Black Swan State Theatre Company last night launched its 2010 season at Canton Lounge Bar.

Black Swan’s Artistic Director, Kate Cherry, introduced the 2010 season, themed Star Gazing 2010 and invited guests were addressed by playwright Hannie Rayson, whose new play, The Swimming Club, is one of the centerpieces of Black Swan’s 2010 season.

Highlights of Black Swan’s 2010 season include:
• Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and WA actress Kylie Farmer will star in the Motown musical The Sapphires by Tony Briggs, which will be presented as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. The play, a co-production between Black Swan and Company B Belvoir, will then tour to Adelaide and Wollongong before a season in Sydney.

• Hannie Rayson’s new play, The Swimming Club, will star John Waters, Igor Sas, Caroline Gillmer and Megan Holloway. A co-production with Melbourne Theatre Company, this is a play for baby boomers and all those who love them.

The Clean House, a fantastical and whimsical comedy by Sarah Ruhl about clean homes and messy lives, will star Pia Miranda and Sarah McNeill. The Clean House is a co-production with Queensland Theatre Company.

• After the success of Much Ado About Nothing in 2009, Black Swan will present another Shakespeare comedy, Twelfth Night, in 2010. This play was the inaugural production of the fledgling Black Swan Theatre Company in 1991. As in 1991, the cast of this brand new production will again include Geoff Kelso (this time in the role of Malvolio).

• Amanda Muggleton will star in Madagascar by J.T. Rogers, a haunting story of a mysterious disappearance that changes three lives forever.

• Black Swan’s emerging artist development program, The HotBed Ensemble, will present The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute and Yellow Moon – The Ballad of Leila and Lee by UK playwright David Greig.

In addition to the existing commissioning program, the Rio Tinto Black Swan Commissions, Black Swan will continue to build and develop playwrights through two different initiatives:
• Sally Burton and her company Onward Production have created a major new playwriting award, the Richard Burton Award for New Plays, in association with Black Swan. The Richard Burton Award for New Plays will be awarded annually to works that have not yet had a production. The Award will be one of the richest in Australia, with a prize pool of $30,000.

• Black Swan has also created a Young Writers’ Program and has accepted nine writers who are in their first five years of professional practice into the group. The group is working with Associate Director Adam Mitchell on building skills and play development, and will also contribute to Black Swan’s literary department by reading and analysing work for the Company.

Black Swan’s first production for the 2010 season, The Sapphires, will preview at the Playhouse Theatre from 23 January 2010.


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