THE KINGS CROSS THEATRE PRECINCT

PRESENTED by bAKEHOUSE Co-Artistic Director

SUZANNE MILLAR

for THE POTTS POINT PARTNERSHIP SPRING NETWORKING


I am here to celebrate a thriving and vibrant theatre precinct.

When we opened KXT in 2015 across from the coke sign in the heart of the city in the heart of the Cross, we connected 4 venues, all delivering work of extraordinary quality, placing them all within walking distance of one another. Griffin theatre sits on Nimrod St and next year celebrates 20 years. The Old Fitz down the hill on the edge of Woolloomooloo last year celebrated 30 years. The Hayes theatre ran its first season in 2014 and KXT launched in 2015. Last year the national arts editor of Time out Magazine declared the KX Theatre Precinct as the Sydney Theatre district that matters.. And it’s become known locally: the investment from council in fringe HQ demonstrates the accepted status and value of the area.

Its our own Off Broadway. Sydney’s Soho

So. what is that value? In practical terms: we drive incredible numbers of foot traffic into the area, building a base of grass roots tourism second to none. As an example: the past 2 years the combined audience numbers from the Old Fitz and KXT is 200,000. And that’s just a part of it. Griffin and Hayes theatre routinely run sold out seasons. If only a portion of that 200,000 buy a meal and a drink we’ve invested heavily into the viability of local business.

In keeping with being in the heart of the city, KXT joins with the other venues as a birthplace for careers: Did you attend Lord of the Flies at the Ros Packer for STC? Almost the entire cast, plus lighting designer and sound designer have worked at theatres in the area. And many will return. In the process we have created close ties with govt subsidised venues STC and Belvoir and have now become an essential cog in the economic and artistic well being of our city.

Lets get a little esoteric. Theatre entertains, distracts, informs, elaborates on the political conversation. But in broader terms: it records the world we live in and tells us about the world we want to live in. And here in KX, theatre is

the link to a long history of performance and a pathway towards the future.

We can talk about a city’s developments, infrastructure, services, suburbs. But theatre and art is the thing that gives a place heart, that demonstrates what we value, that gives where we live and where we work it’s personality and it’s purpose and it’s pulse.

Small to medium theatres like the ones in this precinct - as well as Fringe HQ here til Christmas - speak directly to their audience. We are in touch with them, telling them what’s on, hearing from them what it is they like, extending the conversation begun with our plays. Our combined eDM’s are distributed to many many thousands. We offer to you a 7 days a week, 52 w a year marketing machine. At any given time each of these venues is promoting what’s on, what’s coming up, and telling people why they should come. We’re on TV, radio, in newspapers and all over online with digital content.

So let’s think about how a community works. Core to the work at KXT is partnership with local orgs. NFP’s like Acon, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Chris O’Brien Lighthouse, and Mary’s house. We also partner with business: an upcoming show about vulnerable young women is supported by XFighting, who will run a free workshop for women in self defensive. We can talk about competition of course. But the thriving communities are those that understand the philosophy of I Am We Are: if you do well then we do well. And if I’m doing well then likely you will too. So what we have here in the KX Theatre Precint is an opportunity to support and grow and build our community.

There’s more we can consider: Visiting Hours our immersive theatre experience inspired by a local doctor from the 50s. nomnomnom an interactive experience on the streets of KX that was written to address isolation in cities. Popupstairs, our creative space sharing partnership giving support to experimental work that otherwise wouldn’t have a home. The art wall in our foyer showcasing the work of early stage artists.

Like all arts organisations we are much more than the thing you see.

We know it’s not enough to do it, we also have to be talking about it. And talking about Kings Cross is fraught. However, KX is more than the 80s or the golden mile or the underbelly, or a coward punch... yes this is certainly part of its history, and the plaques in the footpath demonstrate the value we must place in that, and the lessons we learn. But as we move forward let’s do that together. And lets talk - together - about all that this wonderful area holds

So what am I here to do?

I’m here to advocate for champions. If you haven’t been to one of those theatres then go. If you’re interested in engaging and partnering, if you want to talk about reciprocal opportunities, hit us up. If you want to invest in this thing that brings such value to your area then get in touch. It costs minimum $100k to keep the doors of a theatre open, and fringe HQ and Griffin are the only 2 venues receiving substantial operational funding. The rest of us are largely doing it on our own.

Help us help you.

The KX theatre precinct is unique and valuable. Let’s all work more closely together so that we can - together - tell the story of the real kings cross as we move into the future.

