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Almanac13: NO SHOW: Bridget Balodis + Mark Pritchard (Melbourne, Australia)

NO SHOW: Bridget Balodis + Mark Pritchard
(Melbourne, Australia)

NO SHOW: Bridget Balodis + Mark Pritchard. NO SHOW is the joint project of two independent theatre directors investigating new ways of telling stories in live spaces. We create interactive and immersive theatre experiences, striving to engage generously with urgent contemporary questions and create meaningful encounters with audiences. We’re stripping our theatre craft back to its roots in myth, ritual, and the power of the live, shared experiences. Our works reimagine contemporary rituals as performative encounters, drawing the audience into the reconstruction and deconstruction of clichés and dominant mythologies, exposing the roots, desires and power structures within them. Our theatre is communal, provocative, inventive, unwieldy, and plays to both the spectacular and the intimate. NO SHOW was seeded through the Victorian College of the Arts and Next Wave, with key support from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Besen Family Foundation. Our works to date include: ‘Unfinished Business’ (This Is Not Art Festival 2013; You Are Here Festival 2013), ‘Outside Line’ (Pop-Up Playground 2013), ‘The Séance’ (2013 La Boite Indie; 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival) and ‘Shotgun Wedding’ (2012 Next Wave Festival).

Shotgun Wedding
Shotgun Wedding is an interactive performance experience investigating the phenomenon of contemporary marriage by engaging audiences in the fabrication of wedding. Approaching this ancient cultural institution as if we’ve just invented it ourselves, and using guests as guinea pigs for the experiment, Shotgun Wedding exposes the mythologies, superstitions and meanings that the wedding ritual represents. Marriage in Australia sits somewhere between sacred rite, commercial accessory, homophobic monolith, sexist relic, and meaningless irrelevancy. As young queer artists, NO SHOW conceived Shotgun Wedding to engage with contemporary debate and understand the power and place of the institution. It’s like no wedding you’ve ever been to, but speaks to every wedding you’ll ever go to. A man and a woman are quickly frocked up and led down the aisle, with the audience cast as their soon-to-be merged families. Melding Corinthians, Shaniah and The Little Mermaid, the ceremony evokes the bare bones of a contemporary union that walks the delicate line between satire and sacrament. Then, in a bare hall, the audience creates and enacts the wedding reception from scratch. ‘Shotgun Wedding’ unravels as a desperate celebration of the contested idea of marriage, with ancient rituals jammed up against contemporary practices. The entire audience become performers, navigating through action the meanings and falsehoods of this politically contentious act. ‘Shotgun Wedding’ investigates the marriage rite as a container of cultural meaning, and asks us to consider how and why we celebrate it.

Production History: St Peters Eastern Hill, Melbourne


Twitter: @pritchmark

Facebook: noshowtheatre

Photo: © Sarah Walker

[alert heading=”The Contemporary Performance Almanac13″ type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]This post is part of a series of profiles on performance and performance makers from the book Contemporary Performance Almanac 2013, an overview of contemporary performance presented during the 2012/2013 season available for touring now.[/alert]

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Caden Manson is a director, media artist, and teacher. He is co-founder of the media ensemble and network, blog, and publisher, He has co-created, directed, video- and set designed 18 Big Art Group productions. Manson has shown video installations in Austria, Germany, NYC, and Portland; performed PAIN KILLER in Berlin, Singapore and Vietnam; Taught in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Montreal, NYC, and Bern; the ensemble has been co-produced by the Vienna Festival, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Hebbel Am Ufer, Rome’s La Vie de Festival, PS122, and Wexner Center for The Arts. Caden is a 2001 Foundation For Contemporary Art Fellow, is a 2002 Pew Fellow and a 2011 MacDowell Fellow. Writing has been published in PAJ, Theater Magazine, and Theater der Zeit. Caden is currently an associate professor and graduate directing option coordinator of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

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