Sport for Jove Theatre Company has achieved another milestone in its short but distinguished life. It is joining the Seymour Centre as a new resident theatre company alongside Critical Stages, SIMA and Shaun Parker & Company. The Seymour Centre is the performing arts centre for the University of Sydney and in its 35 year history has become an urban hub for cultural exploration, arts education and audience engagement. It hosts major festivals, large scale theatre, music and dance performances and partners small and emerging companies to develop and present innovative independent productions. Click here for more information.
Sport for Jove began with an outdoor Shakespeare Festival at Baulkham Hills and Leura in the Blue Mountains in 2009. The company was the brainchild of managing artistic director Damien Ryan, left, whose mother’s love of Shakespeare’s plays inspired him during his Mt Druitt childhood. A career in acting, directing and education, in both secondary and tertiary sectors, followed, in Australia and the UK. He taught at NIDA, worked with young artists in schools and authored Bell Shakespeare’s teacher kits. The partnership with the Seymour Centre began in June 2012, when Sport for Jove launched a major theatre education program for schools with a production of Hamlet. The photo above is from their critically acclaimed 2014 production of A Doll’s House at the Seymour Centre.
Damien says, “The exhaustive interrogation of thought and human behaviour in Shakespeare’s plays is honest, compassionate and it changes the way I think, the things I feel, and the way I see the world, and it does those things for all of us when that special connection comes in the theatre. His plays are fuelled by a faith that we like Prospero or like Cordelia have the capacity to change, to forgive and to tell the truth.”
Clearly his vision has inspired others. Sport for Jove is a repertory theatre company, an actors’ company where everyone participates in creating the work and aspires to the highest standards. While their focus is on presenting unique and insightful productions of classical theatre, they are also dedicated to developing and producing new Australian plays. School students are clearly inspired by their experience of Sport for Jove productions and young people comprise a large and enthusiastic portion of all their audiences. In May this year, they will present a new production of The Merchant of Venice (see photo, left) at the Seymour Centre and Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, and then John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, at the Seymour Centre in July.
Celebrating their success in the recent Champions of the West awards conducted by The Daily Telegraph, is Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), at Parramatta. ICE has been awarded $10,000 as winners of the Arts section for their Family Creative Hub.
The Hub is a family support program for recently arrived refugee and migrant mothers with preschool children living in Parramatta, Auburn and Holroyd. Families are supported in successful transition to life in western Sydney through mentorship and iPad-based creative learning that facilitates social inclusion, and builds their social, English and digital skills. ICE welcomes contact from female artists who speak more than one language, in particular Farsi and Hindi, and who are interested in working with families. Living in western Sydney is a plus. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9897 5744.