Photo Credit: Clare Hawley

Photo Credit: Clare Hawley

Griffin Theatre + Old Fitz Theatre + Hayes Theatre + KXT

the Sydney theatre district that matters”
— TIME OUT MAGAZINE

bAKEHOUSE and NEW WRITING

bAKEHOUSE has long committed to the development and support of new work. Since launching KXT we have premiered 8 new plays, including the world premiere of Philip Rouse’s first full length play Night Slows Down, international collaboration with Jatinga by Purva Naresh and the exciting epic story of The Laden Table, an script in development for 8 years. The partnership of playwright Justin Fleming and director Suzanne Millar has brought to life some of our most exciting work including acclaimed seasons of Junction (TRS 2012), His Mother’s Voice (ATYP 2104) and Dresden (KXT 2018). New work at bAKEHOUSE is generally large-cast, epic in scale, and built in partnership with community, often creating a platform for diverse and unheard stories.


KINGS CROSS THEATRE

at KXT, bAKEHOUSE invests in the development of new work. World Premieres showcased at KXT include YOUTH + DESTINATION by James Raggett, A LITTLE PIECE OF ASH by Megan Wilding, THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER by Little Eggs, PUNTILLA / MATTI by MKA, TWO HEARTS by Laura Lethlean, BETWEEN THE STREETLIGHT & THE MOON by Melita Rowston and more

STORYTELLERS FESTIVAL is a 2-week pop-up celebration of playwrights and words. the presentation of full length plays, small pieces of writing, and special events | CURATED BY Joanna Erskine

OMAR AND DAWN by James Elazzi was first showcased as a part of the HouseLights program in Storytellers 2018. In 2019 James’ play has a season at KXT directed by Dino Dimitriadis and produced by Apocalypse Theatre & Green Door


with the WRITE UP festival KXT is supporting the further development of new work by opening the doors to the new popup space in the hotel’s BORDELLO Room as part of the KXTPOPUPSTAIRS program. we’re welcoming in a bunch of theatre makers and offering up time to a heap of new works all at various stages of early development.

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featured in WRITE UP was the launch of NEW GHOSTS Theatre’s IGNITE program, running at KXT in December 2019, creating new work for women by women. Featuring the development and showcasing of 4 new plays by some of our most exciting young writers: GIRL BAND by Katy Warner JOAN by Natesha Somasundaram RUPTURED by Ciella Williams PSYCHOPATH by Gretel Vella

images from the Ignite launch by Clare Hawley images from the development of But You Don’t Look Sick by Sylvia Keays


bAKEHOUSE premieres


2018 IN REVIEW

Another remarkable year, with KXT presenting more 4-star reviewed shows than any other independent venue, and two SOLD OUT seasons. KXT hosted 12 women directors; 10 women producers; 8 shows designed by women; 8 plays written by women. Our support of new work was taken to another level with the  Storytellers Festival, which featured the first staging of 3 full length plays & pieces from 26 other new works, including 14 women playwrights and 13 women directors and with 69 actors participating. It was the year of our first Step Up Festival.  In addition, work at KXT in 2018 included 42 actors from non-anglo backgrounds.

CELEBRATING THE WORK OF WOMEN

Erin Taylor (A Girl is A Half Formed Thing) ★★★★ Audrey Journal

Kim Hardwick (The Walworth Farce) ★★★★ Audrey Journal ★★★★ Sunday Telegraph

Suzanne Millar (Dresden) ★★★★ Sydney Arts Guide

Claudia Barrie (You Got Older) ★★★★ Audrey Journal ★★★★ SMH ★★★★ Sunday Telegraph

Lucy Clements (Yen) ★★★★ Audrey Journal ★★★★ Arts Hub ★★★★ Sydney Arts Guide


HIGHLIGHTS

DRESDEN “Exhilaratingly theatrical... stirring, enthralling and surprisingly funny.” Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise

A world premiere by acclaimed Australian writer Justin Fleming, the play was another critically acclaimed sold-out season for bAKEHOUSE. Featuring a cast of some of Australia’s finest actors, and a brilliant design team, Dresden cemented the reputation of bAKEHOUSE and KXT as a home for audacious, global theatre on a grand scale. The production featured on the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best-of-the-Year list.

