Are we part of the heart of Western Australia?
And to whom do we belong?
Our theatre has brought about countless moments of human connection – laughter, tears, and everything in between. After 27 years as our State’s premier theatre company, we can’t help but wonder if these moments have amounted to a greater sense of belonging. Have we, in part, helped you find Where the Heart Is?
In a season where we are asking you to explore Where the Heart Is, it would be remiss of us not to ask ourselves the same question – to reflect upon the role we play in fostering creativity and bringing people together.
Our ambition, as Western Australia’s state theatre company, lies on a scale far bigger than just the stage. We have a responsibility to our State that is like no other, to lead and advocate for our culture – to grow and to share our Western Australian identity.
In a place as vast as WA, we have the entirety of our State’s story to tell, and we know the absolute importance of sharing it with both our own community and the world. We must hear and share all voices – together they make our image of Western Australian-ness whole. We seek to build a dynamic voice that matters, from a place of isolation.
From our home in the State Theatre Centre, we reach far and wide. From regional cities to small towns and remote areas, we aim to anchor theatre, and its ability to bring people together, in the lives of communities large and small. Whether it’s supporting regional areas through touring, community engagement, live broadcasts or ambassadorships – these are all vital ways of connecting with the heart of these communities.
Excellent theatre can be found in countless spaces across WA – in our neighbourhood at the Blue Room Theatre and PICA, at the Subiaco Arts Centre, the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre and the brand-new Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha, to name a few. Our willingness to be open and collaborate is one of the defining features of what makes us a theatre company that is truly inclusive.
We have endeavoured to bring the world to us, and us to the world. By making world-class theatre and collaborating with some of our country’s leading companies and artists, we continue to showcase our talents on a national and international stage. As perceptions shift, our isolation is fast becoming our greatest asset. Over 27 years, Black Swan has seen many home-grown talents take the world by storm, and of this, we couldn’t be prouder.
Enabling students to experience theatre has been pivotal in the flourishing of our local arts scene. More importantly, it’s where our youth build their confidence, their voice and continue to develop who they are. Through workshops, productions and mentorships in schools, at both a metropolitan and regional level, and of course their attendance at our shows, we are creating a stronger connection with culture and identity.
As these generations develop, giving emerging artists the means to explore and experiment is critical to establishing careers. Whether it’s through our Emerging Writers’ Program or partnerships with WAAPA, we’re committed to immersing these talents in our productions, to help them shine under the spotlight.
This favour has been returned in kind to the WA community through bold and audacious work. Fronted by the leadership of our Artistic Director, Clare Watson, in every facet, we are creating a strong brand of theatre that portrays a uniquely Western Australian voice. One that reaches out and speaks to who we are and who we want to be.
So why does theatre matter? Being entertained by theatre is an intimate and shared experience like no other – immediate and unrepeatable. We define our success by making our state better than it was before; if it unites us, if it challenges us and if it builds pride in our community.
In a place as vast as WA, we have the entirety of our State’s story to tell, and we know the absolute importance of sharing it with both our own community and the world.
Our ambition is for Black Swan to match the beauty and boldness of the state that we call home. We will continue to be audacious, ambitious and relentlessly authentic. We will explore our city and our State to find new ways to inspire audiences and help shape the broader narrative of what it means to be Western Australian.
We have found our heart, Western Australia – in your stories, your passion and your creativity. We hope we have made a place in your heart too.