“Whatever goes wrong can be used to your advantage, providing it goes wrong enough.”
These are queer times, and when haven’t they been? Invisibility, erasure, hollywood stars, child welfare, 500mg’d, memory foam pillows, and an airplane to New York City all take place in the blink of an eye. MKA’s queer-femme theatre maker Kerith Manderson-Galvin, and a dynamic and fiercely talented team of performers of diverse sexualities and genders, follow the calculations of astronomer Olaus Roemer, to find the liminal space/hotel/desert of the real, where even the sand is itself, queer.
MKA’s 186,000 takes Roemer’s calculation of the speed of light (in miles per second), and asks what we miss before it gets to us. Not that anyone measures anything in Miles anymore anyway, unless you’re hurtling down a highway in a red corvette in a Sam Shepard film. Memories, stories and mathematics are all on show, and it’s totally unsettling. As academic J. Jack Halberstam, says “To tell a ghost story means being willing to be haunted.”
THE ARTISTS set themselves the task of making-over Roemer’s understanding of light and experience. None of them are scientists. None of them can see faster than the speed of light. Half the artists are missing from tonight’s performance. The Richmond Theatrette was condemned in 2009. Don’t blink or you will miss the best parts. The show only happens when you blink.
MKA’s 186,000 is an expedition through time, and another time parallel. A pilgrimage for the knowable, the meaningful, the gone and forgotten, the living and the alive, the dark truth beneath the well-lit auditorium.
This show contains language, bodies, and young adult themes.
This show is suitable for teenagers, young-adults and a good deal of adults
186,000 is theatre’s answer to Safe Schools.
An important exploration of queer experience.
A life-affirming show
An intimate and compelling work of creative verbatim theatre.
A thoroughly original work. Quite remarkable.
This wild-west lullaby is perfect for our queer times.
186,000 has been supported by the City of Yarra through a creative development in 2015; and presentation in 2016.
PERFORMER / COLLABORATOR
Trelawney is a political troublemaker, queer artist and general rabble-rouser. She is a multidisciplinary theatre maker who cut her teeth performing, designing and directing with Monash University Student Theatre and is a member of fledgling Melbourne independent theatre company Before Shot.
Performance credits include Constance Francis in “The Avarice of Boise Plains” (2016), June in “Home Invasion” (2015), working with “The Ministry” (winner of Melbourne Fringe Festival Best Live Art 2015), singing with The Devoted in “Wednesday Addams” (2014), burlesque alter-ego Lady Tisiphone in “TEASE/UNEASE” (2014), Cassidy Van Kamp in “Third Reich Mommie” (2014 and 2012), Susan in “Acidtongue & Dollface” (2013), Patricia in “Eulogy” (2012), Mariana/Mistress Overdone in “Measure for Measure” (2011), The Grand High Witch in “The Witches” (2011) and Charlotte Corday in Marat/Sade (2010).
PERFORMER / COLLABORATOR
Harvey is a queer identifying actor who has been acting since 1999. He’s currently training again, commencing third year at the National Theatre Drama School in 2017.
Harvey’s recent credits include: Chris in seasons four and five of SBS2/web-series Starting From Now (dir: Julie Kalceff), and Coal in feature film Zoe.Misplaced (dir: Mekelle Mills). He also appeared in the transgender episode of ABC documentary series You Can’t Ask That (2016). Harvey will be performing in the debut of Yuki Iwama’s new play Mercury Boy Faggot Girl in 2017. Harvey’s full resume and show-reel are available at www.harveykzielinski.com.
PERFORMER / COLLABORATOR
Shamita is a performer who enjoys a challenge. Being a dancer from an early age, she developed an interest in physical theatre forms and has trained in acting disciplines such as Stella Adler and Meisner technique. She enjoys pulling together her widespread passions in order to create engaging and lifelike characters, both comedic or dramatic. A recent graduate of Monash University’s Bachelor of Performing Arts, Shamita has performed in various independent theatre productions at venues such as LaMama, Sydney’s Old Fitz theatre, and in several previous Fringe seasons; notably the award winning 2015 live art production ‘The Ministry’. She also enjoys devising performance art and queer/drag pieces. When Shamita is not acting or dancing you can find her writing spoken word, modelling, or far too frequently playing pokemon go.
Cara is currently undertaking a Masters in Directing for Performance at the VCA. In a few weeks she will embark on an internship in Poland with the award winning Song of the Goat Theatre company. Cara’s major influencers are Song of the Goat, Legend Lin, Robert Wilson and Sankai Juku, she is passionate about generating new work that reaches into bodies and hearts. Following a decade long career as a professional ‘triple threat’ performing artist in 11 (national and international) major musical theatre productions, Cara has been in demand as a choreographer, director and producer of major productions, festivals and events.
