ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

Civic Life 2014

Vanity… Conceit… Narcissism?

Vanity… Conceit… Narcissism?

What a wonderful exploration into the theme of modern day narcissism: ‘Vanity strikes me as a craving for the good opinion of others, or a fear that they’re not thinking well of you. By the time you get to conceit you get a person who begins to be indifferent to the voices of other people, […]


Self Esteem vs. Narcissism

Self-esteem training has seeped into child-rearing strategies – children are told that they’re “unique” and “special” – and buried itself deep within self-help books and courses, therapies, corporate training sessions, and mainstream media: love yourself and the rest will follow. Advertisers bleat about the importance of satisfying every craving, desire and impulse, however pointless, extravagant […]


All Great Plays

A quote that inspired me from the Program of the Effect, an 2014 STC Production: ‘All great plays ask more questions than it answers, doesn’t take sides and keeps the big ideas firmly embedded in the action.’ – Sarah Goodes


Introduction to Piece

After becoming fed up with social expectations, the usually compliant Olive is empowered through the mantras of self-help books to cut all ties and reinvent herself. Those left behind are forced to come to terms with the meaning of her disappearance and her unexpected return. This play inquires about what it means to truly find ourselves. […]


Play Reading Rehearsals


Working with Hilary Bell

Hilary Bell is such an amazing mentor, and not to mention a lovely human being. It’s been so wonderful having a writer and dramaturg of her calibre reading over my work and asking really helpful questions and sharing with me her artistic process and experiences.


Workshopping with actors

Writing can be such a lonely ordeal. I spent so many nights slaving away at the keyboard in a room by myself while hearing laughter, music and chatter in the theatre from Rose and her ensemble. With limited accountability and a writers block that didn’t seem to go away, I decided it was time I […]


Being an Asian in the Arts

I always find that I’m struck with envy whenever I talk to a white person and they something along the lines of ‘my parents always encouraged me to pursue the arts’ or ‘I grew up going to theatre shows’. As an Asian who spent a significant amount of their childhood in tutoring centres and surfing […]


A foreigner in the arts world

As someone who does not come from a theatre or performance background at all, the Shopfront environment felt very alien at first. Not understanding the meaning of ‘play’ and trusting my artistic instincts meant uncovering the best way for me to write and develop my work felt like palming the walls, blindfolded in a hedge […]


The ensemble @ Play

Our 3rd rehearsal together. Introducing the ensemble to our collection of rubbish, for some it became obsessive and for others it was only rubbish

This rehearsal brought the ensemble in contact with the collection of rubbish we had used for the the showing in October.  If was an archaeological dig & I proposed the rubbish had significant value to engage their imaginations in the task of arranging the rubbish meticulously. Some engaged – others where put off by the […]


Rehearsals Begin…

Rehearsals Begin…

BEFORE: Sitting at Shopfront waiting on cast to arrive for what will be our 2nd day of 1st rehearsals. Today we will be attempting to find some truth in our Uni friend & our sibling story lines both of which are  full of the intricacies and spills of long turn relationships: friends that are family […]


The Collection

The Collection

This post is retrospective thoughts since I haven’t been down to the river in a while. However, I wanted to share some thoughts I had when I was on the river. I spent a couple of hours in the 2-3 weeks leading up to our showing collecting rubbish from the Cook river. It was strange […]


The Ensemble Meets

The Ensemble Meets

On our first meet together today we gathered in the local park behind Carlton Shops. The intention was to be by the river but the weather was dicey at the time. So we settled for the park since it was only hope skip and a jump away from the theatre if things turned. We ate […]


Making Coffee Art

Making Coffee Art

Be careful who you make memories with. Those things can last a lifetime. – Ugo Eze   I’ve always had a love for cafes and memories, this play is about both. After talking to my mentor, Alicia Talbot, I was encouraged to create work by solving an image that had a hold on me. The […]


Making the Tree Cave

Making the Tree Cave

We are a week out from our mid-way showing and the fun has really started. Christy and I (pictured below)  began building our tree canopy. Very DIY: chicken wire, cable ties and a whole lot of tree branches & organic matter. We actually made an attempt at a tree cave very early on. Our 3rd rehearsal […]


Introducing the Dreaming team.

Introducing the Dreaming team.

This initial Civic Life blog is a long time coming. We are about 2 months into this Civic Life business and its about time I introduced you to my team. I have been fortunate enough to be collaborating, thus far, with two wonderful female artists Lucy Heffernan and Christie Woodhouse. As a point of introduction […]


Introducing Anne Lau

Introducing Anne Lau

ANNE LAU is a playwright and theatre maker who is passionate about creating theatre for dialogue. Her aim is to produce theatre that confronts audiences with the sociological realities we live in. This comes from a belief that individuals are threads in a larger social fabric that is complex and dynamic and a passion to […]


Introducing Rose Maher

Introducing Rose Maher

ROSE MAHER is a Sydney based actor, director and theatre collaborator. Rose graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2012 with 1st Class Honours in Creative Arts, Performance. After graduating, Rose completed the NIDA Screen Actors Studio in 2013. Rose’s recent acting credits include Electra, No White Elephant, June 2013; Mr Pillow (post-production), an independent […]


Civic Life 2014 Applications Open!

Civic Life 2014 Applications Open!

Civic Life Residency 2014 6 month artist-in-residence at Shopfront for Emerging Artists/Small Companies Applications are open for Civic Life 2014! Calling emerging artists 18-25 years who are interested in developing new work in the areas of writing, directing, performance, multimedia, visual arts, music and design to undertake one of two available residencies- a Community Arts Residency […]