Margot Politis, Artistic Director
In 2023 Milk Crate Theatre celebrates our 24th year of magnificence! We began pulling together our anniversary in 2020 but for obvious reasons it has stretched to a few years of celebration, and taken a number of forms - and that's fine by us!
EMERGENCE hero image by Lisa Walton
In April we will be presenting our anniversary exhibition, Emergence - a collection of photographic works, films and photos taken of performances over this long and beautiful history of community-centred arts practice. This collection speaks to not only the artistic beauty and resonance of our work over the years, but of course the impact it has had on the Collaborative Artists who made it, and the audiences who have engaged with it.
Beginning as an outreach program of the Darlinghurst Theatre Company in 1999, the company has consistently elevated the expression of people with lived experience of homelessness, mental health issues and disability. We have done this by collaborating to make beautiful and powerful performance works (which are also rather hilarious and bitingly insightful btw).
The truths we present on stage and on screen are not always a retelling of real-life stories even though this is commonly what people expect. But actually, we believe that we can be more than our stories of lived experience - they don't have to be our currency.
'Intersection' photo by Patrick Boland Photography
Where our lived experiences matter, is that they may have prevented us from accessing tertiary education or acting schools, rendered us homeless, built walls for us against social interactions, or left us feeling as though we do not deserve much. And really, can't all humans relate to this? The struggle to just be happy and present in a capitalist world, where we are judged by our capacity to produce?
But the good news is, we are artists! And like any other artists, in any other theatre company, our truths exist in our thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas - the way we see the world and consider our place in it. Our experiences are in our flesh and bones, and they will always be a part of us. They will naturally inform the material we make as we devise our original works, but they do not have to rule us.
photo from Edward Eager Lodge, photographer unknown
This is why Milk Crate Theatre and other companies like ours are so important, and why the longevity of such companies is something to celebrate! Because we make this practice accessible for everyone, and this is what you will see in the Emergence exhibition.
We hope you will come and join us for one or all of our 3 events, or take your time perusing the lovely works during the days when the exhibition is open. Most of all, we hope that in experiencing these works, you too will feel seen, heard and valued - for the person you are, and all the parts of your life that have led you to here.
Galleries open: 11am-5pm, 5th, 6th, 8th and 10th-15th April, 2023
Opening Night: Wednesday April 5th, 6pm-8pm
Afternoon Open Mic: Saturday April 8th, 2pm-4pm
Artist Talks: Thursday April 13th, 6pm-8pm
Please RSVP with your selected event, name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0481 248 218
image 1: 'Natural Order' film suite, Lisa Walton | image 2: 'This House is Mine', Patrick Boland Photography | image 3: 'Intersection', Heidrun Lohr