Mara KORPER is an experimental, feminist music theatre work (rescheduled due to COVID) at Theatre Works taking place in May 2021. The world premiere season will employ a diverse group of early career artists. Through an exploration of power, extremist ideology, conformity and agency, Mara KORPER asks: “who really owns your body?”
In order to present a theatre experience that is COVID safe, Theatre Works have created ‘Glasshouse’: audiences will be in individual Perspex boxes, seated in the round & ushered in individually. Mara KORPER will be presented in the Glasshouse style. This initiative presents an innovative approach to COVID-safe theatre and a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of the return of live performance.
Mara KORPER speaks directly to our COVID-world, reflecting on the vulnerability of the body & the ways it is always subject to institutional power, surveillance & control. COVID has amplified the structural inequities that play out of the bodies of minorities, such as migrant & BIPoC populations & ignited debates concerning self-interest, sacrifice & ‘greater good’. Mara KORPER critically engages with these ideas through the dystopian premise of everyone’s bodies being owned by the government.
Australia risks losing a huge talent pool if artists are unable to find work. Early career artists – especially those in a marginalised group – are at a high risk of being left behind if they miss formative opportunities to develop their craft in a supported, gradual way. In response to this, we have created 3 ensemble roles for emerging artists in Mara KORPER.
Opportunities will be created for Victorian artists who are: 3 emerging ensemble actors female/non-binary, at least 1 of these BIPoC; 5 lead actors majority female/non-binary: 1 BIPoC (some early career, some established), at least 2 are LGBTQI+; 1 non-binary producer, 1 female associate producer/assistant director both early career; 1 director/writer female; 1 designer/photographer male; 1 female stage manager; 1 female lighting designer; 1 female early career costume designer; 1 female early career music director; 1 male composer.
With international travel restrictions in place for potentially a long time to come, investing in local Australian work has never been more important. MK will offer major innovation to the music theatre form by implementing a contemporary, feminist, post-dramatic dramaturgy. It also employs cutting edge technology, using sensor/movement activated MIDI rings worn by actors.