Arts executive Rhoda Roberts AO has been confirmed at a new role at NORPA.
Arts executive Rhoda Roberts AO has been confirmed at a new role at NORPA.

NORPA 2021: 9 shows you shouldn’t miss this year

Widjabul Wiyebal arts leader Rhoda Roberts has joined NORPA as Creative Director First Nations.

Ms Roberts, who recently left her position as the head of first nations programming at the Sydney Opera House, will lead in the development of new first nations works locally.

She will also contribute to NORPA’s programming and assist with NORPA’s ongoing engagement with the community.

Rhoda Roberts grew up in Lismore.

Ms Roberts said she had a long association with NORPA both as a creative associate and as a board member.

“My new appointment is an exciting one with NORPA,” she said.

“We are proud of our regional base, that enables exploration and new approaches to creating national work that is relevant, thought provoking and that will shift the gaze.

“I’m excited that in my own country of the Widjabul we have an acclaimed theatre company that encourages difficult dialogue and has recognised the hunger and vision that diversity brings. Surprising too, how many Millennials are moving to the region!”

The prominent arts executive offered initial details of what her appointment will bring.

“It’s early days (...) but I envisage our program will grow new audiences and provide a platform that addresses the challenging conversations,” she said.

“We will hear the mother tongues and embrace language and truth telling.

“It will be relevant, non-static, creative and sustainable work that has an economic, social and cultural impact, strengthening the ties in our ever-growing community.”

Actor and teacher Scott Johnson was announced as Director Youth Theatre for NORPA.

He will oversee an exciting new program of regular classes, school holiday intensives and youth theatre productions designed for young people aged 8 to 18.

Mr Johnson’s industry experience has seen him teach and direct at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), Showfit Melbourne and Monash University.

He said to be thrilled to become part of the NORPA team.

“For young people, learning the craft of performance and working together to realise a creative goal has a lasting, positive impact regardless of whether you go on to a career in performance,” he said.

The 2021 Season

The shows announced for this year are:

1. Into the Forest (NORPA premiere)

A NORPA production, this will be a contemporary Australian twist on classic fairytales. venture deep Into The Forest to discover a personal journey of friendship and fantasy.

June 10 and 11

2. Flow (NORPA premiere)

Also a production by NORPA, Flow will takes audiences deeper into country, to discover ancient stories and the power of music, family and connection.

July 1, 2 and 3

3. Cheeky

Jess Love will perform in the Cheeky Cabaret during Artstate Lismore 2017.
Jess Love will perform in the Cheeky Cabaret during Artstate Lismore 2017.

A Brunswick Picture House Production, the now famous monthly variety show visits Lismore for a yearly revue.

A variety show on acid, Cheeky has redefined a night out at the theatre, mixing circus, vaudeville, comedy, new burlesque and everything in between.

July 16 and 17

4. Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons

By the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) Collective.

ACO Principal Violin Helena Rathbone leads ACO Collective in Antonio Vivaldi’s popular masterwork, The Four Seasons.

August 13

5. Once The Musical

By Darlinghurst Theatre Company.

Guy-meets-girl in this smash-hit Broadway musical.

Featuring an outstanding ensemble of performers playing instrumentals live on stage, Once is a modern-day musical that reminds us of the power of music to connect us all.

August 19, 20, 21 and 22

6. Man with the Iron Neck

MAIN FEATURE: Man with the iron neck
MAIN FEATURE: Man with the iron neck

A story of love, loss, and hope from Australia’s leading physical theatre company Legs On The Wall.

August 28

7. A Midsummer’s Night Dream

By Bell Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare’s classic comedy is reawakened in this breathless production brimming with magic, mirth and mayhem.

8. Throttle

By The Farm.

Lock your doors … this outdoor, live action drive-in thriller is going to be a scream! Performed on the grounds of Lismore Rugby Club.

October 12 to 16

9. Animal Farm

Shake & Stir brings their production of George Orwell's drama Animal Farm to Norpa this April.
Shake & Stir brings their production of George Orwell's drama Animal Farm to Norpa this April.

By Shake & Stir Theatre Co.

George Orwell’s intensely powerful novel — live on stage in a critically-acclaimed production by shake & stir.

November 17 and 18

All NORPA 2021 shows are now on sale at norpa.org.au


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