No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability – Sons & Mothers National Tour

Australian Tour 2014

A No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability production
by Alirio Zavarce

Click here to download PDF of Media Release

…a love letter to mothers …

After the runaway success of its premiere season in 2012, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability is taking Sons & Mothers on the road. No Strings Attached creates original theatre through the unique perspectives of its disabled performers. Written and directed by NSA artistic associate Alirio Zavarce in collaboration with the performers, Sons & Mothers is a humorous and poignant look into the lives of six men and their relationships with their mothers.

Eloquent and tender…beautifully crafted” The Advertiser

These are love stories, made all the more potent because of disabilities the men live with and their humbling takes on the discriminations they’ve faced.Of the Sons involved,  two live at home with their mothers,  two live independently but rely on their mothers, and two have lost their mothers. The Sons – Kym Mackenzie, Duncan Luke, Ryan Rowland, Richard Samai, Damien Turbin and Ben Wishart – create intimate and authentic portraits of their experiences with their mothers.Sons & Mothers premiered in a sold-out season at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival to 5-star reviews and several coveted Fringe Awards including Best Theatre Production and Best in Fringe.No Strings Attached Producer PJ Rose says, “Sons & Mothers puts the humanity of disability centre stage providing professional work for disabled artists whilst presenting new stories. The show is conceived for general audiences of all ages, but it will also appeal to disabled audience members who seldom see their own experiences on the public stage.”

Accompanying the theatre production is a feature documentary of the same name. By award winning film director Christopher Houghton who, for eighteen months, intimately observed the Men’s Ensemble as they created their stage show from the seed of an idea to a fully realised play. Currently touring festivals locally and around the world, this cinematic stand-alone portrait of the artists at work is heartbreaking, funny and refreshingly honest. View trailer at 
Given 4 1/2 stars and called  “a terrific film” ABC Radio.

Written, Devised and Directed by Alirio Zavarce with and for the Men’s Ensemble of No Strings Attached

The Sons on stage Duncan Luke, Kym Mackenzie, Ryan Rowland, Ricky Samai, Damien Turbin, Ben Wishart, Alirio Zavarce
The Mothers on film  Rosemary Luke, Margaret Mackenzie, Sharn Rowland, Rosella Samai, June Turbin, Jill Wishart, Alicia Zavarce
Set & Costumes  Kathryn Sproul
Lighting Design  David Gadsden
Video Design      Eugenia Lim
Music                  Mario Spate
Movement          Aidan Munn
Producer            PJ Rose

Tour produced by Performing Lines

Tour Dates

Darwin Festival
14-15 August 2014

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
20 August 2014

Goldfields Arts Centre
27 August 2014

The Arts Centre Gold Coast
9 September 2014

The Q – Queanbeyan Arts Centre
13 September 2014

Wagga Civic Centre
17 September 2014

Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre
20 September 2014

Orange Civic Theatre
24 September 2014

Bathurst Memorial Arts Centre
27 September 2014

Theatre Royal (Hobart)
03-04 October 2014

The Capital
08 October 2014

Portland Arts Centre
11 October 2014

The Chaffey Theatre
18 October 2014

Northern Festival Centre
22 October 2014
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. SA Government support for No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability is provided via Arts SA and the Department for Communities & Social Inclusion.

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Jacqui Bonner or on 0411 473 198


Bios and More InformationAlirio Zavarce – Writer/Director/Performer/MusicianAlirio was born in Caracas, Venezuela and migrated to Australia in 1992. In 2000 he graduated from Flinders University Drama Centre. Over the last 14 years Alirio has performed at Malthouse Theatre, Windmill Theatre, State Theatre Company of South Australia and Sydney Theatre Company. He is a founding member of the Border Project and has performed in and co- created all of its productions. Alirio has developed and directed projects for: Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre, SYTE, Urban Myth, Multicultural Community Council of South Australia, Flinders University Drama Centre and the Community Arts Network. For No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Alirio directed, wrote and performed Trapped (winner of the 2011 Fringe Peace Foundation Award) and Sons & Mothers (winner of the 2012 Fringe Award for Best Theatre Production, the Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE: Development Award and the Adelaide Critics Circle Best in Fringe Award). In 2013 Alirio wrote and performed The Book of Loco (winner of the 2013 Fringe Award for Best Theatre Production, Adelaide Festival Centre inSPACE: Development Award); and wrote and directed The Migration Project, which was presented as part of 2013 Come Out Festival.Duncan Luke – Collaborator / Performer

Duncan has been a member of No Strings Attached since 1994.  His stage performances include: Norwood At Work (1994), Ability Rules, OK? (1996), Retouched (1999), Hidden (2002), Catching The Juice (2003).  Since 2004, Duncan has been a core member of NSA’s Men’s Ensemble, performing annually in workshop touring productions.  In 2007, with Julian Crotti, he co-created the roles of the original Toms in the critically acclaimed Tom The Loneliest in Adelaide & Melbourne (2009). For his performance at LaMama’s Carleton Courthouse Theatre, he  was nominated for a Melbourne Green Room Award.

