Moments in and out of time
Wow-what a start to the year! Three months in and we feel we have risen to so many challenges. It’s been so rewarding to see the resilience and dedication of our people, artists, colleagues and the whole industry pulling together. We planned to bring Raewyn Hill’s ARCHIVES OF HUMANITY to the stage at the State Theatre Centre of WA on Friday 5 February. As we navigated the uncertainties of a snap lockdown week, we give great thanks to both the State Government through the Department of Local Government and Cultural Industries and the amazing team at Perth Festival in their negotiations for shifting the entire festival, including our season, 2 weeks later than initially planned.
Never has the mantra ‘the show must go on’ been such a tough one to live up to. It was no mean feat and one that required the exchange of over 85,000 tickets across the entire festival program which included tickets to our sold-out season. We thank our audiences for their patience as all in our sector responded as swiftly as possible to make this happen. Remarkably we did it!
We delivered a season of 12 performances for ARCHIVES OF HUMANITY with standing ovations and stellar reviews that exceeded our expectations given the constant yo-yo effect of the changing Covid-19 environment. Our dear friend and composer extraordinaire Eden Mulholland, who worked tirelessly with Raewyn over the last year, even managed to make it over from Queensland in time to see the work in real life.
As part of the season, we presented a free Community Open Day on Monday 22 February for The Bird Makers Project and a Broadcast of ARCHIVES OF HUMANITY on Tuesday 23 February. The Broadcast supported by Lotterywest’s ‘Building Communities’ program saw 212 people buy virtual tickets to watch from home with families and friends. People tuned in to our YouTube channel from all states across Australia and as far abroad as Europe, UK, Japan and New Zealand. This was an inaugural first for the company. As was the launch of Co3 Unlocked, an app developed by Frame VR, with behind-the-scenes commentary and insights into the work. Plus, we programmed audio described performance that included a pre-show tactile tour of the birds and costumes on set – yet another first for a Co3 mainstage production.
We are proud of these successes on the back of a lockdown week and the national Facebook controversy (pulling our company page down and many others in the not-for-profit sector), the day before our new opening night! We weathered it all and are sincerely grateful for the patience and support you, our audience and stakeholders, showed us during this time. We could not have done it without you!
Now we move toward developing an online library of our productions, so more audiences, both near and far, can experience ARCHIVES OF HUMANITY via a pay per view option. So, all is not lost if you missed out on attending the live performance – you will have a chance to see and perhaps re-see this hallmark work.