Explorations Series (Bathurst): Theo Barker Memorial Lecture - The Ghosts of the Past are Very Present in Bathurst - Rachael Coopes


Start: 18th Aug 2017 6:30pm
End: 18th Aug 2017 7:30pm

At 6pm prior to the lecture, light refreshments will be offered.

"With a deep passion for research-heavy projects, a desire to create theatre for young people, and a fascination with how Australia's past informs its present, Rachael Coopes delves into the complex process of merging history with imagination. She discusses the challenges and joys of using "true" (as true as they ever are) historical stories to inspire writing for theatre - after all, history is just "his"story. And how to discover that tiny piece of gold in mountains of research that allows a story develop that entertains, engages, and starts a dialogue with young people. After a series of residencies with composer Guy Webster- working with local youth, and researching Bathurst's colourful history and modern culture - they are currently in the early draft stage of a new theatre work. A development will take place shortly, with stage production in late 2018 at the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) and the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) in Sydney. "

Rachael is a storyteller in many forms, and her career in theatre, film and television spans over 20 years. She started writing sketches for SBS's Life Support in 2001 and devised The Decameron at the Old Fitzroy. On winning the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and Marten Bequest Scholarship, Rachael studied in Paris 2004-2005, with Philippe Gaulier, devising new work and writing her first play Art House. 

Other work includes Two Women (Grifffringe at Griffin Theatre 2010), I'm Not Sure I'm an Adult Yet (November ISM Festival 2011) and various corporate projects, including ten-minute silent piece A Moment in Time in 2013. She has worked as a drama coach on The Sapphires, commercials directed by Ray Lawrence and ABC's Clever Man and is currently coaching kids on series Fighting Season with Kate Woods.

Her play Sugarland, winner of the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production, co-created with Wayne Blair, was produced at ATYP and the Darwin Festival in 2014. It was ATYP's first professional production in 30 years, broke all ATYP box office records, won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People, just completed a national tour, was nominated for a 2015 AWGIE Award for Theatre for Young Audience, a Green Room Award for Best New Work 2017 and was published in 2015.

She regularly writes for ABC's Play School and is currently part of the writing team for Australian/Irish co-pro Ambience/ AirPig Productions/ Telegael new children's television series Drop Dead Weird. In 2017 she was awarded an honorary fellowship at The State Library of NSW, as their first-ever Creative Fellow. This will provide research support for her new work in development- Les Darcy (working title) a play based on infamous Australian boxer Les Darcy, who is also her great-grandfather's cousin. She is currently replicating the Sugarland process with ATYP and BMEC in Bathurst, doing a series of residences 2016-2017, working with local young people and artists, and writing The Climbing Tree (working title), with production slated for 2018. Also in development is a new kids series with George Ellis based around engaging kids in listening to orchestra.

Venue / Address:
City Hall, Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, 105 William Street, Bathurst NSW.

Contact Phone: (02) 6338 4645
Contact Email: Tarah Syphers, Regional Relations Assistant

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