Recent Awards, Reviews, First Nations Programming and Artists Success 2020-2022
Green Room Award for BEST NEW WRITING, Independent Theatre, for Glenn Shea for An Indigenous Trilogy – Act I: Three Magpies Perched in a Tree. (2022)
OAM awarded to Caroline Lee, performer and Board member, for services to performing arts (2022)
Victorian Architecture Awards: Meg White and Cottee Parker Architects, shortlisted in two categories for Rebuild La Mama – Public Architecture and for the Melbourne Prize (2022)
Green Room Nominations 2022: BEST DIRECTION: Laurence Strangio for Traps, BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Bronwyn Pringle for An Indigenous Trilogy – Act II: Masterpiece, BEST SET AND COSTUME: Wielding Theatre and Associates for Curveball
Green Room Award BEST NEW WRITING, Independent Theatre for Olivia Satchell with Chanella Macri, Belinda McClory, and Emily Tomlins for let bleeding girls lie (2021)
Green Room Award BEST LIGHTING DESIGN for Rachel Burke for, Independent The Mermaid (2021)
Green Room Award BEST SET AND COSTUME DESIGN for Dann Barber: The Mermaid (2021)
Green Room Nominations 2021: BEST PRODUCTION: Breeders, BEST PRODUCTION: Let bleeding girls lie, BEST PERFORMER: Carolyn Bock: Katyn, BEST ENSEMBLE: Breeders, BEST ENSEMBLE: let bleeding girls lie, BEST DIRECTION: Olivia Satchell: let bleeding girls lie
Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Independent Theatre awarded to CO-CEO Caitlin Dullard (2020)
Green Room Award: BEST NEW WRITING Samah Sabawi – Them (2020)
Green Room Nominations 2020: BEST ENSEMBLE: Them, LIGHTING DESIGN: Matthew Crosby – The Intriguing Case of the Silent Forest, BEST DIRECTION: Bagryana Popov – Them, BEST PRODUCTION: Them
Winner of the 2020 Victorian Community History Award and the Digital Storytelling Award in the Victorian Premier’s History Awards: La Mama: The Biggest Little Theatre in Australia online historical platform created in association with La Mama’s Preservation Coordinator Fiona Wiseman and Melbourne University.
FROM ALL WHO CAME BEFORE
From All Who Came Before’ was one of those theatre experiences that left me feeling very positive about the future of what “accessible theatre” means and what it can be. … The use of sound was wonderful. It was riveting to watch and listen to just for the way the different characters’ movements were described and the way directionality of sound was used to indicate location and repetition.
As a play, #NOEXEMPTIONS is powerful theatre. It’s a gripping thriller in which tension is sustained all the way. Its world is not neatly ‘explained’ – but with growing horror we work it out. The writing is enigmatic but direct, forceful but eloquent. The performances are no-frills and uncompromising, the characters utterly defined by their irrevocable predicament- STAGE WHISPERS
**** – KATE HERBERT
There are plenty of laughs, insight, that rare thing, wit, and plot in this show and it moves fast and exuberant across its ninety minutes, never losing its grip on the audience. Ken’s Quest is a highly original work, in presentation and production – and in what it has to say. Therefore, don’t miss it. – STAGE WHISPERS
If this play weren’t so accomplished it could turn you off theatre for life. …Fearless and charismatic ensemble acting invests every moment of the performance with an emotional reality crucial to making the play ★★★★ – THE AGE
One of La Mama’s crowing achievements this year – BEAT MAGAZINE
There have been a few plays in the 2022 season at La Mama that would be called unmissable. Traps is most definitely one of them. It is extremely confronting, but the staff at La Mama have prepared resources to help anyone for whom the production is too much and do a wonderful job putting the welfare of their patrons first. – THEATRE TRAVELS
AIT, Part I: Three Magpies Perched in a Tree:
Balancing the contemporary trauma are Dreaming stories woven throughout the piece.
They have the distinction of being narrated by the late Uncle Jack Charles, whose voice was a thing of beauty, and there’s deep comfort to be found in listening to him draw out all the wisdom and mischief in these Aboriginal creation myths. (Honestly, the show would be worth catching for these scenes alone.)
