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About us

Photo Chris Brown Image Oscar Peterson & Cloe Fournier

theatre in hurt and abandoned spaces

Our Vision

To create immersive experiences in unusual and forgotten places to shift perceptions and engage in critical dialogues reflecting the significant issues of our time.

Our Mission

To re-define contemporary theatre by giving artists a home to collaborate, be vulnerable, share work and stretch practice.

Through artistic and scholarly research, we address the epic (which are systemic injustice and inequality) by amplifying the domestic (such as themes of trauma and violence).

Core values

We DEFY genre, disciplinary boundaries and audience expectations by being AUDACIOUS and COURAGEOUS. Expanding the theatre cannon to offer space to create new and diverse work.

COLLABORATION as a process to challenge how we learn.

To act with INTEGRITY by creating with emotional honesty and always being accountable to artists, audiences and the community.

We build intimate CONNECTIONS by shattering the space between audience/performer and the narrative itself.

We value the impact and logic of the non-linear and multi-sensory.

Our Governance

Celine Thompson (Chair) has been the legal advisor to The Living Room Theatre for over four years. Celine ensures compliance with relevant legislation to ensure LRT’s obligations are met. Celine also drafts contractual agreements, reviews policies and essentially carries out the dry side of things leaving the experiential creativity to Michelle.

Ray Parslow (Deputy Chair/ Brand & Comms) is an award winning designer, Brand and Design Creative Partner with Extrablack, and one of Australia’s leading proponents of experiential graphic design. As a visual communicator, he brings strategy and visual communications to the branding and marketing of the Company.

He has worked with the Company for over 12 years. He creates and builds a sophisticated marketable visual brand presence for each performance and the company as a whole, exploring aspects of the performance experience and making an emotional connection with the viewer.

Scott Bird (Secretary) has been a Chartered Accountant for over 25 years, in both Chartered (12 years) and Commerce (18+ years). Whilst in Commerce he was predominantly responsible for Finance and Operations, with experience dealing in both Global and Local organisations.

Georgia Sullivan (Treasurer) is a qualified and highly experienced CPA with expertise across a wide range of industries including the arts & cultural sector along with building & construction where she was business owner and operator.  Her diverse career in corporate sector deliverables includes the development of reports and providing recommendations, budget management, risk mitigation, cash flow management, and working with internal stakeholders to ensure they are across corporate financial understanding.

Eva Rodriguez Riestra (Member / Research Centre) is an Architect and works for the City of Sydney’s City Projects division as Manager of Public Art. She is a partner in Anagram, a small design practice specialising in urban research and communication.

She also tutors in design and digital communications in the schools of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of NSW. She sits on a number of committees and is involved in community and advocacy organisations.

Michelle St Anne (Member / Artistic program) is a theatrical artist, curator and producer. Outside of her artistic practice Michelle has a long-term research career exploring environmental issues and the link between social forms of violence.

Michelle was a founding member and Deputy Director at the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney (2013 – 2021) where she oversaw the Institute’s operations and engagement, including its notable public programme. Michelle is also an Honorary Associate of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies and the Conservatorium of Music, and member of the Institute of Criminology. She is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, Actors Centre Australia, and the Victorian College of the Arts. She currently administers the Newtown Chamber of Business & the Inner West Creative Network.

The Living Room Theatre Inc is a non-profit DGR/TCC registered organisation founded in 2000 with 26 original works created across over two decades.

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Executive Summary

The Living Room Theatre (LRT) was born back in 2000 with the frustration of the prevailing arts scene. Dissatisfied with the sector’s expectation of the stories that imbued St Anne’s body, LRT soon became a home for her unique voice and methodology that she has pioneered for over twenty years.

Through LRT, St Anne’s early works explored personal trauma which developed into the investigation of violence within homes, landscapes, and systems where she pioneered the artistic pedagogy ‘composing self’. Composing self is an embodied approach to collaboration that prioritises constructing safe and self-determined spaces where artists can take risks, extend their practice and reckon with their own methodologies with care and comfort. Justice or rather injustice underpins LRT’s work as St Anne and her diverse collaborators forge new ways, give voice to the vulnerable and speak truth to power by shedding light on systemic patriarchal structures.

LRT draws on the principles of ‘Composed Theatre’ (methodology coined by David Roesner and Matthias Rebstock) where theatrical stage and its elements are approached as ‘musical’ material. Extensive development stages, focus on sensorial, and putting the emphasis on collaboration across disciplines are the usual staples of the LRT productions.

“My work is not about the straight narrative, nor the theatrical arc but rather what is heart driven, illogical with the narrative meted out through image, light, sound and language.” – Michelle St Anne.

Over the last decade LRT has forged partners with international scholars who are fascinated in our approach and aesthetic that has filtered into their publications.

With sell-out shows and high audience engagement, LRT produces ambitious and powerful site-responsive performance. The organisation has a strong sense of integrity, artistic excellence, and innovation, and creates unexpected, poetic experiences that captivate audiences, unleash emotions, and give voice to the most vulnerable. LRT’s work strives to change systemic attitudes towards violence, trauma, and the female body by shifting audience perception, so these insights create small changes within themselves, community, and society.

As the journey continues, LRT remains committed to creating inclusive and experiential contemporary performance works that transcend time, explore space and frame images in hurt and abandoned spaces. We tell stories about women by women to support and develop female voices within the arts, cultural and academic sectors.

Our Artists

Max Alduca, Laura Altman, Brett Archer, Marie-Louise Bethune, Caitlin Beresford-Ord, Monica Brian, Eileen Camilleri, Romy Caen, Hayley Chan, Kath Cogill, Renata Commisso, Holly Connor, Imogen Cranna, Rebecca Davis, Linda Dement, Jim Denley, Carolyn Divjak, Sam Gill, Kate Gorman,  Dave Ellis, Jacques Emery, Lawrence English, Nick Farnell, Cloe Fournier, Ira Ferris, Anca Frankenhaueser,  Will Hansen, Susannah Hardy, Julie Hudspeth, Niki Johnson, Peter Keogh, Chloe Kim, Emma Langridge, Lian Loke, Susan Miller, Oscar Peterson, John Pollitt, Gabrielle Quinn, Mary Rapp, Julie Samerski, Keir Saltmarsh, Pauline Sgambellone, Josh Spolc, Alexandra Spence, Alister Spence, Kim Sullivan, Clayton Thomas, Sue-Jo Wright, Rochelle Whyte,

 

Jo Elliott, Dan Mercer, Fausto Brusamolino

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