[THEATRE ~ SA]
by Catherine Blanch.
Celebrating their silver anniversary of bringing quality, innovative and compelling theatrical experiences to local, national and international audiences, No Strings Attached Theatre Of Disability are embarking on an exciting journey to Seoul, South Korea to present the acclaimed I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET.
We speak with Artistic Director Alirio Zarvace, who tells us how this exciting adventure came about and what will be happening over there for the company and the cast.
“We presented the World Premiere of I FORGOT at the True Colours Festival in Singapore 2018 and the Director of the Korean Disability & Cultural Centre loved the show,” he begins. “Then earlier this year, we performed Ignition Point at the Adelaide Fringe 2019 where we had a couple of academics from Korea come and see the show. They absolutely loved the show and my methodology so we started a conversation about creating link and bridges between Australia and Korea.
“So when they returned home they started a conversation with the Korean Disability Arts & Culture Centre (KDAC) and, from there, everything felt into place. It is so amazing to be invited to do a season of I FORGOT in Seoul. We are taking a team of ten and doing seven shows, as well as talks and workshops. The whole cast and team is super excited; it’s brilliant for the company and it is fantastic to bring our unique theatre experience to Korea.”
I understand you will be engaging in a collaborative workshop with your hosts at the KDAC. What can you tell us about this and what is hoped to be achieved/created by this venture?
“It’s our commitment to continue creating artistic bridges in the Asia Pacific Region and showcase, engage and collaborate with the artists and community of South Korea,” Alirio says. “No Strings creates work where disability disappears, where we revel in stories and skills of our actors. We break down the fifth wall – the wall-associated with discrimination and perception that creates barriers in understanding each other as humans. We are the theatre Redefining Disability. Korea is opening to developing ways to engage artists with disability, so I think it is a perfect match.”
In 2018 you travelled to Singapore’s True Colours Festival. Do you feel that these opportunities have paved the way for No Strings to tour more extensively?
“Yes, definitely,” he says. “I just came back from Vietnam and had the pleasure to do the first theatre workshop ever in a disability centre in Hanoi. We keep developing relationships, connections and bridges not only for touring but hopefully for future collaborations that can change barriers and perceptions that we experience in the region.”
What new opportunities would you like to see offered to No Strings from all of these adventures?
“I think it would be great to keep bringing theatre and opportunities to self-expression to places that haven’t had those opportunities. We have brilliant performers and makes at No Strings and it’s fantastic to see them becoming incredible arts ambassadors for Australia, the Arts and Human Rights.”
Do these experiences help to creatively inspire the cast and crew in to creating new works?
“Yes, we are creating pathways to all our artist and performers, makers and advocates,” Alirio says. “So it is brilliant to see them take to the stage, to the mic and teach other performers and take their stories to the world. I am really interested in continuing to develop international collaborations and working across abilities, languages and culture.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
“We are really excited to bring No Strings Attached unique brand of Theatre to Korea. I Forgot To Remember To Forget is an absolutely beautiful collaboration and is journey have been amazing. I absolutely love the amazing team and it has been a pleasure to develop and lead this work. We are also nominated for an Adelaide Critic Circle Award 2019 so keep your fingers crossed for us.”
To follow the travels and performances of No Strings, head to nostringsattached.org.au
Devised, Written & Directed by: Alirio Zavarce
Created in collaboration with: Michaela Cantwell, Kathryn Hall, Cassie Litchfield, Kym Mackenzie, Duncan Luke
Artistic Support: Ashleigh Hauschild, Tyson Olson
General Manager: Kari Seeley
Technical Management: Brad Thomson
Costume Design: Ashleigh Boyce, Rachael Thompson
Music Composition: Tyson Olson
Projections: Matt Crook, Brad Thomson, Alirio Zavarce
Set Design: Shane Pope and Alirio Zavarce