Yet they wouldn’t be as affecting without the piercing social realism Shea builds into the play. – THE AGE
An Indigenous Trilogy – Act Two: Masterpiece:
Shea has meticulously crafted a dichotomy of two differing spiritual and material worlds that collide and fracture. The initial bonding between Peter and Hope is strikingly moving; with similar and contrasting monologues, paced, and punctuated with light and sound, providing stunning dramatic tension that unites two people, a generation apart. – STAGE WHISPERS
The strength of Samah Sabawi’s play is that she has created a flesh-and-blood refugee tale of lives caught in the crosshairs of war. ★★★★ – SMH
Jack Hibberd’s new play, Killing Time, shows that time cannot stem the flow of his wit and style. Jack is back! ★★★★ – KATE HERBERT
Killing Time, with its absurdist comic bent, manages to entertain while clocking us with an existential blow – ARTS HUB
THE GRIEF TRILOGY – I SAT AND WAITED BUT YOU WERE GONE TOO LONG
The dialogue curated by Satchell and her actors with dramaturgy by Emma Valente is intentionally taut with some gorgeous lapses into everyday poetry. It’s dazzling to see work tailored with such skill to such unique artists. ★★★★★ – THEATRE MATTERS
First Nations Programming
‘NazAree’s personal connection to the narrative makes this work even more meaningful and her writing is insightful and impacting, her simple direction cutting through hundreds of years of forced child removal. A powerful reminder that Aboriginal women always have and always will be NGARNGK; Giver of life. NazAree’s cracking Nyoongar humour provides welcome relief from the tension and heartache through her hilariously honest portrayal of pregnancy and motherhood.’ – Yirramboi Blak Critics, Kamarra Bell-Wykes
‘NazAree Dickerson’s Ngarngk: Giver of Life opened on Mother’s Day and offers a moving portrait of three generations of Nyoongar mothers -all of whom battle to stop their children being taken by the state. The play tells a story of survival, of cultural restoration in the face of dispossession and intergenerational trauma. It remains clear-eyed about the challenges facing some marginalised Aboriginal mothers, while giving full play to their toughness, deadly sense of humour and zest for life.’ – The Age, Cameron Woodhead
THE STORYTELLER INDIGENOUS LEARNING WORKSHOPS with Glenn Shea – First Nations Producer Held throughout the year for Committee of Management, staff, volunteers, community partners and sponsors (2022)
AN INDIGENOUS TRILOGY (2022) by Glenn Shea
Act I Three Magpies Perched on a Tree
Act II Masterpiece
Act III Some Secrets Should Be Kept Secret
Durational Performances (Acts 1, 2 and 3 with music & food between acts)
YIRRAMBOI FESTIVAL: NGARNGK; Giver of Life by Naz Aree Dickerson (2021)
BLAK STAGE: Featuring Amos Roach, Lauren Sheree, Benny Clark, Teddy, Aden Hitchins, Kiernan Ironfield Curated by Troy Benjamin (2021)
WAR-RAK BANKSIA FESTIVAL: Djirri Djirri Dancers,Na Djinang Circus (2021)
Running With Emus featuring Greg Fryer (2020)
YIRRAMBOI FESTIVAL: THE HONOURING: ILBIJERRI, by Jack Sheppard (2019)
BLAK AND BRIGHT FESTIVAL: BLAK MAMA Maryanne Sam, Jacob Boehme, Drew Hayden Taylor (Canada), Glenn Shea, Ellen van Neerven. Artistic Directors Jane Harrison and Glenn Shea (2019)
Recent La Mama Artist Success
Liv Satchell – Writer & Director, The Grief Trilogy (2023), Green Room Winner (Best New Writing), shortlisted for the Phillip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights, the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, the Max Afford Playwrights Award, and the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award.
Madelaine Nunn – Writer, Actor, Producer Cactus / Garage Girls (2023) award-winning actor, writer, and two-time AWGIE nominee, co-founder of Three Birds Theatre, Associate Artistic Director at Rollercoaster Theatre, 2021 winner of The Martin Lysicrates Prize, 2018 winner of The Rebel Wilson Scholarship.
Isabella Vadiveloo – 2020 recipient of La Mama Theatre Professional Development Grant, theatre director, performer, devisor and creative director, Wolf Play (Red Stitch), Atlantis (Malthouse), If Needed, Repeat and Unsuckle (La Mama), Poona (Next Wave Festival), Cybec Electric and First Stage (MTC) Assistant Director Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes (MITC). Isabella has worked with The Dig Collective, Teatro De Los Sentidos, as well as presenting works for the Melbourne Fringe, Crack Theatre, Immerse and Village Festivals.
Chanella Macri – Performer Liv Satchell’s The Grief Trilogy (2022/2023), Crazy Brave (2018), Woman with a Tomahawk (2017) Actor and Theatre Maker, Looking For Alibrandi (Malthouse), The View From Up Here (Theatreworks), House, Australian Realness (Malthouse), Suddenly Last Summer, Crazy Brave, wrote Atlantis for Malthouse Theatre’s Suitcase Series in 2022, is a member of New Working Group and is Co-Artistic Director at Western Edge.
