High Windows Low Doorways
A multi-playwright project
Photo by Zorica Purlija
The reviews are in!
"4 stars. ...they've shone a sympathetic light upon the lamp that is the human heart, its fragility and its resilience"
Daily Review (Crikey)
"as an exploration and evocation of intense and life changing experiences it was brilliant......This is little theatre at its best; limited in space but huge in impact"
South Sydney Herald
"the stories are all very well written and performed....
a great production"
The Buzz from Sydney
"With an overarching insistence on the highest quality, subtlenuance give the monologue format a fresh boost......High Windows Low Doorways is performed to the high standard we have come to expect from subtlenuance, but even more than this, it opens the conversation up about what it is to be spiritual in life."
"the stories are unique to the actors, translated back by seven different writers with care and dilgence and craft, and then translated once again to the performance realm. And as an audience we're taken with them into the most uncharted and dangerous and moving territories."
"layered and complex. There's a lot in this show to mull over. I thought it was beautifully curated and well performed."
Theatre From The Back Seat
"The performances were all high quality....easily accessible theatre....entertaining"
"There is a resonance that exits where people dig deep to tell personal stories, and in High Windows Low Doorways, the cast wants us to hear them, but the commonality of our experiences also makes us feel heard"
Suzy Goes See
photo by Zorica Purlija
High Windows Low Doorways
“Don’t tell me your beliefs.
They don't sing, or laugh, or weep.
Speak of the visions you've had, and the paths you've walked.
Tell me your stories."
Some of Sydney’s most exciting theatre makers take on the last great taboo!
In 2013, with some extraordinary artists, we explored stories of childhood in
The Political Hearts of Children:
"Stark white walls. Seven scripts. Seven actors.
Who needs 'big' theatre when 'little' theatre can be so blindingly brilliant?"
Australian Stage Online
With High Windows Low Doorways we revisit this intriguing collaborative approach, teaming writers with performers to tell a tale from the actor's own
- defined in the broadest possible sense!
Epiphany, euphoria and ecstasy,
those glorious moments when nothing makes sense,
and it no longer matters.
Dread, despondency and despair,
those painful moments when it seems only too clear.
Join us as we share tales
of doubt, dissent and divinity,
of fear, hope and love,
of life, death and beyond.
"We don’t have answers.
We only have ourselves."
High Windows Low Doorways
PERFORMER - WRITER
Matt Butcher - Jonathan Ari Lander
Peter McAllum - Noelle Janaczewska
Alice Keohavong - Katie Pollock
Kit Bennett - Alison Rooke
Gavin Roach - Mark Langham
Naomi Livingstone - Ellana Costa
Helen Tonkin - Melita Rowston
directed by Paul Gilchrist
produced by Daniela Giorgi
sound design by Ashley Walker
stage manager Tom Massey
photo by Zorica Purlija
Kit graduated from RADA’s inaugural Foundation Acting course in 2008. Continuing to work in London she appeared as Rosalind in As you Like it, as Una in Blackbird and as part of Nina Raine’s Tiger Country. She regularly toured with the improvisation ensemble ‘Battleacts’ to Edinburgh Festival and around the UK winning TimeOut’s critic choice award in 2010. Since returning to Australia she has appeared on both Stage and Television, most recently playing Julie Rigg in Southern Star’s Power Games: The Packer - Murdoch Story.
Matt graduated from ACTT (Sydney) in 2007. In 2008 he completed the ‘Acting Shakespeare’ course at RADA (London). He also completed Bell Shakespeare’s inaugural ‘Professional Actor Training’. Since 2003 Matt has appeared in plays including: (London) ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (RSC), ‘Silent Partners’, ‘Lady Of Pleasure’, ‘Twelfth Night’; (Sydney) ‘Privates On Parade’, ‘Stairwell’, ‘Rope’, ‘Wit’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘As You Like It’, ‘Comedy Of Errors’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. Matt is currently working on a film version of ‘Macbeth’ in Tasmania. He appeared as detectives in ‘The Suspects’ and ‘East West 101’. He recently worked on ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 3 in Belfast.
Alice is University of Wollongong graduate who has appeared in various short films, theatre shows, TV episodes ('All Saints', 'Redfern Now', 'Stone Age') and TVCs (Holden, BOC and Aldi). She performed in subtlenuance’s 'Cristina in the Cupboard' in 2013. Alice is best known for her lead role in the international award winning feature film 'The Rocket' which earned her a 2014 AACTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress. 'The Rocket' won Best Feature Film at the Tribeca Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival (Kplus), as well as the Audience Award at Tribeca, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Calgary and more. Alice is currently a puppeteer and children's entertainer between her various screen and stage commitments.
Naomi graduated from ACTT in 2008 and studied at the Atlantic Acting School in New York in 2010. Recent stage credits include: 'The Crucible' (dir Ian Zammit), 'Electra' (dir. Richard Hilliar), 'Macondo’s Clothesline' (Co-devised with Alicia Gonzlaez & Natalia Ladyko); 'The Farnsworth Invention' (dir Louise Fischer); Naomi also teaches Script Analysis at ACTT.
