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Milk Crate Theatre 2018 Year in Review

Homelessness in Sydney has grown more than three times faster than the national rate. Housing estates are being redeveloped and people are experiencing strong anxiety and displacement issues. It has been a challenging year working in the homelessness space with the sad escalation of the figures being delivered.

But amid this, Milk Crate Theatre continues to provide a safe and supported environment where people can contribute ideas, share stories, act, move, write or direct and most importantly - develop their own sense of self-worth.

Participants, staff and artist facilitators pose for the camera at one of the Natural Order Filming Days.

Image: Lisa Walton

With all aside, 2018 has been an exceptional year for Milk Crate Theatre, in terms of what our participants have presented, and what we have been able to offer participants. Our programs and opportunities have, as ever, covered such a great range of engagement levels to choose from – from attending creative workshops casually, through to very deep engagement in focused and challenging skills development programs.

Throughout the year we offered a total of 20 workshops to 184 participants. These included, but were not limited to: creative workshops, youth workshops, women’s workshops, creative developments, and much more. We also offered master classes, including comedy writing with Caleb Lewis and sound and emotion intensive with James Brown and Margot Politis at the International Screen Academy. The sound and music the participants create will be used to develop the soundscape for Natural Order, which is set to on one of our most ambitiously collaborative projects to date. Stay tuned for details to come early next year.

Participants Desmond, Jessica and Georgina, and volunteer support artist Bella, at the Sound and Emotion Intensive.

Image: Lisa Walton

We also offered our pilot developing artist program Pathways, where 5 Milk Crate Theatre participants spent seven months creating their own new works under the mentorship of professional practising artists. Through this guided program, these developing artists realised their creative ideas and present the first stage development of their works to an audience.

We hosted numerous shows including our first ever set of scratch nights, Raise The Roof. These nights showcased the work of 11 members of the Milk Crate Theatre community and were presented at the Eternity Playhouse, in partnership with our friends at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. We also presented our exclusive HSC readings of Fearless at Riverside Theatres, Pathways New Works in Development Showings at Australian Technology Park, and last week we held our annual Milk Crate Theatre End of Year Show, where a number of our participants showcased work from the final round of workshops for 2018. We had a whopping 630 people attend our shows this year. These events couldn’t have been made possible without our supporters, volunteers, interns, artist facilitators/mentors and actors.

Participants, staff and artist facilitators at Raise the Roof. Image: Patrick Boland

Across all of these, our participants have produced material and ideas that are poignant, beautiful and important. It has been an exciting indicator of just how far we can go in 2019, but we need your help!

As the end of the year approaches, and you potentially consider your gifts this festive season, we’d like you to consider giving US the chance for someone else to change their story.

You can help through these gifts:

$50 will provide materials for a creative workshop

$100 covers the cost of a venue to host a workshop day

$200 supports a social worker to assist workshop participants with their support needs

$500 delivers a one-off masterclass with leading professional artists or provides a professional photographer or filmmaker to work with us

Participants Georgina and Steve, artist Alyson Evans and Artistic Director Margot Politis at Pathways New Works in Development Showing. Image: Patrick Boland

We would like to thank everyone for coming along with us this year and we hope you'll join us for an exciting 2019. We wish you all a wonderful festive season and a fantastic new year. Thank you once again from everyone at Milk Crate Theatre.

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