Photo Credit: Cast and Collaborative artists from 'Natural Order' (2019).
SIT IN THAT CHAIR
Milk Crate Theatre invited the Sydney Street Choir to join us in recording our political cabaret anthem,
Sit in that Chair.
Sit in That Chair is a political cabaret anthem created by the Collaborative Artists of Milk Crate Theatre for their 2019 performance work Natural Order; a multi-artform immersive theatre show about systems, bureaucracy, and the myth of social mobility.
Composed by Tim Hansen, the Collaborative Artists were invited to write lyrics for a song that would express what it feels like to be at the mercy of social systems such as housing and welfare. A veritable ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ style anthem, this protest song balances frustration and anger with the fear, softness, and vulnerability of being human. Sit in That Chair combines a multitude of sections, melodies and viewpoints into one majestic, glorious and powerful number.
When Milk Crate Theatre received funding to record the song in 2021, they immediately knew that the Sydney Street Choir would be the perfect partner to join them on the recording journey – the companies sharing an ethos of giving a platform to the expression of underrepresented voices. The two companies gathered on recording day, with the backup power of the choir profoundly bolstering the message in the music created by the Milk Crate Theatre cast. The piece was recorded and mastered at the world-renowned Studios 301 Alexandria, which has seen recording artists including Prince, David Bowie, INXS and Lady Gaga, to name just a few.
Senior Engineer at Studios 301 Jack Prest stated, “Really loved working with Milk Crate Theatre and Sydney Street Choir, so much fun and genuine expression. It’s super important that spaces like 301 are accessible to those from all walks of life so that we have a diverse range of voices and stories being told in our arts community."
Milk Crate Theatre’s creative processes are rooted in inclusivity and accessibility, says Artistic Director Margot Politis. “Everything we perform is created by the performers themselves, so every single project is designed to put the ideas and inspirations of our Collaborative Artists at the fore. A key way we do this is by offering a range of art forms for people to explore that go beyond writing and acting, such as film, visual art, sound and movement. These complement the writing and acting but also give audiences alternate ways to take in the work.
“In writing this song, we have collaboratively narrowed in to focus on ‘systems’ – how they bind us, how they keep us trapped in cycles, and ultimately how they strip us of a common modicum of freedom. And I think this can resonate with anyone, whether you have found yourself dangerously at the mercy of systems yourself, or if this concept is well outside of your lived experience.”
Director: Margot Politis
Producer: Lauren Vassallo
Artistic Program Coordinator: Jessica Saras
Composer: Tim Hansen
Performers: Milk Crate Theatre Collaborative artists Darlene Proberts, Lisa Griffiths, Matthias Nudl, and Pauline Trenerry
Guest Collaborative Artists: Sydney Street Choir, directed by James Paul
Videography: Rolling Media Productions
Senior Engineer: Jack Prest, Studio 301
NATURAL ORDER ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
WORKSHOPS & DEVELOPMENT
Facilitated by Tim Hansen, Vashti Hughes & Lucy Watson
Material by and with Shane Davis, Desmond Edwards, Owen Gill, Lisa Griffiths, Sandra Hickey, Eugenia Langley, Felix Morgan, Katrina Morris, Ruth Oslington, Jemima Pal, Darlene Proberts, Steve Simao, Pauline Trenerry
PERFORMERS (LIVE PIECE 2019)
Aslam Abdus-Samad, Peter Birbas, Shane Davis, Alicia Gonzales, Lisa Griffiths, Matthias Nudl, Ruth Oslington, Darlene Proberts, Pauline Trenerry, Lucy Watson
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY:
Milk Crate Theatre would like to thank Studio 301 and Rolling Media Productions
Rolling Media Productions
A special thank you to our Collaborative Artists