NORPA’s Dreamland reaches out to new audiences

0
1154
Photo by Kurt Petersen

NORPA’s latest theatre work Dreamland, performed at Eureka Hall, has wrapped up a sell-out three week season and is being hailed by critics and patrons alike as one of NORPA’s best original works, attracting new audiences to original theatre created in regional Australia.

“We had over 1800 people attend Dreamland making it NORPA’s biggest selling show in our 2016 Season,” said NORPA General Manager Patrick Healey “10% were first time ticket buyers and 20% second time ticket buyers. 45% came from outside Lismore’s Local Government Area. We’re thrilled with the feedback we’ve received from audiences and are exploring the possibility of a return season in 2018.”

Directed and devised by NORPA Artistic Director Julian Louis with writer and long time collaborator Janis Balodis along with the multi skilled cast, Dreamland was developed in association with Arts Northern Rivers ‘If these Halls Could Talk’ project. Dreamland combined physical theatre, dance, live music and drama to tell the story of a small country hall and the communities who have gathered there since it was built in 1906. Performed on site at the Eureka Hall in the Byron Bay hinterland, Dreamland was an intimate, immersive event seating less than one hundred people each performance.

“Dreamland opened a window into stories that were inspired by our research into the local community around Eureka and its small hall, “ said Julian Louis “People shared with us their personal memories and associations with the hall, its history and the part it still plays in the life of a small, regional community, embracing its past and its changing nature. This show was not just one story – it’s was a heightened and fictionalised impression of a place and what it has witnessed.”

“In many ways Dreamland is a follow up to NORPA’s production of Railway Wonderland which was also site-specific. My collaborator, Janis and I were interested in replicating the structure and style of Railway Wonderland when developing Dreamland. We aimed to entertain, using local stories that are influenced by associations with a specific place, and so give expression to universal themes.”

“Thank you to the Eureka Hall committee, and all the members of the Eureka community who gave their time to this project, our Dreamland partners in particular Arts Northern Rivers, and of course all the people who stepped into the dreamland we created at Eureka Hall.”

For further information visit norpa.org.au/productions/dreamland