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YEN “It is very gripping drama, and under the astute direction of Lucy Clements, entertaining and immensely involving. Clements has us breathless for the show’s two-hour entirety…” Suzy Wrong, suzygoessee

One of several emerging companies offered a season in KXT2018, New Ghosts staging of Yen was delivered in spectacular fashion, with outstanding reviews and audience response. This was the company’s first fully produced play, and the mentoring and support provided by KXT and bAKEHOUSE enabled the team to present their work in its best possible light and its success is the embodiment of the KXT / bAKEHOUSE philosophy. The production was mentioned in the Best-of-the Year list of Suzy Wrong and Kevin Jackson.

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2017 IN REVIEW

The 2017 season established KXT as one of the most exciting venues in Sydney, and a national leader in programming, with a strong commitment to emerging artists, gender parity, experimental work and culturally diverse work. KXT hosted - 15 plays; 2 festivals; 4 world premieres; 9 Australian premieres; 8 female directors; 14 female writers; 4 script developments; 6 female producing teams; 3 major diverse projects; 2 international co-productions.

HIGHLIGHTS

THE LADEN TABLE “One of the most ambitious and logistically complex efforts you’ll see in an independent theatre this year.” Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald

This was a hugely successful venture artistically and financially. The play was hailed as a new Australian classic with rave reviews, industry buzz and sold-out houses. Twelve artists from culturally diverse backgrounds were present on stage and – rarely for such a big cast in independent theatre - all artists were paid a fee for their service. The Laden Table appeared on the Best-of the-Year lists of leading Sydney reviewers Suzy Wrong and Kevin Jackson.

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JATINGA “An irresistible blend of music, movement, puppetry and arresting performances... For one of our smallest companies to reach out so far beyond themselves to make a difference in the world is remarkable. One of the most ambitious companies in the country.” Cassie Tongue, Time Out

Another hugely successful culturally diverse production both artistically and financially. A brilliant new Australian-Indian collaboration - the result of an international artistic exchange, developed over 4 years and resulting in rave reviews and another sold-out season. Eleven artists from different cultural backgrounds appeared on stage. The production featured in the best-of-the-year lists of leading reviewers Jason Blake, Cassie Tongue and Kevin Jackson.

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DRY LAND “It may well be that this production is remembered for its shock value and the visceral reaction it pulls from its audience members. It’s significant and rare. But it’s also a play that’s worth much more than that, and one that paints a picture of young women’s lives rarely seen on stages.” Ben Neutze, The Daily Review

Another critically acclaimed, sold out season. Dry Land became the show to see in Sydney after an audience member fainted on opening night, and on the back of brilliant direction and performances garnered 8 nominations at the Sydney Theatre Awards, including Best Independent Production, Best Director, and Best Actress – with Sarah Meacham (first seen in bAKEHOUSE’s The Laden Table) going on to win Best Actress.

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2016 IN REVIEW

In 2016, our first full year of operation, KXT hosted 17 female producers 11 female directors; 10 female writers. Our season included 9 World premieres, 6 Australian premieres, 17 female producers, 11 female directors, 10 female writers.

HIGHLIGHTS

BLACK JESUS “It’s the type of production that’s rarely seen here and it certainly shouldn’t be missed.” Alana Kaye, Theatre Now

The first African story seen on a Sydney stage in over 10 years, with 4 African-Australian actors in the cast. Hugely successful artistically and critically, and established early that KXT was a venue where risky, diverse work would be programmed. Elijah Williams was nominated Best Newcomer at the Sydney Theatre Awards, and went on to appear in multiple Sport for Jove productions.

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STRAIGHT “Endearing and laugh-out-loud funny.” Matthew Raven, The Buzz

This was a high-profile team bringing a hard-hitting comedy to KXT. This project gave the industry confidence in the venue and brought the theatre from a “fringe” venue into the top rank of independent theatres. The season was an artistic and commercial success – the first sold-out season at KXT.

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VISITING HOURS ★★★★ Hugely successful artistically and financially. Another sold-out season with queues in the street waiting for last minute tickets and tickets being auctioned on-line!

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THE INVISIBLE CIRCUS

A huge Festival celebrating the work of women, with 4 of Sydney’s leading female directors tackling new Australian work by women with all-female design teams. Three fully produced plays played in rep across the 3-week festival, plus another three plays in development by bAKEHOUSE Co-Artistic Director Suzanne Millar. In addition, an art exhibit displayed the work of over 5 female artists for the duration of the Festival. Good With Maps earned Kate Gaul a Best Director nomination at the Sydney Theatre Awards, was invited to perform at Edinburgh Fringe, and is currently on a national tour. The Laden Table and Jatinga – both developed by bAKEHOUSE during the Invisible Circus – went on to highly successful fully produced seasons as part of the KXT 2017 season.

