Note from the Artistic Director

The theatre is a gathering place.

Over centuries, it has provided a place for communities to see and hear their own stories, for people to reflect on who they are, and who they want to be. And we live on land where that tradition of gathering for storytelling, particularly through song and dance, is much, much, older than the western theatre tradition. For tens of thousands of years, our First Nations people have come together to share such activities. Whether or not we gather in structures built specifically for the purpose (such as our wonderful theatres at IPAC),
in temporary venues (such as the beautiful Spiegeltent), in community halls (like The Wollongong Town Hall), or indeed outdoors, on the street, in parks or public spaces, these
occasions provide a vital opportunity for us to express who we are and to learn about others, forging our collective sense of community in the process.

For all its power to bring us together, there have been times when theatre has been used as a means of exclusion, of elitism, when the theatre has become a place where the superiority of one group over another has been asserted, and oppression reinforced. So, in the age of ‘fake news’, of divisive plebiscites and savage social media attacks, it’s vitally important that Merrigong, as your local theatre company, reinforces the ability of the theatre to embrace all in our community, to be a place of inclusion, a space where diversity is valued and difference is celebrated. In the coming years, the team at Merrigong will be working even harder to find ways to ensure that our venues, our programs and our audiences better reflect the diversity of the community in which we live. So, from the mix of people you see in our foyers, the range of faces of those seated around you in the theatre, and the diversity of voices and stories on our stages, we want to send a very clear message. At Merrigong, whoever you are, wherever you were born, whoever you love,
whatever your ability, whatever your beliefs, you belong here.

Simon Hinton

Artistic Director / CEO
November 2018

View the Merrigong 2018 Season Brochure here.