Local Stages supports the development of the performing arts in the Bathurst Region and the Central West of NSW.
The program was initiated to “unlock” access to BMEC’s facilities and resources for the development of contemporary and innovative performing arts practice. There was a realisation that as regional theatre companies were disappearing regional performing arts centres were arising and that these could become hubs for a diverse range of regional contemporary performing arts development.
In 2007 Local Stages was funded as a three year pilot project by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW (now Create NSW) and Bathurst Regional Council (BRC). Thirteen years later Local Stages has firmly established itself as a vital regional program and funding is obtained from a range of sources with core funding continuing from Create NSW and BRC. Projects are also supported by Regional Arts Fund and Australia Council for the Arts.
The position of Creative Producer was established to coordinate the Local Stages program and to act as an animateur of local projects and of the relationship between local artists and appropriate artists outside the region. Margie Breen held the position for the first two years and was succeeded by Kylie Shead who is the incumbent Creative Producer.
Since its inception Local Stages has assisted with the growth of the Catapult Festival, instigated the Aboriginal Performing Arts Program, established Smashed Arts, worked with local partners to create the Bathurst Writers’ and Readers’ Festival and the Central West Short Play Festival. Local Stages also developed the Local Emerging Artists Program (LEAP) at Inland Sea of Sound and created strong links between local artists and some of the finest professional artists around Australia and generally extended the horizons of possibility for performing arts practice in the Bathurst region.
Local Stages is now part of the heart of BMEC and is intertwined with every element of BMEC performing arts activity.
Click here for a short video showing the of work that Local Stages has supported or produced in Central West NSW over the past 10 years!! Thank you Becky Russell and Brendan Napier from Production Art.
Projects in the video include: Four Lingua Franca; The Death of Kings writer Colette Keen Dir Adam Deusien; Synthesis by Alison Plevey; The Sand Dwellers writer Kay Nankervis Dir Becky Russell; Catapult Festival - Images Gravity & Other Myths & Theatr/Media Charles Sturt University Students; The Climbing Tree by Rachael Coopes Dir Stephen Champion; Hill End Burlesque created by Hill End Arts Council, Home Sweet Home by Kim Deacon; Windows on the World writer Colette Keen; Invisible Bodies created by Fiona Green; Right Behind You by Lingua Franca; A Good Bloke by Adam Deusien; Clique by Alison Buckley (Cowra), Central West Short Play Festival Artistic Director Becky Russell; Bathurst Writers' & Readers' Festival; Unsustainable Behaviour by Lingua Franca; Boats by Brooke Murray; Oh My God I've Been Kidnapped and Hate What I'm Wearing Drew Fairley with Kate Smith; Outpost - Adam Deusien & Heidi Annand; On Becoming A Witch by Cate McCarthy, Titanomachy by Adam Deusien - Theatre/Media Charles Sturt University; Tarnished La La Parlour; Mighty by Lingua Franca; Making It Alone by Adam Deusien; Cabaret Kite featuring Kate Smith; The Disappearances Project by Version 1.0; War Letters by Kathy Cameron with Adam Deusien.
Here is a short clip showing some of the work Local Stages supported in 2016.
Local Stages presents new work in the BMEC Annual Season. Recent works have included The Climbing Tree by Rachael Coopes, which was developed in partnership with ATYP and premiered at BMEC before a short season at Parramatta Riverside Theatre (2018) and Mighty by Lingua Franca that premiered in the 2019 Season. Each project is developed over time and in consultation with artists and community. Check out Mighty here.
In 2020 Kangaroo by Miranda Gott will premiere at BMEC on Friday 24 July and at The Joan, Penrith on 4th September. This work has been developed in partnership with Q Theatre, Penrith and Lingua Franca.
Local Stages strives to bring contemporary theatre practice to the region, to tell regional stories with regional voices, and to challenge and engage our audiences.
For more information and to stay up-to-date join our facebook group: Local Stages at BMEC
Invisible Body performed at Writers' Festival in May 2015 Pic by Steve Woodhall
Unsustainable Behaviour by Lingua Franca Pic by Phil Blatch
For more information about Local Stages contact Kylie Shead.