Archive for November, 2010

Anna Robi & the House of Dogs | Tamarama Rock Surfers & House of Dogs


The lady who takes my pre-loved “ticket” when I descend the stairs at the Old Fitz, warns me to be careful where I tread when crossing the stage. Covered in scattered newspapers – fringed by piles and piles of clutter – the theatre is like the bottom of a budgie cage – except it’s not budgies that live here, there is hard (well, soft actually…) evidence that dogs inhabit this space.

A woman in a neck brace, a neck brace supported by a snooze cushion sleeps in a well-worn beige bed. A girl in torn cartoon pyjamas and a t-shirt emblazoned with “I’m about to do something AWESOME!” on it, scuffs around in old slippers, cracking opening a can of Chum, picking up sticky dog turds off the newspaper. Read more

Brand Spanking New 2010 -Week 2 wrap up


It has been weeks since Brand Spanking New 2010 and I have some of the distance of time to reflect on what has been a wonderful season. It is no secret that a lot of work goes into making a project like Brand Spanking New happen… and it’s success relies on each person on the project imbuing their work with a sense of purpose, focus, enthusiasm, time, pride, generosity, flexibility to make it happen. In week 2 of Spankers – that is 9 directors, 9 writers, 6 crew, 35 actors – and it never ceases to amaze me the collective energy of artists. Read more

Off the Shelf # 4 | Queen St Studio


In a warehouse in Chippendale, I sweep a giant concrete floor. I lug chairs. I listen as a rehearsal takes place. I thank Julia for buying the cheese. James checks where to put the lights. Sam sends me a text message saying good luck. Pete purs himself a glass of wine. I change out of my black, sweaty clothes into a floral dress. I welcome into Studio 10 friends, colleagues and industry representatives. I place the chalk board outside the roller door – I’ve written on it ” OFF THE SHELF” with a big arrow pointing to an open door. Read more

Unsettlings | PACT ImPACT Ensemble


Producers Authors Composers Talent. PACT. A space which has been crammed full of names/projects/ideas in Sydney’s alternative theatre landscape, rich with history. I remember meeting Patrick Milligan (Spike’s brother) at the PACT 40th celebrations some years ago (I had written something for a troupe of “ordinaries” that ended in them busting out with glitter and enthusiasm into a dance number to Petula Clarke’s “I know a Place”… anyway… ) and learning about the early days of PACT when it was in Pitt Street in a squat, effectively. It had been set up by a bunch of alternative theatre makers and over the years has developed into the current “Centre for Emerging Artists” – NOT a youth theatre. Read more

The Bougainville Photoplay Project | Version 1.0 & Belvoir


Good afternoon. Welcome. I’m Ms Augusta Supple and I am a graduate of the University of Sydney’s Performance Studies department.

All those years ago I was immersed in a department whose focus was/is viewing performance (please note the word “performance” – as opposed to the word “theatre”) from an ethnographic point of view. I very casually involved myself with the identity of the “academic ethnographer” as I saw myself (or had aspirations of being…at least in my involvement in SUDS) as a practitioner sitting inside the goldfish bowl of academia. I thought if I was outside ethnography – I was inside practice (and no, it doesn’t work like that – if you are outside academia, it doesn’t automatically thrust you into the realm of practice.) It has taken me many years of struggle to recognise that my unique position in the theatre community (no, Ms Croggan, I assure you, I won’t use the word “industry”) is that of practitioner who feels like an outsider in my own field part practitioner part ethographer in my slashy identity as a theatre documentarian (read “blogger” – yes an ugly word, Mr Waites) /producer/new Australian play activist/artistic director/writer/commentator. Read more

Together Alone Alone Together | Shopfront’s Artslab Residents 2010


I sit on a board. As opposed to sitting, bored. They are different things. I don’t know why or how – I doubt it’s genetic – but I love meetings. I love strategy. And I love supporting emerging artists. So it makes perfect sense that I should sit on the Board of Shopfront Contemporary Arts Centre. Read more



It’s summer. Oh. But you hate the outdoors. With it’s stinging sun and it’s short shorts and it’s heatstroke. Prefer to stay indoors? Looking around for something to do? Restless? Feeling like you have missed the boat on everything programmed 12 months in advance? Want to do nothing but eat biscuits until that feeling goes away?
Why not just check out these opportunities that have flown into my inbox? I can’t use ’em, I’m too old. But you might want to check it out… Read more



2010 been a huge year for Australian playwrights.

Has it only been a year since Caleb Lewis’ well publicized side-step of the 2009 Philip Parson’s Award? Was it only 6 months ago that playwrights were protesting the decision of the NSW Premier not to award a literary prize? 2010 was a great year to see the Australian playwriting community band together. Collectives that have popped up all over Australia have been very vocal, very active and extremely productive in 2010… 7-On Playwrights, The emerging Writers Studio, Write Club, pockets of playwrights who dine and drink together, those who keep in touch via facebook quips and cross promotion – It’s been a great year! It is no surprise that the 2010 Philip Parson’s Lecture should be given by the sage of Australian playwriting – John McCallum. Read more

MKA Richmond – what’s buzzing in Melbourne and what are you going to do?


At the opening of Brand Spanking New (Week 2), Ned Manning (one of the writers for Week 1 of Spankers and 7 On-er) mentioned a group in Melbourne he thought I should check out once Spankers was put to rest…and that group is MKA Richmond.

A week earlier Ari Lander had told me that he couldn’t come to week 2 of Spankers as he was heading to Melbourne for MKA Richmond and he quizzed me on what I knew about it – and did I know Tobias Manderson-Galvin. “Sort of, i replied – “We are facebook friends… I’ve read his work and have chatted over email – but not really, not in the “invite him-over-for-dinner” kind of know”).

And then a couple of hours ago I received an email from Van Badham (as per below) alerting me to what was happening in Melbourne. Read more



I’ve been very occasional with my posts haven’t I? Tardy to say the least… you see I have wrapped up in Brand Spanking New – my major project which is at the end of every year and now we are two performances away from finishing Brand Spanking New 2010. Week 2 of the 2 week season is in full swing and has been enjoying healthy houses at the new theatre – full of punters and writers curious to see what’s on, who’s in, what’s hot!

It’s always interesting for me to hear the response from plays I programme – last week a rather rambuncious satire by Phil Spencer conjured audible gasps from audience members who found it offensive (indeed that is the point of that play – to expose our sensitivity to language and our desire for self-sensorship). This week we have another opportunity for people to be outraged by ideas with a bit of social commentary by the one and only Alana Valentine starting the show. Read more

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Augusta Supple

Sydney-based theatre director, producer and writer. This site is about my long, deep, bright-eyed, ever-hopeful, sometimes difficult, always invigorating, rambunctious, rebellious, dynamic and very personal relationship with Australian Arts and Culture... I reflect on shows, talks, essays, writing, artists that inspire me to say something, and you'll find out what I'm working on, who I'm working with and what inspires me.