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ABOUT bAKEHOUSE

WE ARE bAKEHOUSE … bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company at KXT is a not-for-profit independent theatre company based in Sydney, producing work that showcases new voices. We provide opportunities and mentoring to young and emerging actors, writers, directors and designers, with a special focus on showcasing the talents of artists from diverse cultural backgrounds

KXT, A SPACE FOR ARTISTS… We took the blueprint. And we shredded it. KXT is intimate enough to truly connect with artists and grand enough to put the world on stage. At KXT we can make a major commitment to telling the global and cultural stories we want to tell, we can provide more opportunities to our artistic community, and through our Step Up and Popupstairs programs we are now able to extend these opportunities to many more artists. At KXT we're giving artists the chance to grow and flourish. We provide the resources that help to make their work beautiful, we give them time to develop and polish, we make it easier for them to meet the financial bottom line. We are a truly sustainable theatre.

WE PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES… We hothouse young talent. As our name suggests, the purpose of bAKEHOUSE and KXT is to provide an environment in which talent can not only grow, but flourish and be transformed through the process. Being part of a KXT production allows artists to stretch their wings and hone their craft. Artists who have worked with us have gone on to study at NIDA, WAAPA and VCA, and to work with some of Australia’s leading companies such as Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Griffin, Bell Shakespeare and Melbourne Theatre Company

WE PROMOTE DIVERSITY… We don’t just talk about the need for cultural diversity on our stages. We put our money where our mouth is. In terms of contributing to the diversity, vibrancy and sustainability of Sydney’s rich cultural life, we are punching well above our weight. Through our StoryLines initiatives, we have provided opportunities for over 100 culturally and linguistically diverse artists to showcase their talent to the industry and Sydney audiences. Our commitment to this work is changing Sydney’s theatre landscape.

KXT, A COMMUNITY CULTURAL HUB… We’re creating a new Soho in Sydney. Kings Cross has been a community meeting-place for thousands of years. It’s a crossroads where journeys intersect, where possibilities diverge. Our community knows that coming to KXT means they get to see the best independent theatre-makers in Sydney telling stories we don’t hear anywhere else, stories that make us think about our place in the world. At KXT we’re extending this connection through our Chesterfield and Crossroads series - programs of satellite events, performances and exhibitions that ignite community conversations.




 

It take an army…

We have a bAKEHOUSE closing night tradition. A shout out to absent friends and unsung heroes. Cause it takes an army to put on a show. And it takes a world of people to run a theatre. We’ve had incredible support this year from a heap of people, and we couldn’t do it without every one of you! But we’d like to acknowledge a couple in particular, two people who have stepped up this year and filled some pretty big gaps.

Charlie Vaux stepped in as KXT PRODUCTION INTERN earlier in the year and he’s helped us at bump ins, bump outs, key handovers, inductions, FOH, opening nights… an abundance of tedious tasks that keep things ticking over. Then, as Stage Manager on Dresden he had his hands full going from the rehearsal room, to set build, operating,  and running the show. It was a baptism by fire (if you saw the show you’d appreciate that…!) and we couldn't have got the show on without him. He’ll be on occasional box office during the Storytellers Festival, if you see him say hi.

Rebecca Blake (Cub) is a member of the inaugural Step Up team. This year she stepped into the directors chair during the Step Up Festival, driving through an awesome development of Rotterdam by Jon Brittain, working with Ella Prince, Travis Jeffrey, Phoebe Lane and Bobby Jean Henning. We were excited to have her in as Assistant Director on our production of Dresden, after filling the AD role on the Brevity production of A Girl is Half Formed Thing

ANNOUNCING: Rebecca Blake is the KXT ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE. 

We're thrilled to have Rebecca join the KXT Management team. Many hands make light work, and there's a lot going on at KXT: in the short few days she's been at the job, we've already seen the benefits of the shared load. She’s a keyboard warrior, getting the work done after hours when she’s done with the day job as Festival Co-Ordinator for Festival of Dangerous Ideas. Cub’s on the way up and we’re super excited to have her on the team

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STORYTELLERS FESTIVAL @ KXT

PRODUCTION BLOG

CURATED BY JOANNA ERSKINE, WITH THANKS TO DANNY BALL + KXTEETHCUTTING

CALL OUT FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST for KXT2019

at KXT, bAKEHOUSE is committed to providing an affordable and accessible venue. We’re invested in the sustainability of companies, artists and new work. We’re at the forefront of diverse programming, theatre for social change, and gender equity. We’re keeping the door open for new and emerging artists, and actively supporting and mentoring the next generation through our acclaimed STEP UP program

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We're keeping it super simple...

