November: Light & Sound

Our third session will be held virtually on November 22nd at 7:30pm Toronto time (GMT-4) / October 23rd at 10:30 am Brisbane time (AEST) through our Zoom Webinar platform hosted by The Queensland University of Technology. Our November Reading Group includes three texts selected from the Climate Change Theatre Action’s (CCTA) 2021 call-out with a focus on light and sound design. We were joined by guest live performance designer panellists, Ian Garrett (Toronto, CAD), Bronwyn Pringle (Melbourne, AUS) and Tony Brumpton (Brisbane, AUS). Our discussion will explore ecoscenographic responses to the plays, particularly how lighting and sound designers can create sustainable, unique and provocative spatial experiences that forefront ecological issues.

Our session will begin with a live performance of Listen to Vanessa Nakate by Aleya Kassam (October Reading Group), with Auslan Sign Language interpreter, and Co-Foundeer and Director of Auslan Stage Left, Susan Emerson.

Our selected CCTA plays for the November Ecoscenography Reading Group are: 

WHISTLER by Giancarlo Abrahan (Philippines)

Envisioning a Global Green New Deal through the history of an ever-changing landscape. Communication and misunderstanding with human displacement.

MOLONG by Damon Chua (US/Singapore)

Connection to the land and the spiritual tie that beats the scientific statistics. Indigenous peoples make up about 6% of the world population but inhabit more than a quarter of our planet’s land area. Harnessing their knowledge and philosophies on sustainability is vital to the future of biodiversity and humankind.

Mizhakwad (The Sky Is Clear) by Dylan Thomas Elwood (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)

Portraying of deep-seated anxiety for climate change. An urgency to embrace our connection with the land.

Guest panellists for our November edition: 

Ian Garrett (Canada) is a designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. He is Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University. He is the director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Producer for Toasterlab, a mixed reality performance collective. He maintains a design practice focused on ecology, accessible technologies and scenography.

Bronwyn Pringle (Australia) is a Lighting Designer and Theatre Maker who has worked in a plethora of performance spaces including, a London Nightclub, a warehouse in Buenos Aires, the Federation Square air-conditioning ducts and a wool-shed. Bronwyn has received multiple Green Room Awards including the 2020 Award for Technical Achievement and holds a Masters in Design for Performance from the University of Melbourne

Tony Brumpton is an Australian based artist and academic working in the field of Aural Scenography. He likes the sound of birds more than planes.

Actors:

Aisha Lesley Bentham is an internationally trained Artist scholar, creator and speaker from Toronto, Ontario and has earned her BFA Honors Acting degree with a minor in Women and Diaspora Studies from the University of Windsor. Aisha has studied the works of Suzuki, Viewpoints, Laban, Contact, Commedia Dell’Arte and neutral mask and attended the world renowned company Arthaus Berlin (formerly known as LISPA) in Berlin in 2016 where she studied Devising Theatre and Performance with Thomas Prattki. In summer of 2016, she founded a residency for multi-disciplinary artists/creators called RootReach which allowed creators to work in a hybrid environment where they developed solo pieces. Aisha uses media, sound, visuals and props to create and manipulate her performances. In 2020, Aisha completed her MA in Theatre and Performance program at York University where she is investigating the intersections of cooking and Performance. Her love for food, art and lifestyle inspired her to create a vegan food company in 2017, HUE Foods, a vegan food and lifestyle brand that inspires vegan meals, offers tips and tools on how to be a more sustainable and aware consumer. Aisha recently joined the TEDx family 2018 and had the opportunity to be a competitor on Season 7 of Amazing Race Canada.

Shari Indriani is an Australian artist with Indonesian-New Zealand heritage, whose practice spans writing, performing, and directing for the stage. Her credits include: as Director: Shadow in a Dress (HWY Festival, La Boite Theatre Company), (Sparks First Nations Playwrights Readings (Clancestry, QPAC), Bi Empat (HWY Festival, La Boite Theatre Company); as Assistant Director: City of Gold (Queensland Theatre/Griffith Theatre Company); as Writer/Director: The Bone People (QUT Virtual Production), Recipe (QUT Collab Works); as Writer: Doors (Backbone Youth Arts); Squint Witch (CAAP/Playwriting Australia); and as Actor: 43 Stages of Grieving (Sci-Fi Theatre Festival) My Father Who Slept in a Zoo (HWY Festival, La Boite Theatre Company), Welcome to Sameville (Shock Therapy Productions, Commonwealth Games Festival 2018). Shari undertook a Directorial Observation with Queensland Theatre for Nearer the Gods; was a participant of the CAAP’s Directors Initiative 2018-19; was Program Manager at La Boite Theatre Company 2009-2011, and is currently Queensland Theatre’s Producer of New Work.

Afsaneh Torabi is a Melbourne-based performer and collaborator working across theatre, live art and installation. Her work is sensory-led and explores the intersection of myth, ecology and the body. Born in Iran and raised in Australia and New Zealand, Afsaneh distils her broad studies and explorations into immersive, intimate and participatory art experiences. Majoring in sculpture at Swinburne and Monash Universities, she quickly developed a language for ambitious live performance, later seeking out renowned teachers and specialised schools across the globe in diverse performance practices, finally gaining a Masters degree of Sensory Theatre with the University of Girona, Spain. After years devising and performing on interstate and international projects such as Queensland Theatre Company (1001 Nights 2013) and Perth Theatre Company (From the Rubble, PICA 2015), Pips:lab (D.E.X., Netherlands), Baran Theatre Company (Tower of Babel, Metro Arts Brisbane) and Teatro De Los Sentidos (Heart of Darkness, El Grec Festival, Barcelona), she found her place in the Victorian live arts community.

Jason Klarwein is an actor and director who has worked around Australia with companies such as Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Black Swan, Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Festival Centre, QPAC, La Boite and Queensland Theatre. Jason has also performed and directed internationally in London (Origins Festival), LosAngeles (Skylight Theatre), Washington DC (Kennedy Centre), New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music). His television and film credits include Kat King, Devil’s Playground, Celeste, Seapatrol and Slide. He is the current Artistic Director of The Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe and the Federal President of Actor’s Equity. Jason has been an Equity member since 2002.

Miguel Usares is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting first year student at QUT. Born in the Philippines, he moved to Sydney when he was 10 years old and was a competitive soccer player before he began acting at age 15. He has a wide range of hobbies including reading, writing, films, philosophy, and sport.