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Welcome to Wollongong’s Home of the Performing Arts

MERRIGONGX Past Projects

Since 2018 our MERRIGONGX program has supported artists to take creative risks.

MERRIGONGX 2023 Artist’s Program


ChaChi and The Sea of Tears
by Neisha Murphy
2 – 4 Mar

Optimal Stopping
by Proper Motion and La Infinita Compañia.
30 Mar – 1 Apr

uNCOILEd eXposed
by AUSTI. Dance and Physical Theatre
19 – 21 Oct

By Frumpus
2 – 4 Nov

My Beautiful Man – Development Showing
by Alana Valentine
Sat 3 Jun

Other Supported Artists 

Bonnie Curtis
The Corinthian Food Store
Lucy Heffernan
Emma Saunders
Josh Hinton
Vaguely Adjacent
Kirli Saunders
Ali Gordon
Catherine McKinnon & Aunty Barbara Nicholson
Rose Maher
Ali Jane Smith
Bobby Aazami
Karen Cummings & Benjamin Cauduro
Lily Hayman & Joshua Lobb
Malika Reese
Susan Kennedy
Tegan Ware

MERRIGONGX 2022 Artist’s Program

In 2022 saw the premiere of seven incredible new productions and three developments with a public showing of the work in progress. We also had seven artists supported with venue access to continue their work.  


by Kirby Medway & Solomon Thomas
28 – 30 Apr 

Dear Diary 
by Kay Proudlove
19 – 21 May 

Elsie For Vestri 
by Alicia Battestini, with Mic Gruchy 

The Lobster ($20 Commission Project)
By Lisa Maris McDonell
16 – 18 Jun 

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry 
by Applespiel
11 – 13 Aug 

Mount Hopeless 
by Tom Hogan and Elana Stone
1 –3 Sep 

uNCOILEd eXposed 
by AUSTI. Dance and Physical Theatre
20 – 22 Oct 

Other Supported Artists 

Catherine McKinnon
Emma Saunders
Rose Maher
Neisha Murphy
Rocking Hoist


21 May 2020: In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on employment opportunities for performing artists, we are delighted to announce our MERRIGONGX 2020 REBOOT, with an injection of more than $40,000 into new projects from independent artists. The reboot allows for a repurposing of funds to be allocated across new commissions, small grants for independent artists, and Digital Tasters of new works in progress. See media release for full details.

Recipients of the new performance project grant for MERRIGONGX 2020 REBOOT

Kraig Grady – Development of new shadow puppet show The Pilgrimage of Creatures.

Daryl Wallis –  First stage development of immersive musical work The Hour of Land.

Robbie Curtis – First stage development of new children’s circus work A Bee Story.

Sonya Holowell – Development of Danger/Dancer: Seeking silence cartographies, a new cross platform work from First Nations artist Sonya Holowell and collaborator James Hazel.

Katja Handt – One-week development of new work Fault Lines exploring the relationship between location, community, ecology and human systems.

Jodi Phillis –  A live-streamed fortnightly music gig Lounge ‘O’ Sound

Alicia Battestini – Development of a new theatre work, Elsie for Vestri, anchored in a conversation with Wollongong’s artist and LGBTQI communities about our own mental health.

Renae Pinazza – Development of an immersive orchestral experience Inside the Octet.

Solomon Thomas – Development of a videographic performance that documents the landing of a spaceship in a regional town titled UFO.

Duncan Fellows – Digital presentation of Duncan Fellows’ character Glenn Twenty exploring the Illawarra.

Lisa Maris-McDonell – The creation and presentation of 25 bite-sized video portraits of dance artists with links to the Illawarra.

Heidi Hillier – Development of Heidi’s new circus and magic show Seamless.

MERRIGONGX 2020 Artists' Program

In 2020 we invited audiences to engage with some of our artists, and witness the birth of two extraordinary new works and two development showings.

On March 18, 2020, theatres around the country were closed by Government order. Overnight, like a tap being turned off, the lifeblood of the performing arts – audiences (and the box office revenue they generate) – disappeared. The following shows were planned, but unfortunately did not go ahead. We wanted to share these with you as a sign of solidarity for artists who were unable to perform.