Peter trained at London's Westminster Theatre, and has worked extensively in Australian and New Zealand theatre, film and television. Theatrical credits include 'The Balmain Jesus' (SBW Stables Theatre), 'The Night Heron' (SBW Stables), 'Terrorism' (Darlinghurst Theatre), 'Redheads' (Old Fitzroy) and 'Jerusalem' (New Theatre). Most recent theatre gigs include 'The Dreamer Examines His Pillow' (Unpathed Theatre Company), 'Cristina in the Cupboard' (subtlenuance), 'Waiting for Godot', 'Canary', 'The Weir' and 'The Pillowman' (all at the New Theatre). TV appearances include 'Home and Away', 'All Saints', 'Packed to the Rafters' and 'Rake'. Peter is also one of Australasia's foremost voice-over artists.
Gavin graduated the Bachelor of Arts (Acting for the Screen and Stage) in 2003 & Bachelor of Arts (Acting for the Screen and Stage, Honours.) in 2006. Gavin graduated the Masters in Arts Management at UTS in 2011. In 2011 Gavin wrote, performed and produced 'Confessions of a Grindr Addict', his one-man show at that debuted at Sydney Fringe where he went on to receive an award for Excellence. He was the writer & performer of 'Confessions of a Grindr Addict' Sydney (Fringe 2011), Melbourne (Midsumma & Fringe 2012), Newcastle, Edinburgh (Fringe 2012), Perth (FringeWorld 2013), Sydney (Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2013), Adelaide (Fringe 2013), Sydney (Fringe 2013) and Launceston and Hobart (TasPride 2013.) Writer for 'Who Do You See' (Sydney Fringe 2013) and writer & performer of 'Any Womb Will Do' (Sydney Fringe 2013 & Melbourne’s Midsumma 2014.)
Helen is an actor/director and co-founder of Scorch Theatre. Theatre Acting credits include: 'The Shallow End', 'The Wild Duck', 'The Girl On The Sofa', 'Honeymoon Suite', 'Art Is A Weapon', 'Colder Than Here', 'Horrific Acts For Charity', 'Arcadia', 'A Perfect Ganesh', 'In Flame', 'The Gift Of The Gorgon', 'The Dorothy Parker Story', 'When She Danced' and 'Romeo and Juliet'. She won Best Actress at the 2008 Short& Sweet play festival. Television appearances include 'Rake', 'All Saints', 'Young Lions', 'Home and Away', and 'Underbelly'. She has been Artistic Associate of, and is currently a play assessor for New Theatre, for whom she directed 'Jerusalem' and 'Equus' to critical acclaim. She has also been Artistic Director of Phoenix Theatre and Outside-In Productions. Directing credits include 'The Night Heron' (Griffin Stablemates), 'Love That Dog' (Belvoir B Sharp), 'City For Sale' at (Darlinghurst Theatre) and 'Pikers' (Stables Thaetre).
Ellana received a Graduate Diploma in Playwriting from NIDA in 2012. Her 2007 play 'The Yellow Dress' won the Sydney Theatre Company Youth Playwright Award and was read at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2007. Her play 'Skip The Third' was read at NIDA in 2012. Her play 'Never Hurt Anyone' was performed at the Griffin Theatre as part of their 2012 Festival of New Writing. Ellana wrote for the independent production 'Heart Dot Com' (2012), was accepted into 'Night Time: Live and Let Die' at CarriageWorks (2013) and was dramaturge for 'The Ham Funeral' (The New Theatre, 2013) and 'Rooted' (Don’t Look Away, 2013).
Noëlle Janaczewska writes plays, performance texts, lyrics & libretti, monologues, poetry, essays, gallery and on-line explorations, and radio scripts across drama and nonfiction. Her work has been performed, broadcast and published throughout Australia and overseas, and this month she was announced as one of the recipients of Yale’s 2014 Windham Campbell Prize for Drama. Recent works include: 'Third Person' (Union House Theatre, 2013), 'Cloud Cover' and 'My Life in Cookbooks' both for ABC Radio National in 2013 and the performance essay 'Loose Gravel - a poetics'. Noëlle is an adjunct Professor in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland.
Jonathan Ari Lander
Ari is an education officer at the Sydney Jewish Museum. He completed a doctoral thesis in the School of History at UNSW and studied in the NIDA Playwrights’ Studio in 2000. Ari won the 2008 Max Afford Award for his play 'Revolution' which was presented at the 2009 National Play Festival. In 2009 he was a resident playwright at the Griffin Theatre Company. Ari’s play 'Redemption' was part of the 2010 season at the Old Fitzroy Theatre. In 2009 his play 'Ezekiel’s Song' was short-listed for the Rodney Seaborn Award and was co-winner of the St Martin’s Young Playwright’s Award.
