Drawing inspiration from King Lear, Pericles, TS Eliot, Melville, Hemingway, Coleridge, Beckett and the Bible, Lear is an exploration of old age, madness, loss, mortality and the sea.
Set adrift on an ocean, a man searches for his lost daughter.
Waking in a nursing home, speaking text from Shakespeare’s King Lear, a man struggles to piece together a life lived.
As we shift between the two realities, the line between wake and dreaming becomes increasingly blurred.
Who are we when we lose our history? How do we communicate when words cease to have meaning? What would happen if we could no longer trust our memory? How will Shakespeare’s text reveal itself in new ways when taken out of the context it was originally intended?
These are the points of interest for this development of ‘Lear’.
After a practical creative development workshop held at the end of 2011, the ideas explored and developed by Imara and her creative collaborators will continue to be shaped into a working script in 2012, with a writer under commission to help create this exciting new work.
Imara Savage is the 2011 Director in Residence with Bell Shakespeare.
Imara attended the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s (NIDA) playwright’s studio in 2006, and in 2008 she received a Postgraduate Diploma of Directing from NIDA, where she directed This Property Is Condemned. For Red Stitch she directed Orphans 2011, For Griffin Independent she directed The Brother’s Size, 2011; for Belvoir B Sharp she directed Fool For Love, 2010; and for NIDA open program A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2010.
For Bell Shakespeare she was the Assistant Director on Julius Caesar and Much Ado About Nothing. She was the Assistant Director on Like A Fishbone for Sydney Theatre Company/Griffin; The Mysteries Genesis and The Wonderful World of Dissocia for Sydney Theatre Company; and La Sonnambula for Opera Australia.
She received training at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, the Escola De Danza in Brazil and attended the University of Veracruz in Mexico as well as the University of Technology, Sydney, where she completed a combined BA in Communications and International Studies.
Imara was the 2010 Affiliate Director with Griffin Theatre and was a judge for the Griffin playwright award. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Australia Council for the Arts Emerging Dance & Theatre artist, and a SPARK dance mentorship, where she choreographed a work with her mentor Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal, exploring dance and stories of migration from the African diaspora.
Imara has also worked in Sri Lanka as a writer with the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development. She was on the selection panel for a number of years for the Australian Youth Ambassador’s for Development program, and has been involved with other Human Rights organisations including working as a facilitator for the Oxfam International Youth Parliament & the Amnesty Youth Drama Festival.
Kip Williams is a graduate of both NIDA, where he holds a Master of Dramatic Art in Directing (2010), and of the University of Sydney, where he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications (2008).
His theatre directing credits include Fifth of July by Lanford Wilson as Guest Artist for the Princeton Theatre Company, New Jersey, Lord of the Flies by Nigel Williams and Not I by Samuel Beckett for NIDA, and One for the Road by Harold Pinter at the National Theatre, Melbourne.
His film credits include the short film B, Bee & Mee, the mini-feature Walk, and the documentary short Pay to be Afraid. Kip has directed two music videos for artist Guineafowl, ‘Little Fingers’, which was debuted by Triple J as Clip of the Week and on Channel V as Ripe Clip of the Week, and ‘Botanist’, which was named in ABC TV’s inaugural RAGE 50 as one of the top music videos for 2009.
Michael is a Sydney-based set and costume designer working in theatre and film. He is a recent graduate of NIDA, receiving a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Design) degree in 2009, a year that also saw him achieve the William Fletcher Foundation Grant for artistic excellence, the NIDA/Sydney Grammar School Fellowship; and the selection to research and develop Kristine Landon-Smith’s production of East is East in London.
His credits at NIDA include Tennessee William’s This Property is Condemned, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream and Tony Taylor’s The Popular Mechanicals, Directed by Darren Gilshenan.
Recently, he has worked on Doctor Zhivago the Musical at the Lyric Theatre Sydney, Fool for Love at Downstairs Belvoir St Theatre, Opera Australia’s The Marriage of Figaro, English National Opera’s Caligula, Belvoir St Theatre’s The Seagull and Diary of a Madman, Sydney Theatre Company’s A Long Days Journey Into Night, as well as for Darlinghurst Theatre, Sydney Entertainment Centre, ATYP, Actors Centre Australia and Sydney Grammar School.
He is currently designing a production of Suddenly Last Summer for The Cell Block Theatre, Cloudstreet at Carriageworks, Judith for Bondi’s Pavilion Theatre and The Ugly One for Griffin independent.