You can break all the rules with this celebration and come and stare as much as you like! You are invited to get yourself involved in one of the many free workshops, attend a show, buy some original artwork, see a film but most of all come and STARE! A two week program of theatre, film, dance, music and art began in Parramatta on Monday. STARE FEST is an inclusive arts festival at Riverside Theatres and around Parramatta showcasing the artistic and creative talents of people living with disabilities. It is coordinated by Beyond The Square, a dedicated performing arts program for people with disability that had its origins at Riverside in 1995.
More recently it has been led by Alison Richardson, whose assistant director for the festival is Gerard O’Dwyer, a graduate of Beyond the Square workshops and now an employee of Riverside Theatres. Here, Gerard gives Alison a recent birthday hug. Gerard is about to return from Russia, where he received two awards on behalf of Bus Stop Films – one for The Interviewer and one for their 2009 film, Frances and Annie. Click here to see him on Facebook participating in a Q & A session after the awards and meeting fans at the Moscow venue.
Hatch Transformational is an exhibition showcasing photography, sculpture, paintings and videos made through Sunnyfield’s Hatch mentoring program – a unique program matching local Western Sydney artists with people living with disability. You are invited to stare at the astonishing body of work on show in the foyer of Riverside Theatres, cnr Church & Market Sts, Parramatta, until December 5, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday 9.30am – 12:30pm.
Then there’s theatre and dance to be stared at – Beyond Abba: The Control Room. Here’s a sneak peek at a photo from last week’s dress rehearsal for the big end of year multimedia extravaganza. It’s all on this Wednesday, November 19, at 11am, and is FREE but you need to book on 8839 3399 or click here. Beyond Abba: the Control Room will be followed by a Courtyard party with live Karaoke, dancing and a free barbecue lunch.
For two weeks at the Parramatta Artists Studios, participants can transform a photographic self-portrait into a colourful pop art poster as part of Summer Parradise. On Tuesday, December 2, DirtyFeet and FORM Dance Projects will present a new contemporary dance production, In Transit. Choreographed by Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, In Transit will feature four young dancers in an exploration of everyday life transitions. Showoff!, on Sunday, November 30, is a full day presented by Down Syndrome NSW featuring performances, exhibitions and workshops on dance, drama, circus, music, film and fine arts.
STARE FEST culminates in a whole day of festivities on Wednesday, December 3, International Day of People with Disability. On the Streets will include the life size selfie portraits created at Parramatta Artists Studios in a paste up display Summer Parradise at Centenary Square, Parramatta. For more information about the STARE FEST program and bookings, click here.
Riverside is the only mainstream theatre company in Australia to have a dedicated program committed solely to the development of opportunities for people with disability in the arts. Beyond the Square is about working outside the norm, thinking laterally & creatively. It is about embracing difference and challenging preconceptions.