Cara is also an expert dance and ‘triple-threat’ performing arts teacher and has lectured at VCA, VCASS, University of Ballarat and Stage School Australia.
Darren is a Melbourne actor; comedian; set designer/constructor; and lighting designer. His most recent work includes working with Casey Jenkins for the Festival of Live Art at North Melbourne Town hall. He has also done lighting design for Lady Muck –Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was Production Manager and technical advisor for Metanoia Theatres Live Works Program. Other work includes a short season of I am Katherine, which has been allocated further development for touring; lighting design for Being dead: Don Quixote at the Melba Speigeltent and PICA in Perth for the same show; lighting designer/operator for the first showing of Hypnagogia at Kingston Arts and subsequent touring. He also toured the stage adaptation of Wake in Fright to The Adelaide Fringe Festival, where he did set design/construction, lighting design and operating, following a sell out Melbourne season.
Darren has been working in many facets of the performing arts industry; as crew, rigger, actor, musician, lighting designer, stage manager, front of house manager, sound operator, to name a few; for the past 15 years. His vast experience brings new light to any and every project he works on.
SET DESIGNER / SCENOGRAPHY
Soma is an artist, set and costume designer. She studied painting at the National Art School, completing a Master of Fine Arts (Research) exploring the Performative nature of Self-Representation (2009). Her paintings have been selected & exhibited in the Brett Whitely Travelling Scholarship, International MCQ Art Prize, Waverly Art Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Portrait Prize and auctioned c/o Sotheby’s. She’s been artist in residence at Hill End, Bathurst; ARTSPACE, Sydney; Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon Property, and 18th Arts Street Complex in Santa Monica, LA researching experimental theatre, dance, solo drama and other multimedia performance. Credits inc. costume design asst. on The Threesome by E. Labiche, (NIDA, dir. Morgan Dowsett) and set design asst. on The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, (dir. Mel Shapiro) (UCLA/ NIDA, 2011). She designed set+costumes for The Bloody Chamber (VCA, 2012). Recent design credits include Unlimited Dance (2012), SOMA: MKA Adelaide (2012), East of Zero (ACMI), Being Dead-Don Quixote (2013), DASEIN I (VCA), (2013), New Short Works, Dance House, (2014), NEWBLOOD: Artist in Residence, (2015), Being Dead [Don Quixote] (MKA/Melba Spiegeltent), Stars of Track and Field La Mama (2015), Hypnagogia (Conduit Arts), Being Dead Don Quixote (MKA+PICA)(2016).
COMPOSER / MUSICIAN
Jules is a composer; musician; co-founder and member of cult melbourne phenomenon/event/live band ‘JazzParty’, founder of ‘Clairey Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes’; and generally regarded as the jazz bass in Melbourne town.
You can also see him performing with indie rockers ‘Jaala’, and sometimes also with indie darlings ‘Husky’.
Jules is also know for his work on documentary ‘Beyond Our Ken’ (composer, 2004); film ‘The Rage in Placid Lake (contributing composer, 2003), and in a theatrical setting for ‘Titanic’ (composer, Doppelgangster, 2015-16), ‘Baby’ (composer, MKA/Doppelgangster, 2016), and as MKA’s Artist-in-Residence 2016 (Composition).
STAGE MANAGER / OPERATOR
Ayesha was lucky enough to have been born into the performing arts industry; and has grown up napping in seating banks and colouring in to the blue lights of back stage. With a background in Theatre, Circus and Dance, her transition into Stage management has been fairly smooth. This year, Ayesha has been involved in shows of a variety of mediums, venues and performance styles. These include Retro Futurismus (45downstairs), Flesh Fanatics (Melbourne Fringe), The Ends (Arbory) and White Day Dream (45downstairs).
A Powerful Performance Powerhouse Of Powerful Power
Tobias is a creative leader, artistic director, performance maker, writer, dancer, and hobbyist cat-sitter from Melbourne, Australia. He’s created a lot of shows. Maybe a billion. But, it’s not that many. He’s Artistic Director/CEO of MKA | Theatre of New Writing. He’s Director General of UK/Australian live performance company Doppelgangster. He twice played a combination of Hitler and Hasselhoff called Hitlerhoff. He tours regularly as a performer/actor/hero.
Since 2004 Tobias has been the subject of investigations from the Australian Federal Police, due to his poetry, and performance work. His practice routinely troubles the capitalist myths of scarcity, stability, and freedom, the responsibility of authority, and also there’s other stuff at tobiasmandersongalvin.com, on the internet, and on the Wikipedia page he made himself in 2010 that you can find. Take it easy, mate.
