Words by Meg Mead
Yewth chats with local theatre maker and artistic director of Back Porch Theatre, Lochy Maybury, about his new plan to create affordable new work and thoughts moving forward. Let's get messy.
As Mad-March well and truly departs, to be treasured in our long-term memory, emerging Adelaide theatre company Back Porch Theatre unleash their program, Lo-fi; a platform for Adelaide performance artists to present their projects, however raw they may be. In an attempt to "encourage a more fertile theatre landscape", embracing innovation and pushing convention outside of the Fringe and Festival times, Lo-fi is the best way to get exciting work out into the world and in front of an audience.
"‘Lo-Fi is an opportunity to create pieces that are raw and unpolished and maybe a little rough around the edges, and for that to be okay. Sometimes, you just need to get something half-baked in front of an audience."
The program endeavours to re-establish this form as viable to audiences, accepted and revered as an opportunity for the artists to grow and develop their work. Destroying the divide of the theatre foyer, the drawn curtain, and those exxy ticket prices, Lo-fi exists fundamentally as the ground from which an experiment can be launched. Successful applicants will be given $100 by Back Porch Theatre with the conditions that a) the work is original and b) not presented in a theatre.
"There are other avenues we offer for playwrights, but Lo-Fi is more tailored for 'performance makers'. It’s an all year round program; whenever there’s a new idea, Lo-Fi will be there. Maybe the show is a weird, expressive mess, maybe it’s a stepping stone to a full production, maybe it’s a complete flop; there’s room for everything." The restricted budget is an invitation to produce theatre that appeals through accessibility. Lochy explains that "theatre of quality doesn’t always mean a slick, high-budget extravaganza. You know coming in that Lo-fi will be stripped back, so what you see is a performer’s creative content at its most elemental."
Together with Haneen Martin of Zombie Queen Art & Consulting, Lochy is also pushing another new platform for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) artists where they aim to tackle the "glaring problem with Adelaide’s theatre scene…- its lack of cultural diversity". They have identified the "need for a greater agency in storytelling by people of colour" and are working to back projects by CALD artists. Keep an eye on the action of this dynamic duo.
When asked for any advice for Lo-fi applicants, Lochy is leaving it up to the artists. This welcoming open hand invites the independent to be brave. Acquiring a space is simply a matter of asking. Really, Adelaide, you’re looking at the seeds of dreams. We want to see your goods on show!