blind and walked with a cane and was negotiating a number of physical disabilities. I hung around her a lot, not directly engaging but just being in close proximity. One day we went to a TAFE college to learn about woodwork. The others in our group went off to the canteen for lunch and it was just me and her in the woodwork room finishing up. When we went to go, I realised I didn’t know where the canteen was. I felt terribly responsible for this young woman but it was she who guided us to the canteen, which was a long way down a series of corridors and stairs. Something clicked so fundamentally then and there for me. That was, to never to assume anything about anybody – anybody living with disability, or not living with a disability. I mention this story as I think it played a key part in the way I aspire to engage with people in every aspect of my life.

At the heart of it, I’m searching to processes that I can set up in which each performer I encounter in life, can realize that their expression and specific talents are just as valuable as anyone one else’s. From my personal experience, a great deal about becoming an artist is first and foremost about perceiving yourself as an artist. That takes time for anyone of us.

—Linda Luke.

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Work with leading professional artists, culturally diverse communities and partner with some of Australia’s top arts organisations to shape the future of Australian theatre.

PYT seeks an inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial leader with proven strategic planning, financial management and fundraising abilities, excellent managerial skills, and a commitment to our work with young and culturally diverse communities to drive PYT forward.

This is a leadership role that reports to PYT’s Board of directors. The General Manager is responsible for providing high end, strategic and visionary insight and management input, which will set the future directions of the company in the short and long term. You will be responsible for implementing the artistic program in such a way as to maximise income and exposure of the company. The General Manager is responsible for discovering and acting on new opportunities, seeking new revenue streams and setting all policies and campaigns of the company. As part of this role, you will manage regional tours of some of PYT’s key works, as well as investigating options for international touring.

This is a maternity leave position commencing in early November. The role is full-time for 9 months, then part-time for 3 months.

Click HERE for a full position description and details on how to apply

PYT, C3West and STARTTS are seeking for immediate start an experienced Production Manager to assist with the delivery of Women of Fairfield, a project presented in the streets, carparks, offices and shopping areas of city of Fairfield. The project takes a socially engaged approach to representing and increasing the visibility of the lived experiences of women living in and around Fairfield. As a whole, the project will be intergenerational and diverse in media, and it will be culturally diverse, with artists engaging with the Middle Eastern, South American, Indigenous, Vietnamese, Anglo-Australian and many other communities that make up Fairfield.

Women of Fairfield is a collaboration between C3West on behalf of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT), Fairfield and the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). The project will commission 4 new art projects ranging from Installation, Performance and Video Art. These artworks created by Kate Blackmore, Hissy Fit and Maria Tran, Claudia Nicholson and Zoe Scoglio will be shown across two evenings on October 7th and 8th 2016.

This exciting position will build on and develop the work already undertaken by the Women of Fairfield production Team.

Click HERE for a full position description

Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) send our support and respect to the companies recently cut by the Australia Council as result of cuts made to Council by the Federal Government. PYT is very grateful and proud to be able to continue our work after receiving four year organisational funding from the Australia Council. We will continue to be an advocate for the future of contemporary arts and performance in Australia by developing the careers and works from the communities of Western Sydney.

PYT would very much like to acknowledge one of our key partners in recent work, Force Majeure. This incredible company was unfortunately not a recipient of Australia Council funding, which has come as a shock to us, and many in the sector.

Our partnership with Force Majeure is a key example of the true power of our Australian arts ecology. Our acclaimed work JUMP FIRST, ASK LATER is being presented by the Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne. For the first time, young artists from Fairfield in Western Sydney are going to perform and tell their stories on Australia’s main stages. This is the kind of critical work that a strong and coherent arts ecology can create. PYT thanks Force Majeure for all their company and artistic support. We look forward to working together again during our super exciting, kick-ass season of JUMP FIRST, ASK LATER, which will continue to enrich both our companies and strengthen our national arts landscape.

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9Lives

Work with leading professional artists, culturally diverse communities and partner with some of Australia’s top arts organisations to shape the future of Australian theatre.

PYT seeks an inspiring, creative and entrepreneurial leader with proven strategic planning, financial management and fundraising abilities, excellent managerial skills, and a commitment to our work with young and culturally diverse communities to drive PYT forward.

This is a leadership role that reports to PYT’s Board of directors. The General Manager is responsible for providing high end, strategic and visionary insight and management input, which will set the future directions of the company in the short and long term. You will be responsible for implementing the artistic program each year in such a way as to maximise income and exposure of the company. The General Manager is responsible for discovering and acting on new opportunities, seeking new revenue streams and setting all policies and campaigns of the company. As part of this role, you will also use your diplomacy skills to manage close partnerships with some of the country’s leading institutions, including the MCA, ATYP, Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne and Vivid Ideas, as well as key community partner organisations.

 

For more information on the position and how to apply, click here. Applications close at 9am on Monday, January 25 2016.