(DIRECTOR / PLAYWRIGHT / PERFORMER)
A number of other artists have been involved in the creation of this work,
For more information please see mka.org.au/onehundredand
and Kerith’s accompanying notes.
A NOTE FROM YOUR FRIEND, KERITHMANDERSON-GALVIN
And further thank you to Sally, Anne, Mary-Lou, Alyson, Maude, Casey and Mill (again) for appearing on those wonderful panels last year, Lenore for her presentation of Secrets and Disclosure, Mill (again) for providing us with a rehearsal space out in the Docklands, Ian and Sarah our drivers and friends, Sandra for your constant support, Lenore+Pat+ fleta-the-cat, Wilson and the cactuses, Emilia for being a big fan and for making Tobi and I say ‘when does Emilia get her own show?’, Anna Bishop you have been an inspiration and I hope to work with you in the future, AND Raimondo for having nothing to do with this work but giving me so much confidence (and also the desire to do a show where I wrote nothing, it’s been a big year of writing already!) and introducing me to the film Paris, Texas- lighting my now obsession with the desert.
AND TO YOU, WHOEVER YOU ARE, THANK YOU. I THINK YOU ARE SPECIAL.
A note from
Artistic Director | MKA Theatre of New Writing
In 1989 USA toy-company/super-power Parker Brothers (now a division of Hasbro) and Italian-based Editrice Giochi, simultaneously debuted American, French-Canadian, and Italian versions of Quicksand (or Sabbie Mobili and Sable Mouvant respectfully) – subtitled ‘the Slip, Slide – or Sink Game’. No designer or artists are credited. The game is a simple race to the finish Adventure; with basic roll and move mechanics. It’s a game for two to four players, aged six and up.
According to the rules manual, still available via pdf on Hasbro’s .com website, the OBJECT is ‘To be the first player to get your adventurer – or whatever remains of him! – around the board from START to the finish and back at CAMP.’ There’s a ‘big, nasty alligator’ to avoid, mudslides, and of course the titular terror: the Quicksand. Your adventurer, and stick with me here reader, is made up of five stackable parts: a hat, a head, a torso and arms, legs, and shoes… and as literal and figurative pitfalls occur on the journey, the piece can be made to appear to sink by the removal of the lower pieces, but the rules state that come the end of the game ‘any height token may win – even if there’s nothing left but his hat!’
Questions left unanswered include. Who is ‘he’? How does he use his hat to breathe when his entire body is submerged in mud / quicksand / inside a crocodile? Why is he – and any of the other three adventures – a he? Why do they all have the same resplendent moustache? These questions may never be answered, certainly not in the producer’s notes to an entirely unrelated theatrical production, set in a desert, and presented in the Richmond Theatrette, Victoria, Australia.
What we can take home today, should we wish to draw connections, is that Kerith Manderson-Galvin and her brother (me) played this uncomplicated game for many years of our childhood, and took a number of rules and ideas from it. From ‘SETUP’: we took the valuable rule that ‘3. The youngest player goes first.’ Actually that’s maybe not true and I don’t even remember that rule being observed when we played the original game let alone it permeating the rest of our playmaking practice today but it speaks to the supportive and inclusive nature of Quicksand which brings me to the point that as well as obstacles, and chances to bring yourself out of any mire you may find your adventurer in, Quicksand also offers a number of opportunities to assist other players, with little or no reward to yourself. Which seems kind of anti-thetical to competitive gaming. The ‘Pull’ square gives the player the opportunity to pull another player high and dry, to full height, with only one piece of added height rewarded to your own adventurer for the trouble. When I see the amount of work, passion, and bravery that has gone into making a show of this quality, I can’t help but feel like that lucky player, standing high and dry, safe, the jungle around me, thanks to the near thankless work of the other players.
Further questions on WINNING. Did we ‘Triumphantly enter CAMP, finishing high and dry on a rock, the adventurer reconstructed to his full height’? Does ‘the Slip, Slide – of Sink! Game’ offer us a Butlerian insight into the act of ‘drag’; a Lacanian interpretation of Saussurian semiotics to point to a new theory of personality; and see it as analogous to a post-structuralist queer practice? And did you and your sister whose name is Kerith also, also ask your mother, the renowned Medical Anthropologist Professor Lenore Manderson what the hell these ‘adventurers’ were doing in a jungle in the first place without permissions from the indigenous peoples, any thought to the likelihood of malaria/dengue fever, and what was the social capital of moustache that lush? The Consumer Relations Department of Parker Brothers have offered a PO Box in Beverly Hills should we wish to ask them. Proof of purchase required.