NORPA Launches 2013 Season

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In typical style, NORPA, the region’s leading theatre company, launched it’s 2013 Season with maximum theatrics and a healthy dose of fun with a rockabilly roller derby party at the Lismore roller skating rink. Highlights of the night included a celebration of NORPA’s 20-year history and Artistic Director Julian Louis going wheel to wheel with the Northern Rivers Roller Derby gals.

With tickets for all of NORPA’s 2013 shows now on sale, the race is on to see which of the six very different shows NORPA is bringing to Lismore this year will be snapped up by punters first.

“I think The Ensemble Theatre’s Frankenstein will definitely be in the running for top spot,” says Artistic Director Julian Louis. “It recently opened in Sydney to amazing reviews and as the opening show in our season, it will be the first chance for audiences to experience a main-stage theatrical production in the newly renovated Lismore City Hall”

“But then again who wouldn’t want to see Taylor Mac, New York’s gender-bending cabaret sensation, cover 100 years of popular song in one spangled evening? Or Max Gillies and Samuel Johnson in an extremely powerful play by Reg Cribb called The Haunting of Daniel Gartrell? That is what’s so great about curating a season of shows for a Northern Rivers audience – it’s a diverse and vibrant community of theatre lovers we cater for, with a wide palette of tastes!”

“We know that our audiences love contemporary circus so we’re bringing Australia’s hottest new company, Casus and their show Knee Deep – this is sensual and dramatic circus, the whole genre has really developed as an art form. Choreographer

Shaun Parker wowed us last year with The Yard so we had to ask him to return – this time he’s bringing his international touring show Happy As Larry which uses highly physical dance, hip hop, ballet and roller-skating to find out what makes us happy.”

“One of NORPA’s hallmarks is championing new, adventurous works so we’ve got a wicked re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz by Maxine Mellor and The Danger Ensemble. NORPA is supporting the creation of this brand new work with Brisbane’s leading theatre company La Boite and it will have its premiere at Brisbane Festival before coming straight to us in Lismore.”

“We’re very lucky to be able to bring six world-class theatre shows to Lismore at a much cheaper ticket price than it would cost people to see the same shows in the big cities. In the case of Taylor Mac you’d have to travel to Sydney or Darwin or New York to see him. The support we get from funding bodies, sponsors and our subscribers means regional audiences don’t miss out on these experiences. Our relationship with Southern Cross University also means high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds will see some of the shows for free. This year local accounting firm TNR have also come on board and will be supporting the performances of The Haunting of Daniel Gartrell and Knee Deep.”

“We are very excited about getting back into the renovated Lismore City Hall with these shows. Because it’s a shorter season this year we’ve made it so you only have to buy tickets to three shows to become a NORPA subscriber and get all the discounts and goodies like meeting the cast that come with being a subscriber – including a chance to win a bunch of festival passes. So it’s a win all round this year!”

Tickets for all of NORPA’s 2013 shows are now on sale through www.norpa.org.au or the NORPA Box Office on tel: 1300 066 772. The first show is Frankenstein on July 19 in the newly renovated Lismore City Hall. Many of the shows in NORPA’s season sell out in advance so make sure you get in early! Season Brochures available from NORPA or online at www.norpa.org.au