Focus on activist theatre

Issue 

BY ANDREW HALL

CANBERRA — The changing face of politics and grass roots activism are addressed in four works in the Festival of the Contemporary Arts theatre program.

Canberra's fifth Festival of the Contemporary Arts (FoCA5) is being held from September 25 to October 7. The program includes live art, literature, visual art, an "After Dark" club program and a series of free events.

Urban identity, the recurring theme for FoCA5, is introduced as a traffic roundabout — which are an icon of Canberra. Here rules are reinterpreted, we change our route, or shoot off in a new direction.

"Nearly everything in FoCA5 is new work. Everything else is an Australian or Canberra premiere. The artists present the issues that are relevant to their lives and ultimately to all of our lives. Each of these works takes an important global issue and makes it relevant to our daily lives", said FoCA5 manager Anne-Marie Peard.

Demons has contemporary political activism as its theme. Presented by CIA (Culturally Innovative Arts), this multi-media work is adapted from Dostoevsky's Devils and is inspired by experiences at the September 11-13 protests in Melbourne against the World Economic Forum.

The Australian premiere of David Hare's Via Dolorosa examines the human side of the Israel/Palestine conflict. Via Dolorosa is being performed by Patrick Dickson, best known for his work with the Bell Shakespeare Company and in television's Seachange.

Wallace Shawn's The Fever places a wealthy (and deliriously ill) protagonist in a country facing extreme poverty and political repression. Shawn wrote the work to be performed by a male or female of any age. Iain Sinclair from Elbow Theatre is performing the role for FoCA5. The Fever is free for health care card holders on September 25, along with Pure Escapism, a very funny look at comic book culture and issues of isolation and depression.

24 hours in the life of a revolutionary is part of the free FoCA5 play readings series. Written by Canberra's Jose Marques, it is based on Che Guevara's last 24 hours.

For a free FoCA5 program guide, phone 02 6249 7377.

Reading Green Left online is free but producing it isn't

Green Left aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. We rely on regular support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get Green Left in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the paper delivered to your door.