Take time our during Melbourne's International Festival season to experience more intimate entertainment in the city's lively independent theatre venues...
Footscray's Dog Theatre is leaving its home of the past three years to become a site-specific 'pop up' venue around the western suburbs...
Originally known as the Melbourne Fringe Network, the Melbourne Fringe Festival was founded in 1982, and operated for many years out of the then-bohemian inner city enclave of Fitzroy...
Fresh from winning a coveted Yale scholarship, playwright Amelia Roper is intent on shaking up Australian theatre...
If Footscray is the new Carlton, the Dog Theatre is the new Pram Factory...
Art The Footscray Community Arts Centre is an old bluestone building with an amphitheatre which is home to the Women's Circus, exhibitions, art studios and workshops and is located alongside the Maribyrnong River. Their programs include workshops for people of all ages, a Community Cultural Development Artist Residency program and ArtLife - a program for people with disabilities to participate in arts activities and develop life skills.
The Melbourne Museum of Printing located in Footscray is open for public visits, classes for students of typography and the artist's access studio. Visitors are able to see various facets of typesetting and printing, including Gutenberg's invention of movable types, typesetting (by hand) with movable types, Linotype machine (hot metal composition), Ludlow machine (hot metal for large or fancy type), engravings needed to print an illustration and stereotypes (duplicates of typesettings).
The Trocadero Art Space is a recently opened arts venue exhibiting new and contemporary art in the heart of Footscray. The space consists of two purpose-built interior exhibition spaces and as an outdoor, street-exposed exhibition space.
The Snuff Puppets are a large Footscray based performance group who make oversized puppets, combining the elements of puppetry, live music, visual and physical theatre to create a notable performance. Snuff Puppets have toured over sixteen countries, including Indonesia, Japan, China, Brazil, Western and Eastern Europe.
Snuff Puppets have been working in Footscray since 1992 and are based in the historic Footscray Drill Hall, which they currently share with The Women's Circus, whilst the Footscray Community Arts Centre is being renovated.
The Big West Festival is a leading contemporary community arts festival held every two years in Footscray and surrounding suburbs, and is the largest arts Festival west of the city. Big West 2007 will run November 23 - December 2.
In September 2008 the first independent theatre space in the west opened: The Dog Theatre.
FOOTSCRAY'S Dog Theatre is bringing music to the West this month after making its Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut in April.
The 50-seat theatre was rocked by local pop band Bellbird - who will be jetting off on an overseas tour later this month - and pop and rock band Donna and the Aspinauts last weekend and will showcase The Louie Prez Trio on Saturday 30 May.
The trio, led by Footscray resident Ray Pereira, is a collaboration of original African and Brazilian jazz.
"The Dog's just gone off like a rocket," the Dog Theatre's artistic director Peta Hanrahan said.
The Dog has also signed on The Shift Theatre for the month of June, after the theatre company won the rights to a new Australian play.
Shift is currently in rehearsals.
"We're not just bringing theatre to the West, we're showing theatre what the West has to offer," Ms Hanrahan said.
Ms Hanrahan said she was working hard to ensure the Dog Theatre became a permanent feature for entertainment in the West.
The theatre, which has been open for less than a year, became the first in the West to host events for the Comedy Festival this year.
Ms Hanrahan has also registered The Dog's interest in the Fringe Festival, Midsummer and the Melbourne Writer's Festival, and has put in funding applications for several projects.
Peta Hanrahan (Artistic Director, The Dog Theatre) and Councillor Jan Rossiter (City of Maribyrnong) interviewed by Ralph McLean.
I'm all for theatres in the west, which is my side of town. When Simon Stone opened the Hayloft Project in Seddon, I was briefly excited (especially when I went to see Platonov), but sadly that space ran into trouble through no fault of the Hayloft's. But it seems that the west's time has come.
The Dog Theatre, a nifty and well-set-up little space in Footscray's Dancing Dog Cafe, was launched yesterday with champagne and lots of enthusiasm. The theatre is about the size of La Mama, and with a similar - if new and raw - feeling about it.
It's opening on September 24 with a project directed for the Melbourne Fringe by our blogger friend Matt Scholten. It's a westy affair - Matt lives six doors down from the cafe, and he's putting on Daniel Keene's Half & Half. (Keene is a man of many identities, but is chiefly known as an eager patron of Coles supermarket in Williamstown.) Half & Half is a two-hander which - for once - deserves the Beckettian adjective that often attaches itself to Keene's work. It premiered as a Playbox/Keene/Taylor co-production in 2001, with Rob Menzies and Dan Spielman, and won the NSW Premier's Prize the following year. In this revisiting, it features Anthony Winnick and Matthew Molony. It promises well. (And in case you're asking - as with other indie productions of Keene's work in the past few years, I'm not reviewing it).
Upcoming Dog productions include a piece on Bulldog footballing hero Ted Whitten, again directed by Scholten, and some comedy. The connections with La Mama are more than superficial - watch for some exchange between a revitalised La Mama and the west. It promises to be a fertile new space in an area which is ripe for its own independent theatre.