Black Swan State Theatre Company Announces 2018 Season Conversations

Black Swan State Theatre Company Announces 2018 Season ConversationsBLACK SWAN State Theatre Company is excited to present the 2018 season, the first that embodies the vision of Artistic Director Clare Watson. Featuring a line-up of classic and contemporary works that sit side by side, in a series of mini festival 'feasts' between the Heath Ledger Theatre and Studio Underground. We will enrich each pairing with pop up activities, discussions, podcasts, film screenings and much more!


In our first CONVERSATION: The boys are back in town, sitting side by side in the month of May, we experience one of our greatest and beloved Australian plays - Ray Lawler's Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, a beautiful 1950's drama of love and homecoming. Set in working class Melbourne, this classic is directed by Adam Mitchell and is paired with the subversive and gender bending American kitchen sink drama, Hir by Taylor Mac and directed by Zoe Pepper. Both plays begin with men returning, only to find things have irrevocably changed.

CONVERSATION 2: Hit me with your best shot, enliven the winter months of June and July, with the multiple Tony Award-winning musical Assassins, music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, directed by Roger Hodgman. A timely reminder that those in power ignore the marginalised in society at their peril. Assassins is paired with the contemporary British play The Events by David Greig, starring Catherine McClements (Water Rats, Rush), directed by Clare Watson, and featuring a different Perth community choir at each performance. Extremism and gun violence are under the lens and the healing power of music is celebrated.

CONVERSATION 3: Together in electric dreams, we love hard and dream big, with two wonderful world premieres of plays about belonging. Our 2018 season commences with Perth Festival and DADAA in a co-production You Know We Belong Together, for four performances only from 1 - 4 March. This play looks at the beauty and complexity of living with Down syndrome and tells of Julia Hales' story of finding love, directed by Clare Watson. It is paired with our first co-production with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, later in the year from 18 Aug to 2 Sept, a truly unique West Australian work, called Skylab, a 70s sci-fi comedy set in Esperance, written by Melodie Reynolds-Diarra and directed by Kyle J Morrison.

In our final pairing for the year CONVERSATION 4: Girls just want to have fun, we embrace the feminine and look at the roles and representation of women across a century. Starting on 24 Oct to 4 Nov, In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl is a hysterical parlour drama set in the1880s, revealing the history of the vibrator and directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. This play pairs with Xenides, devised by Clare Watson and collaborators from 27 Oct to 11 Nov. This is our third world premiere and top dollar musical exposè about Adriana Xenides, the 1980s game show hostess from Australia's 'Wheel of Fortune', with original composition by electronic pop group The Twoks.

Artistic Director Clare Watson said "Curating the 2018 season we began by asking the question: "What should we be talking about right now, as citizens of the world, as Western Australians, as humans? We wanted the theatre that you see at BLACK SWAN to catalyse and contribute to the big conversations." She added that "Our season in 2018 is designed to encourage compassion and extend empathy and most importantly, to entertain. We are thrilled to continue to build our community of artists and celebrate exciting collaborations with our small to medium sector colleagues, as well as our national colleague companies for our audience."

The 2018 season will deliver three mainstage shows in the Heath Ledger Theatre with a record five shows in the Studio Underground. This includes three world premieres, two co-productions with local companies and four plays written by Australian playwrights. The year also welcomes the renewal of Rio Tinto as our Principal Partner for 2018 - 2019 with an increased focus on telling local stories, sharing a range of Aboriginal voices, a diversity of faces and perspectives and to develop new regional initiatives.

Subscriptions during the priority period is from 28 August to 31 December 2017 with BLACK SWAN single tickets on sale on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

All Subscription packages are available to be purchased online at or through the completion of our booking form, available to download as an editable PDF from our website:

For further information, please visit

Photo credit Cameron Etchells

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