We’ve arrived from Yamba, NSW coast, and Melbourne to ‘meet in the middle’ at Fairfield. For the last 10 days we have been working on creating new images, sounds and movement experiments for our work enfold.

It’s been great to be surrounded by the culture and food (!) of Fairfield in the creation of this new work – as we explore themes of migration, moving shorelines and memories of water and shelter. We’ve made ourselves right at home here – as we question what does it mean to be at home? – and what do we need to make a home?

Our collaboration stated with the dance work Opal Vapour. In that show we had a huge light up ‘dancefloor’ light-box, 20kgs of sand, cameras, microphones, data projectors, three costume changes and delicate Japanese paper knitted nets. In the new piece we are creating here at PYT we are exploring a low/no tech approaching – wanting to be transportable, sustainable and light on our feet.

It’s been great to explore rehearsing in the gallery space as well as the lovely old blue theatre space at PYT – which has the springiest sprung floor ever!  We have enjoyed meeting so many people – from the crew who came to our workshop and did Japanese martial arts (kiryuho) with us – to the PYT Ensemble who helped us create our opening images and gave us wonderful feedback on what they witnessed and participated in.

Over the next two days we are continuing to grow and share the work with peers, friends (and hopefully!) future presenters of the work. Then it’s one last trip to Aladdin’s sweets to eat one more round of lady’s arms before we head homewards north and south.

Jade, Ria and Paula

Watch a video of what we’ve been up to HERE

PYT sharing PYT audience test PYT showing PYT talk

A Response to Little Baghdad: The Long Table – Women of Iraq
By Donna Abela
 

A dancing stranger with smiling eyes in a line of other dancing strangers who reaches out her hand to you and invites you to dance. And you do. Hand in her hand, learning new steps. Dancing in time, and falling out of time, laughing with a woman who is not a stranger anymore, but someone has had made you dance and enjoy the fun you were in danger of just observing.

Painting on the outside of coffee cups to predict our own futures, own our own hopes for women in this world. Then taking your painted cup, talking to another stranger again, about our mothers, what obstacles they faced, what legacy they leave, what we have that they didn’t and must bring into our tomorrow.The shimmering gold map of Iraq. The gold twine holding together parcels of a play waiting on the table. The young women beside me draped in gold discs clinking and shimmering as they pass the tabouli, normalising the splendid. And I think, yes to more of this, more gold, more food passed around and shared among the shimmer.

Dissolving the binary. That amazing Huma bird we three drew to transcend our divisions, to see through 3-D glasses, the result of dissolved difference, our combined imaginations flying up there on the screen.

The sobering conversation with Zhara in Iraq. On constant watch for car explosions. We are safe and happy here because we want to be strong together. We know our strength is in being together in creative ways that hold our pasts, pains and hopes.

And to leave the night wanting more.

Donna Abela

First of all I want to thank PYT for giving us the opportunity to have a residency.

We are going to use the place to make our work which is a movie and  a performance.

We just started by shooting the movie on 28 of December which was exciting.

We had amazing time especially my friends from Afghanistan who were involved as actors.

It was their first experience of acting in a movie and having chat with nice Australian people, so they were really happy and it was a good chance for them to meet with Australians.

This is because they have always tried to have a chat with Australian people but they couldn’t do that.

We just started from airport which reminds us of the first time that we were released from detention center. But this time we were free so it was a good felling about that.

We finished shooting on Manly beach and during shooting we had a great time together which made me and my friends happy, even though most of us are in a not good situation day to day.

Then at the end we had lunch and fun at the beach and I could see real smile in my friends lips which was a good feeling for me.

Then Katie and I started editing the movie in PYT in Fairfield and I was so excited about that.

We  have had some of our friends visit us in PYT to help with editing and comment on the movie.

We are going to have a BBQ in Mount Druitt in  the actors house next week and have a chat again with Afghan refugees.

They are so happy about this idea because they could see each other and talk together and have fun again.

We are also going to have a small interview with some of those people about their experience travelling from their home town to Australia.

This week  Katie and I are starting to work on the performance and I’m going to direct Katie which will be fun. This is a good feeling, but I am also nervous because we have been friends for some time and now I have to direct her.

PYT have established an Artist-In-Residence program offering professional arts practitioners the opportunity to spend up to three weeks in Fairfield to develop new work and engage with the local community.

Artists are offered a theatre /or studio space, AV Equipment, office space, creative dialogue with PYT Directors, and developmental presentation opportunities.

Application Requirements:

1. Submit one page that outlines:

–       A description of your project
–       What activities you would be undertaking during your residency
–       Who are the artists involved
–       What time of year would best suit you

2. On a separate page please submit: Artist Biographies.

 

PYT are offering three artists or creative teams up to 2-3 week full time residencies.

 

Application due date: Dec 19th 2014

Please send applications: karen@pyt.com.au

For more information:  http://pyt.com.au/participate/in-residence/