Where possible Artists also worked in our venues ‘under wraps’ on their projects throughout the year below is a list of new work that did not proceed followed by our 2020 supported artists and projects.

The Keeper – Development Showing
By Ben Pfeiffer
Director Kristen von Bibra

Written and Directed by Lily Hayman
Adapted from the novel The Flight of Birds by Joshua Lobb

Mount Hopeless
By Tom Hogan & Elana Stone
A Ten Tonne Sparrow production

Storyland Development Showing
By Catherine McKinnon

MERRIGONGX 2020 supported artists and projects

Applespiel –  The renowned performance collective returned to develop their new work Sorry Sorry Sorry.

Artisan Collection – Ben Pfeiffer’s new play The Keeper will be the subject of a Digital Taster to be released in 2020, with a Development Showing taking place in 2021.

Catherine McKinnon – The award-winning novelist adapts her Miles Franklin shortlisted novel Storyland for the stage. A Digital Taster will be made available in 2020, with a Development Showing in 2021.

Drew Fairley – REBOOT Commission. Performer and theatre-maker Drew Fairley has accepted a commission from Merrigong to undertake the first stage of writing a new work (untitled as yet) inspired by his experience of being stranded as a performer on a cruise ship during the crisis.

Kirli Saunders – As part of Playwriting Australia’s Ignition Script Development program, Merrigong will support Kirli to develop her first full length play, Going Home (working title), a story told in two parts, across two timelines and two First Nations lands, set in the regional communities of the south coast of NSW.

Lily Hayman – Presenting new work Fledgling, with new dates in 2021.

Malika Reese – A development of a new intergenerational family story, Six Women, with a Digital Taster to be released in 2020.

Neisha Murphy – A development of her new circus work ChaChi, with a Digital Taster to be released in 2020.

Made from Scratch – Our quarterly multi-artform performance night of new work and experimentation will return in 2021.

Ten Tonne Sparrow – Tom Hogan and Elana Stone’s new work Mount Hopeless, a tragic comedy rock opera. A Digital Taster will be released in 2020, with a presentation in 2021.

The Strangeways Ensemble – Merrigong’s own professional ensemble of actors perceived to have intellectual disability continue their development of new work.

Yen Yang – A development of his new work A Practical Guide to Self-Defence. A Digital Taster will be released in 2020.

MERRIGONGX 2019 Artists' Program

An unprecedented season of theatre, dance, writing, music and circus. In 2019, MERRIGONGX provided funding and support to independent artists looking to confront, question, query and break the norm. Most events were supported by a facilitated artist talk, to expand discussion around the artists’ work and practice.

Party Girl
A Lucy Heffernan & Steffanni Gardener production
28 – 30 March 2019

Good Omens – Development Showing
Music & Lyrics by Vicki Larnach
Book by Jim Hare, Jay James-Moody & Vicki Larnarch
Based on the novel by Terry Prachett & Neil Gaiman
3 – 4 May 2019

The Believers Are But Brothers
By Javaad Alipoor (UK). Supported by the British Council
16 – 18 May 2019

Australian Booty
By Candy Bowers
22 – 24 August 2019

In Transit
By Michael Pigott & Katja Handt
19 – 21 September 2019

Trash Talk – Development Showing
By Strangeways Performance Ensemble
Saturday 5 October 2019

MERRIGONGX 2018 Artists' Program

In 2018 we shared a brand new series of eclectic events by artists from our neighbourhood, and from around the nation.

Raw Comedy 2018 – Wollongong Heat
Saturday 15 February 2018

The Carousel
By Pippa Ellams 
28 – 30 March 2018

Heart-shaped Shadow – Development Showing
By Mikelangelo
Saturday 10 March  2018

The Epic
Written and performed by Finn O’Branagáin & Scott Sandwich
14 – 15 March 2018

Quiet Faith 
Written and directed by David Williams
29 -30 May 2018

The Siren Project – Development Showing 
By The Society of Historic Happenings
Saturday 28 July 2018

Tom William Mitchell
Written and directed by Mark Rogers
9 – 10 August 2018