SEND us a short covering email telling us why this is the show you want to stage

ATTACH a single page doc with a brief overview of the show, why you reckon it should be part of the season, and details of your production and creative team, with any confirmed cast

AND a copy of the script PLUS evidence of the availability of rights INCLUDE 2 options for preferred dates ALSO your short, sexy 100-150 word marketing blurb for the show

Got an even bigger idea? No matter how ambitious or crazy, if it's something you're passionate about, we want to hear it!

      

EMAIL: SUBJECT LINE: KXT2019 EOI | TO: bakehousetheatrecompany@gmail.com

SUBMISSIONS CLOSE 5.00 pm 1 September 2018
 

so good to have this new venue doing consistently good work. It’s a glory: what can happen when artists take over a room and make it their own
— David Berthold

bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company launched KXT - Kings Cross Theatre at the end of 2015 to support Sydney’s indie theatre scene and the local arts community. We offer companies heaps of support and maximum autonomy. We’re investing in a sustainable ecology for indie theatre

Visiting Hours photo credit: Clare Hawley

Visiting Hours photo credit: Clare Hawley

every KXT work in some way pushes forward the Sydney arts scene - its an opportunity for artists to experiment and create, and its a chance for the audience to see where our local performance culture is headed”
— Cassie Tongue, Time Out

 

 


GETTING THE JOB DONE

At KXT we are committed to showcasing diversity and building gender equity…

We’ve had a bunch of women-led teams at KXT over the past 2 and a half years. Today’s spotlight is on:

PHOTO CREDIT: Indiana Kwong

PHOTO CREDIT: Indiana Kwong

A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING by Annie Ryan | Presented by Brevity Theatre

Performed by Ella Prince Directed by Erin Taylor
Produced by Emma Diaz Design by Isabel Hudson Sound by Clemmie Williams Lighting by Veronique Bennett Assistant Directed by Rebecca Blake

Jason Blake, Audrey Journal: "AN ABSOLUTE TOUR DE FORCE…A powerhouse performance pulls the audience into a young woman's turbulent stream of consciousness” 

 

Jatinga by Purva Naresh | Presented by bAKEHOUSE Theatre

This work was developed in association with AAWC, Mumbai-based NGO that works with the victims of sex-trafficking, and grew out of director Suzanne Millar’s work with the org to raise awareness around the global issues of modern day slavery. Developed in partnership with multiple Mubai-based theatre companies, included leading light RAGE Theatre, supported by Shernaz Patel, and inspired by the young women of Kamathipura.

Cast: Sapna Bhavnani, Karina Bracken, Claudette Clarke, Faezeh Jalali, Sheila Kumar, Suz Mawer, Bali Padda, Monroe Reimers, Trishala Sharma, Teresa Tate Britten, Amrik Tumber. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Natasha Narula

PHOTO CREDIT: Natasha Narula

“Epic” SMH

“Haunting... visionary... Modern and mythical India, alive in Kings Cross. Amazing.” Kevin Jackson

“For one of our smallest companies to reach out so far beyond themselves to make a difference in the world is remarkable” Cassie Tongue, Time Out

 

Transcience by Clare Hennessey | presented by Left of Centre

Director Clemence Williams; Producer Georgie Adamson; With Kurt Pimblett, Julia Christensen and Eve Beck.

PHOTO CREDIT: Liam O'Keefe

PHOTO CREDIT: Liam O'Keefe

Back in September 2016, Clemmie Williams led a powerhouse team on a new play from Left of Centre: a story of gender, friendship and chambray jumpsuits, that asks what and who we're willing to compromise to belong. What would Manu do?

And of course… Invisible Circus, a wonderful month with the women destroying the joint; showcasing the work of women who are getting the job done

CLICK HERE FOR MORE

CLICK HERE FOR MORE

answers the recent question of “Where are the women in theatre?” with a firm and confident “Here we are.” This production is a bright shining example of women who have been, and continue to, work in theatre and can create in a non-tokenistic way.
— TALKING ARTS