Shaking it Up with Flash Mob Rehearsals for Studio Shorts

( October 03, 2011

Shaking it Up with Flash Mob Rehearsals for Studio Shorts

Shaking it Up with Flash Mob Rehearsals for Studio Shorts

From its rehearsal program and marketing strategy to the actual production, JUTE Theatre Company has put tradition aside to create a new, multi-dimensional performance event, Studio Shorts.

Studio Shorts will be held in ‘The Space’ venue at The Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns from Tuesday 25 October and run for five nights only until Saturday 29 October.

In combining two short plays with a vintage live band and a performance DJ in JUTE’s new ‘The Space’ venue, Studio Shorts is introducing a completely new concept to Cairns’ already rich, arts and cultural scene.

Artistic Director and CEO of JUTE Theatre Company, Suellen Maunder said it is not just the production itself that breaks from the ‘norm’.

“We realise the joy of the ‘unexpected’ and we plan to surprise and delight people from the outset.

Without giving everything away, this week begins rehearsals that will include random ‘flash mob’ style enactments in Cairns’ inner-city cafes and bars.

In coming weeks we’re also set to launch a fun social media campaign that is bound to have tongues wagging,” she said.

Studio Shorts combines two short plays by celebrated Victorian playwright, Raimondo Cortese with live music by Brisbane trio, Fox Lane and a DJ set from Cairns’ performance artist, Brett Walsh.

According to Suellen, JUTE has assembled a truly creative and highly esteemed production team that will converge in ‘The Space’ from today for an intense, three week rehearsal phase.

“From the directors to our cast of four extremely talented, powerful female actors – namely Ella Watson-Russell, Natalie Taylor, Laura Pike and Liz Hurley – and inspired lighting design by Ben Hughes – we are proud to produce a new style of quality, theatre experience that is completely home grown.

“For the audience, it will be a bit like a great party with some pretty amazing moments where actors emerge from the crowd and in so doing, break down the barriers between audience and stage.

It will feel a bit like standing in a night club and eavesdropping on another person’s conversation.  Then, all of a sudden – the penny drops – Studio Shorts has already begun!” said Suellen.

With a PH. D. in Performance Innovation, Master of Fine Arts (Dramaturgy) and BA in Directing at QUT and Graduate Diploma in Directing at NIDA,  David Fenton is one of Australia’s most experienced and qualified theatre directors.

David is currently visiting Cairns to mentor the Studio Shorts’ directors’ Simon Hapea and Nerissa Brandenberger throughout the first week of their rehearsal process.

Simon and Nerissa are two of 11 participants undertaking JUTE’s Director Development Program and they have been chosen to showcase their talent as directors of  Raimondo Cortese’s short, sassy plays, ‘Hotel’  and ‘Night’.

Studio Shorts will take place in The Space, Centre of Contemporary Arts, 96 Abbott Street, Cairns. 


DATES:                        25 – 29 October 


6pm                            Box office and bar open

6.30pm til 9pm          Show time

‘Night’ by Raimondo Cortese / Directed by Nerissa Brandenberger.  Featuring Natalie Taylor and Ella Watson-Russell – one young woman meets another woman at a bar. They both get excessively drunk until one makes a pass at the other.


‘Fox Lane’ 1930’s vintage style, three piece swing band from Brisbane

‘Hotel’ by Raimondo Cortese / Directed by Simon Hapea. Featuring Liz Hurley and Laura Pike as two female hotel cleaners. The everyday power struggles, politics (and ultimately, violence) of two cleaners, as they talk while working.
Brett Walsh, DJ & multimedia artist


TICKETS                       ONLY $20 / $25 – on sale today from
RATED                          MA 15+


FEATURING                Liz Hurley & Laura Pike (Hotel) / Natalie Taylor &

Ella Watson-Russell (Night)

DIRECTORS                Simon Hapea (Hotel) / Nerissa Brandenberger (Night)

DESIGNER                  Luke Ede / LIGHTING DESIGNER Ben Hughes


About JUTE Theatre Company

Established in Cairns in 1992, JUTE Theatre Company is a significant regional theatre company driving the development, co-production, national and international touring of contemporary Australian plays from the regions.

JUTE passionately engages others in the telling of new stories that stimulate the mind, revitalize the spirit and lift the heart, providing a true sense of true belonging.

Since 2004 JUTE Theatre Company has operated from its home at the Centre of Contemporary Arts – a significant regional infrastructure, funded by State Government.

About Playwright Raimondo Cortese

Raimondo Cortese graduated from the VCA School of Drama in 1993 and is a founding member of Ranters Theatre, of which he was the Artistic Director from 1994 to 2000.

His plays include: Lucrezia and Cesare, The Room, The Large Breast or the Upside-Down Bell, The Fertility of Objects, Features of Blown Youth, Roulette, St Kilda Tales and The Wall.

A collection of short stories, The Indestructible Corpse (Text Publishing), appeared in 1998. He has also written for film, television and radio.

Cortese has exhibited in group exhibitions of visual texts in Australia and overseas, with solo shows in Melbourne and Pisa, Italy. He has also designed textual installations, including ‘Salivate’, for the Melbourne City Library.

About Fox Lane

Queen of song, Kylie Southwell leads the audience on a merry dance back to 1930’s Paris jazz and the streets of Spain with a mix of instrumental flamenco sounds.  The music is charming and quirky. Kylie is joined by  Gerard Mapstone (guitar and banjo) and Jan Van Dijk (violin).


For more information:

JUTE Theatre Company Artistic Director and CEO, Suellen Maunder T: 07 4050 9444,

M: 0419 757 231 E:  W: 


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