Tamarama Rock Surfers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Tamarama Rock Surfers was an independent theatre company that operated out of the Old Fitzroy Theatre in Woolloomooloo, New South Wales, Australia, and beyond. After 18 years, the group ceased trading in December 2015 due to lack of funding.[1]

History[edit]

The story behind the name is that some of the founding members were regular board riders in Tamarama, a notoriously dangerous surfing spot known for its hazardous rocks. The name was to become a metaphor for the edgy and risky plays these performers were to produce. Formed by a collection of local actor/surfers in 1997, they felt at the time there was lack of a platform for new voices in the industry.[2]

Since its inception, the Company produced over 200 main stage productions and premiered 130 new Australian plays.[3] The Company was led by artists such as Jeremy Cumpston, Ansuya Nathan, Zena Cumpston and Alan Flower.[4]

In 2011, Rock Surfers with the help of Waverley Council, moved to a larger venue at the Bondi Pavilion. Not confined to the space, the Rock Surfers have also performed in the Studio venue of the Sydney Opera House.

The company has also been the start of many other independent Australian theatre companies. It has also started many theatre careers like Tim Minchin, Kate Mulvany, Toby Schmitz, Sarah Goodes, Ewen Leslie, Suzie Miller, Iain Sinclair, Sarah Giles, Josh Lawson, Brendan Cowell, Blazey Best, Jason Clarke and Sarah Snook.[1]

Artists and Performers[edit]

Many talented Australian actors, both veterans and newcomers, perform in plays at the Old Fitzroy Theatre such as Bojana Novakovic, Beejan Olfat, Jeremy Cumpston, Simon Burke, Pippa Grandison, Toby Schmitz, Victoria Hill, Damon Herriman, Mouche Phillips, Carole Skinner, Leah Vandenberg, Danny Adcock. In addition, many notable directors have recognised the space as one of Sydney's finest intimate venues, among them David Field, Simon Lyndon, Jason Clarke, Brendan Cowell, Van Badham, Jeremy Sims.

Productions & Awards[edit]

2002 saw the introduction of the innovative 'late shows'. Running on Sunday nights after the scheduled performance, the space was opened up to a variety of performances such as cabaret, multi-media, music and dance.

2006 - A particular highlight of the season was Sue Smith's Thrall, directed by current CEO Leland Kean, starring Peta Sergeant, John McNeill, Tamara Cook and Bryce Youngman. "Sue Smith's beautiful, evocative and erotic play understands the necessary seduction of narrative set-up but, even better, knows how to develop bigger and universal ideas inside the reductive machinery of plot. It's a grounded work in which the thematic ideas transcend the narrative" [5]

2008 was a mixed year for the Company with the success of Toby Schmitz's Cu*t Pi, and the sudden tragic loss of company member Mark Priestley

The 2009 season opened with the Philip Ridley play Vincent River, starring Beejan Land and Elaine Hudson to encouraging reviews, "In a period of heatwaves in Sydney (turning the Fitz into an oven) and the distractions of the Sydney Festival, these two have risen above all to grip audiences by the throat and not let go for a minute"[6] TRS continually collaborate with other independent production companies both nationally and internationally.

Now[edit]

Lack of funding and some other uncertainties, forced the Rock Surfers Company into voluntary liquidation in December 2015. The company depended on support from foundations, individuals and investment from local and government bodies as ticket sales only covered a fraction of their costs.[1] There are no immediate plans to reopen but there is some optimism within the company for a comeback in the future.[7]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Rock Surfers Theatre Company to close at the end of 2015". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  2. ^ "Not waiting for Godot". The Sun-Herald.
  3. ^ "The End of Rock Surfers Theatre Company | Altmedia". www.altmedia.net.au. Retrieved 2016-03-30. 
  4. ^ "Rock Surfers Theatre Company to close at the end of 2015". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  5. ^ Sue Smith's beautiful, evocative and erotic play understands the necessary seduction of narrative set-up but, even better, knows how to develop bigger and universal ideas inside the reductive machinery of plot. It's a grounded work in which the thematic ideas transcend the narrative
  6. ^ [1] Archived July 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ White, Naomi (December 28, 2015). "Funding shortfall closes Tamarama Rock Surfers theatre for good". http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/. Daily Telegraph.  External link in |website= (help)