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Season 2020

Be yourself

Welcome to Merrigong Season 2020, a wonderfully diverse year of theatre and entertainment.

Enjoy a curated selection of theatre from around the country and the globe right here in Wollongong.

Season 2020 will spoil audiences with its diverse array of exhilarating drama, musical theatre, cutting edge contemporary circus, blockbuster comedies, family shows, and more.

Note from the Artistic Director / CEO

“…the greatest freedom of all is the freedom to be your authentic self” wrote author Alice Walker, perfectly encapsulating what a human life well-lived really is – a journey to be our authentic self, and therefore to live in freedom.

To truly be yourself in a world of social media, status anxiety, and endless FOMO is not an easy quest. Over the centuries, theatre as a profession has often proven somewhat of a haven for society’s outsiders – a place where self-expression and difference might be valued, rather than shunned. But it’s also true that theatre has struggled to always reflect the diversity of the society from which it sprung – often reinforcing the dominant culture or viewpoint, at the expense of others. The need to diversify the voices on our stages, and the faces in our audience, has never felt more urgent than it does now.

This year, our Season features some wonderfully diverse artists striving to be heard – to tell their story, and to tell it their way. In Trash Talk, Merrigong’s Strangeways Ensemble shows us in no uncertain terms what matters to them, as they explore justice in the workplace for people living with a disability. In Between Two sees two icons of Australian hip-hop navigate their personal journeys to identity, living between two cultures. And in Sacre, the incredible acrobats of Circa embody our human relationship with nature, bringing us the first-ever circus setting of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

The season is filled with extraordinary characters – finding their way through life, striving to live as their true selves. There’s Johnny Mullagh, in England on the first overseas tour of an Australian cricket team, journeying through the prejudice and ignorance of the white man’s homeland in Black Cockatoo. In Arthur Miller’s seminal work The Crucible, John Proctor chooses the gallows over losing his identity, as he cries out “I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”. Sybylla in My Brilliant Career dreams of a life denied to most women of her time, and, finding confidence in her own voice, rejects the expectations of those around her. And, I guess, in his own, umm, ‘unique’ way, Patrick Bateman in American Psycho – The Musical is living his version of his authentic self (yeah, maybe we shouldn’t take this “be yourself” thing quite that far!).

This year, our season brochure has four different covers, inspired by the diversity of ‘dress codes’ we’ve seen our audience adopt in our theatres. We invite you to pick the one that suits you best, to select from the wonderfully diverse array of theatre on offer, and then when you turn up to the theatre – whoever you are, whatever your background, whatever you believe – to please… be yourself.

Simon Hinton
Artistic Director / CEO