Louise Howlett

Live Arts & Hybrid Arts

Les Mystères du Louvre

We are raising funds to employ a writer and to run a creative development of the full script of ‘Les Mystères du Louvre’ in order to make it performance ready.

Days Left

The intention of ‘Les Mystères du Louvre,’ is to open the world of art and language to a young Australian audience by immersing them in a multi-sensory experience and bringing to life an iconic artwork, Géricault’s ‘The Raft of the Medusa.’ With this painting as our stimulus, we want to challenge our audiences to broaden their understanding, and show empathy for, complex human situations such as the refugee crisis, and the impact that discrimination and intolerance has on our society.

Géricault’s painting, which documents a scandalous real event where the captain and crew of ‘The Medusa’ abandoned 150 passengers on a raft in the middle of the ocean, has parallels with what continues to happen to refugees today. By medium of the painting, we want to demonstrate a connection to an earlier culture facing a similar ethical dilemma, highlight how refugees are treated, and expose the consequences of decisions made by people in power.

Our overarching goal is to show that great artworks are layered and speak to all ages, but we particularly hope to encourage audience members to discover how much we have in common, despite superficial differences.

This project is ambitious, technically challenging and deliberately pushing at boundaries. Our purpose is to find innovative ways to engage audiences in new technologies, to blur the physical space between performer and spectator, and to usurp conventional narrative and storytelling techniques.

This year, we have been working with world-class experts from RMIT on the technical aspects of the performance. We would now like to return to the essential element of any theatrical work – the script – and give it a complete reworking with a highly reputable writer.

We are aiming to make this work a unique theatrical experience that will be at the forefront of modern theatre practice. Money raised will go towards expenses for the creative development and the writer. We intend to finish our work with a presentation to a test audience and industry peers where we will showcase the achievements of the many creatives involved in this cutting edge performance piece.

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ReAction Theatre was founded in 2011 by Artistic Director Louise Howlett, predominately to present new and contemporary Australian text-based theatre pieces. Based in Melbourne, Australia, ReAction Theatre brings together a team of artists and experts, on a project by project basis, to collaborate on the development of new theatrical and text-based works.

ReAction Theatre aspires to create performances pieces that push boundaries in both form and content, thereby inspiring audiences to challenge preconceptions and confront complex issues. We are committed to creating the highest quality work in an environment that supports and nurtures writers, performers and production crew alike, so that they can tell fascinating and captivating stories for a range of audiences.

Lately, our focus has been on developing the most ambitious and technically challenging piece to date, ‘Les Mystères du Louvre’ – a bilingual French/English theatrical experience that combines 3D projection, installation and live performance to bring to life the iconic French painting ‘Le Raft of the Medusa.’