Mark’s piece 'Nothing' won the 2011 National One Act Play competition and 2012 Dolphin Theatre, Auckland, One Act Play of the Year. His play, 'The Bench', won the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers One Act Play competition in September 2013. His full length work, 'Amanda' will be premiered at the Tap Gallery in May 2014. Mark trained as an actor at Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and, in the face of public opinion, still acts. He was last seen in Lally Katz’s 'Return to Earth' at Griffin Theatre. But only very, very briefly…
Katie is a Sydney-based playwright and dramaturg. Her plays for theatre are: 'The Hansard Monologues: A Matter of Public Importance', 'The Blue Angel Hotel', 'A Quiet Night In Rangoon', 'A Girl Called Red', 'Blue Italian' and numerous short works. Her plays for radio are: 'Contact', 'O is for Oxygen' and 'Blue Italian'. Katie studied theatre at the University of NSW and Middlesex University, London. She has done dramaturgy internships at Playworks and PlayWriting Australia and has been awarded new work grants from the Australia Council and NSW Seniors’ Week.
Alison is a graduate of NIDA, AFTRS (Screenwriting) and UTS (MA Creative Writing). She is Co-Artistic Director of Somersault Theatre which has received a JUMP Mentorship from the Australia Council (2014). Alison has also received funding from CAL and the Rodney Seaborn Foundation. Her plays have been produced at Tap Gallery, Parramatta Riverside Theatre, New Theatre, subtlenuance and Sydney Fringe Festival. She was a Dramaturgy Intern at both Lark Play Development Center NYC (2011) and Playwriting Australia (2013). Her debut short film Apples and Onions (dir. Zoe Carides) is shooting in April 2014. She teaches online playwriting at NIDA and her play ‘The Blackbird and The Whale’ has been selected for Playwriting Australia’s National Script Workshop 2014.
Melita is a writer, director and sometime performer. She is a graduate of UTS (MA – Creative Writing), NIDA (Directing) and VCA (Painting). Melita’s plays include 'The Crash' (MayDay Festival & Sonic Tales) 2013, 'Crushed' (New Theatre) 2012, 'The Diver' (S&S prize winner) 2008, 'SPEW' (Darlinghurst Theatre) 2004, 'Sugarbomb' (TRS) 2004, 'Solitude in Blue' (Griffin) 2002, 'Swing Girl' (Griffin) 2001. Melita was a resident playwright at Griffin in 2005/06. Most recently she directed 'MilkMilkLemonade' (New Theatre) 2013. Melita also performs: 'Hey! Yeah! It’s Molly’s Travelling Worm Show!' (Malthouse Theatre) 2013, 'Six Degrees of Ned Kelly' (Time Machine Festival) 2012 . www.melitarowston.com
Paul Gilchrist - Director
Paul is a writer and director, and is the artistic director of subtlenuance. His work has been produced in Sydney, interstate and overseas. The plays he has written and directed include 'Blind Tasting' [2012, 2013]; 'Cristina in the Cupboard' ; 'Rocket Man' ; 'Lucy Black' ; 'Toy Box' ; 'Life Is Impossible' ; 'A Thing of Beauty' ; 'Two Gates' ; 'Catherine at Avignon' ; 'Before The Embrace' ; 'True Times Three' ; and 'Dead Money' . He also directed 'Talc' by Daniela Giorgi  and 'A Quiet Night in Rangoon' by Katie Pollock . He has been the artistic director of subtlenuance’s multi-playwright projects 'Bare Boards Brave Heart'  and 'The Political Hearts of Children' .
Daniela Giorgi - Producer
Daniela is a writer and co-founder of subtlenuance. She has produced 16 original works for subtlenuance in the last 5 years. Her writing credits include: 'Talc', subtlenuance ; 'Sicilian Biscotti', Sexing the Act Forum, New Theatre ; 'Friday', SITCO Old Fitzroy Theatre . Daniela has published short stories and poetry. She blogs about food, place and time at http://sagesomethymes.wordpress.com
Ashley Walker - Sound Designer
Ashley was the sound designer for subtlenuance’s previous productions: 'The Political Hearts of Children' and 'Cristina in the Cupboard', as well as doing the sound and music for 'Top Girls' at the New Theatre in 2013. Ashley is also a playwright, having done the NIDA Playwrights’ studio in 2004. He has had eight of his short plays performed at the Short and Sweet play festival and was a writer on ABC TV’s 'The Glass House'.
Tom Massey - Stage Manager
Tom has worked in all aspects of theatre including acting, directing, stage management and design. He trained at AADA in the 90’s. Tom appeared as Bridey in the Australian premiere of Parsley’s adaptation of Waugh’s 'Brideshead Revisted'. Notable roles include Vladimir in 'Godot', Caliban in Shakespeare’s 'Tempest' and Mole in 'Wind in the Willows'. His most recent appearance was as Robert in 'Dangerous Corner'. For the Genesian he has directed 'Noises Off', 'Dead White Males' and 'The 39 Steps'. In 2012 Tom trained at Atlantic in NYC. He was SM for Sure Foot’s 'Credeaux Canvas' and subtlenuance’s 'Cristina in the Cupboard' in 2013.
photo by Zorica Purlija
Some interviews with the team
Radio National - The Spirit of Things
2SER - Stages