The Old 505 Theatre, one of Sydney’s most unique and innovative performance spaces, is set to become a more established venue on the theatre goer’s radar with the introduction of their first subscription season.
The subscription season was launched this week and will begin in January, with each season running for a period of six months.
Old 505 Theatre is an intimate venue of only thirty seats and the advent of the subscription season will mean that avid patrons will be able to secure their seats at an affordable price.
“We’re often having the problem of people not being able to get in and this enables us to offer the people the chance to purchase tickets ahead of time. They get a guaranteed seat because there’s so little,” says Kerri Glasscock, Artistic Director of The Old 505 Theatre.
“We certainly have the lowest ticket price there is, because we believe that theatre should be affordable to everyone,” she continues.
The theatre is an artist-run space with a focus on supporting emerging theatre companies and Australian work. The money spent on subscriptions will funnel back to the artists and theatre directly.
“It is artist-run and we’re supportive of the companies, so the money that you pay for a subscription to The Old 505 does go directly back to the artist,” says Glasscock.
“It also goes back to supporting that space to enable it to exist and offer affordable space to the local artists. So the money that you pay to The Old 505 Theatre goes directly back to generating new Australian work,” she says.
Glasscock has an intimate knowledge of the Sydney arts scene, having worked as an actor in film, television and theatre for over fifteen years.
In 2011, The Old 505 Theatre opened its doors in Hibernian House on Elizabeth Street and has been providing Sydney with a theatre experience that offers both an original space and cutting-edge performances.
“It’s different, it’s not soundproof and it’s got noise. It’s organic and it’s in a warehouse building so it’s interesting in that way. The work that is in the space is dictated by the space itself,” continues Glasscock.
While most theatre companies in Sydney have a focus on scripted work The Old 505 Theatre has an emphasis on devised work.
“It’s work that is created on the floor as opposed to a script written firsthand. We tend to work in a way where the theatre is devised through improvisation before the script is written,” Glasscock says.
Glasscock and associate Artistic Director Gareth Boylan have selected a diverse range of emerging and established acts for the first six-month subscription season, the January to June 2014 program.
The Two Peas Company’s We’re Bastards is one of the programmed productions that will appear in February.
“The 505 really gives independent artists, who wouldn’t get a chance to tread the boards themselves because of the content or style of their work, a chance to workshop it, show it to an audience and to share it,” says Tara Clark, who plays Darling in We’re Bastards.
Oleg Pupovac – who plays Joe Jnr in the play – says of the subscription season, “We think it’s a little overdue, we already think that they’re a very accomplished theatre. We think it’s a great idea as they have such a great following, especially in the last few years and we love that we are a part of it now.”
Two Peas strives for ultra-naturalism in their productions. We’re Bastards continues in this tradition and is about two siblings in Alabama struggling with the hand they’ve been dealt in life.
“It’s about the daily life cycle they go through, the decisions they make based on their life and whether they are the right or wrong decisions,” continues Pupovac.
The Old 505 Theatre will also be featuring the Emerging Artists and New Works season – a series of short seasons of emerging acts during the first six-month program.
“We run an emerging fresh works season, which is really great in April. It gives new emerging companies one week spots so that they’re able to get work up on the floor,” says Glasscock.
The Clockfire Theatre Company are returning after appearing in the 2012 Emerging Artist and New Works season with A Hunger Suite, and there will be a range of experimental works by more established artists.
“We’ve also got really established artists too, I mean, playwright Jane Bodie is here in March to rework one of her plays, Hilt, with director Dominic Mercer. It offers established artists the chance to do something a little bit different,” says Glasscock.
The Old 505 Theatre says Glasscock, “is an organic space and that lends itself to very interesting work when it’s embraced.” (PG)