John Marc Desengano – Performer The Bachelor S17 E05 (2018) Just A Boy Standing in Front of a Girl (2018) Co-Artistic Director of Western Edge, Actor, Theatre Maker and Educator stage credits include; The Yellow Wave, Love Bird, Survival, Enlightenment, A Midnight Visit, television credits include; Rush, Back in Very Small Business, Playing for Keeps, Lie With Me, and others.
Cassandra Fumi – Director The Mermaid (2021) theatre maker and artist, an artistic associate, community liaison, and stage manager with regular collaborators Samara Hersch, Lara Thoms, THE RABBLE, APHIDS, and Susie Dee.
Milly Cooper – Director From All Whom Came Before / Curveball (2022) Director, Artistic Director of Wielding Theatre and City of Voices, Creative Producer Arts Access Victoria, using inclusive theatre-making methodologies and devising processes with disabled and non-disabled artists.
Emmanuelle Mattana – Trophy Boys (2022) actor, writer and maker, Marnie in International Emmy nominated Mustangs FC (ABCMe x Matchbox Pictures), The Messenger (ABC), Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries (Acorn TV) and Clickbait (Netflix).
Leigh Lule – Assistant Director for Liv Satchell’s The Grief Trilogy (2023) Performer Point8Six, Trophy Boys (2022) Support Artist Western Edge, Ugandan-Australian actress, writer, director, co-creator and co-writer of IGTV mini-series, Lil CEEBS, a prequel to upcoming web series, CEEBS, which received developmental support from SBS Digital Originals and ABC iView’s Pitch-O-Rama.
Kimberly Twiner – Director, Performer, Producer We Too Us Too, Five Year Old Girl (2022), PO PO MO CO (2021), The Wholesome Hour, Jofus and the Whale (2020), Not Romeo & Juliet (2018) founder of the Melbourne Physical Theatre School and Po Po Mo Co, award winning queer comedy troupe, performer and producer of The Bouffonery.
Lily Fish – PO PO MO CO (2021), The Wholesome Hour, Jofus and the Whale (2020), Not Romeo & Juliet (2018) writer, director, performer and maker, co-artistic director of clown company Fish and Twiner’s Bait Shop and an associate artist with Born in a Taxi.
Dax Carnay – The Six Guys An Immigrant Trans Person of Colour will Date in Melbourne (2023), Ken’s Quest (2022), transfeminine, nonbinary writer and performer from Manila, Philippines, Dax is working with Critical Stages Touring Company.
Katrina Cornwell & Morgan Rose (THE PEOPLE) – Grand Gesture, War-Rak Banksia (2021) Bachelor S17 E5, 2019 (2018) The People unites the contrasting practices of visual theatre director Katrina Cornwell, contemporary American writer Morgan Rose, now Co-Artistic Directors of Award Winning RAWCUS Theatre from 2023.
Dora Abraham – ADA, Laundry Shoot (2023), performer and award-winning playwright Coldhands (RUMPUS, 2022), All I Need (shortlisted for Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2022-23), Hungarian-language short film Ajándék (Gift) produced by the Budapest Film Academy and screened at European international film festivals.
Miranda Hill – Artistic Director Homophonic! (2011-2023) double bassist, G-Violonist, creative producer, and educator and a core member of Genesis Baroque, Artists in Music Ensemble, Melbourne Baroque Orchestra, Octave Pussy, BOLT ensemble, Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble.
Samah Sawabi – Them (2019 & 2022), Tales of a City by the Sea (2016), Winner of the Green Room Independent Theatre Award for Best Writing, nominated for Green Room Awards including Best Independent Production, and shortlisted for the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Award as well as the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, NSW Premier’s Literary Award.
Rodrigo Calderon – He (2022), Mother Courage (2022), Salvadoran actor, playwright and director, Rodrigo’s theatrical practice focuses on the building of a community, co-creator of the Red Velvet Underground and La Mama Pathways Alumni.
Amarantha Robinson – Oshun (2022), writer and performer from Kingston, Jamaica, Vice Deputy Chair of Multicultural Arts Victoria creating community spaces for people of colour to share their voice and connect, now transitioning into producing and creating her own original theatre works.
Pony Cam – Boobs in Space (2023), Drive By Paradise (2021), award winning experimental collective of five theatre makers, Claire Bird, Ava Campbell, William Strom, Dominic Weintraub and Hugo Williams, winner ‘Best Theatre’ for Grand Theft Theatre 2022 Melbourne Fringe Festival.