Piers, sneak peeks, parties, and protests 🎉

Jane FitzGerald, Resident Dramaturg

It’s hard to describe how thrilling it’s been to move into our new home on Pier 2/3. For many of us, we first saw it in person at the start of February, and the feeling for me was one of great excitement along with disbelief that this amazing heritage building, so beautifully renovated, is really ours. It feels like both a homecoming, as it’s so close to our previous home on the Wharf, and a wonderful new beginning. That week, we were privileged to be welcomed by Uncle Matty Doyle to the land and waters of Pier 2/3 in an intimate and moving cleansing ceremony. As Uncle Matty sang in language over the ceremonial fire, we paid respects to ancestors and to elders past and present – a powerful moment bringing together past and future. We followed him through all the spaces of our new home, watching and smelling the eucalyptus smoke drift and permeate the heritage wood of the floors and beams, the red fabric of our theatre seats, the clean black of our rehearsal rooms, the colourful mural of the chill zone – and knew that this was a place where special things will happen.

And on the very same day, we welcomed the first young people onto the Pier to attend Weekly Drama Classes. The heart of this company is of course young people, and so it means everything that once again most of ATYP’s activities are all happening in the same building – drama classes, rehearsals, performances, and all the behind-the-scenes work of making this company run. All together in these spaces that have been purpose-built for creativity.

It’s been a mind-bogglingly big job for so many of our staff to get us to this point. But while we finish unpacking boxes and checking light switches, the core work of the company hasn’t skipped a beat. Along with weekly drama classes starting back, the Education team has just uploaded amazing new units to On Demand Plus so that primary teachers can use drama to teach history, science, poetry and physical health. We’re busy booking fantastic drama workshops for schools and in schools both in person and online.

And our 2022 season of shows feels just around the corner – because it is! As well as The Deb (you’ll want to come to this Ball!), we’re excited to announce the 2022 return of M.Rock, Lachlan Philpott’s fabulous, funny, joyous mirrorball of a show. This play is one of my Favourite Things, as I was the dramaturg on the original, sold-out production we did in 2014, and I’ve been wanting to see it again ever since. I just can’t wait for the new incarnation of it – complete with the glorious Valerie Bader reprising the role of Mabel and a dazzling cast of young actors. You will laugh, you will be uplifted – and you may just find yourself dancing.

Our Writing programs are off to a busy start as we launch another year of our celebrated Fresh Ink national mentoring program, this year running in Sydney, Darwin, Hobart and welcoming back Brisbane for the first time in seven years. We love this program – and so do our participants – and we can’t wait to get started with our partners Brown’s Mart, Archipelago Productions and La Boite Theatre. If you long for a program in which to develop or or further your writing, being supported by a mentor and making invaluable peer connections, then this one’s for you. Applications close 9am Tuesday 1 March.

When we said farewell to the Wharf three and a half years ago, it was hard to imagine what the new home would be like – well, it’s better than we could have dreamed. It’s the perfect place to imagine and create, and we’re loving seeing it start to fill with young artists, ideas and energy. We can’t wait for you to come and hang out with us here.