Kym Mackenzie – Collaborator / Performer

Kym is a lifelong theatre enthusiast.  Deep focus & ever-present joy define his work on the stage.  Kym joined NSA in 1999 to take on a key role in ReTouched.  In 2001, he toured to regional SA and the KickstART Festival in Vancouver with In Your Wildest Dreams.  Other NSA productions include Hidden (2002) and Catching The Juice (2003). In 2005 and 2006, he created and performed Trapped with Alirio Zavarce.  Trapped toured to Vanuatu in 2010 and won the inaugural Graham F Smith Foundation Peace Award at the 2011 Adelaide Fringe (see Alirio’s bio above). Since 2004, Kym has been a core member of NSA’s Men’s Ensemble, performing annually in workshop touring productions.

Ryan Rowland – Collaborator / Performer

Ryan has been a member of the Men’s Ensemble since 2007, performing annually in workshop touring productions. Ryan was selected to perform in a 2009 SHINE SA DVD about disability & dating.  He’s an avid air guitarist, loves Punk Rock and  recently moved into shared accommodation with friends.

Richard Samai – Collaborator / Performer

Ricky is a Torres Strait Islander born in Adelaide.  At 33, he began to explore his connection with his culture and country (Western Torres Strait Badu mob). He brings intense physicality and grace to performance. He joined No Strings Attached in 2003 as an ensemble member of Catching The Juice. With dancer and choreographer Tina Barry, for the 2006 Adelaide Fringe, Richard created Lionheart to explore connections of place and loss, including the passing of his mother Rosie.  Now 43, Ricky is a continuing member of the Men’s Ensemble, performing annually in workshop touring productions.

Damien Turbin – Collaborator / Performer

Damien spent his first four years in hospital with a rare chromosomal defect; doctors told his mother that he would never walk, talk or eat.  Now 29 (walking, talking and eating), he has been a performer with NSA since 2003 (Catching The Juice).  In The Ride Of Babs and Sonny (Adelaide Fringe, 2006), Damien and Jo Zealand discovered their connection as clowns in a dream about friendship and consequence (and Damien’s favourite ‘song’, The Ride of the Valkyries).  Damien is a continuing member of the Men’s Ensemble, performing annually in workshop touring productions.

Ben Wishart – Collaborator / Performer

Ben has been a performer with NSA since 1999 when he was part of the original creative development of In Your Wildest Dreams.  He re-joined the Men’s Ensemble in 2004, and performs annually in workshop touring productions.

David Gadsden – Lighting Designer

Dave has been lighting theatre and dance since 1998, excelling over a range of performance genres and companies including Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide International Film Festival, State Theatre Company of SA, State Opera of SA, Adelaide Festival Centre Trust, Windmill Performing Arts, Australian Dance Theatre, Brink Productions, Leigh Warren & Dancers, Ladykillers, Restless Dance Theatre, Patch Theatre Company, Urban Myth Theatre of Youth & Cirkidz.

Aiden Kane Munn – Choreographer

Aiden has performed and created work throughout Australia, Asia and Europe. An Australian Ballet School graduate (1989), he joined ADT (then Leigh Warren & Dancers) as a founding member, while also working as freelance performer and choreographer. He’s been Associate Director of Outlet Dance Youth Ensemble “Outrageous”, Associate Director for Urban Myth’s production “Project X”.  He performed and choreographed for the Paul Cox film “The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky” and choreographed for the South Australian Independent Dance Collective. Aidan regularly teaches for AC Arts, Ausdance, ADT, Kurruru and Leigh Warren.

Eugenia Lim – AV Designer

Through my work, I explore race, identity and representation. Like many Australians, I am the product of multiple cultural influences – this tension is often implicit or explicit in my work. For the past ten years, I have explored cultural mythologies of East and West through video, photography and increasingly installation, referencing the languages of cinema and popular culture. I am equal parts infuriated and intrigued by cultural stereotypes or depictions of “the other” in popular media and it is this dual sense of anger/wonder that I channel into my own performances on screen or camera.

Mario Spate – Sound Designer

A graduate of AC Arts (acting), Mario was a national finalist of the NCBC in 2003.  In 2006 he won an Adelaide Critics Circle award for his soundtrack to ‘Bash’ (Holden St Theatres).  He composed for Tutti’s original work ‘One’.  His band The Killgirls were signed to New World Artists who represent such acts as Silverchair, Sneaky Sound System and Grinspoon.

Kathryn Sproul – Set/Costume Designer

Kathryn designs nationally for theatre, dance and large arts events.  A NIDA Stage Design graduate, Kathryn was Resident Designer for Magpie Theatre and State Theatre Company of SA (1988-1993).  Career highlights include Flamma Flamma: the Fire Requiem (which opened the 1998 Adelaide Festival of Arts).  She’s worked with State Opera of SA, Leigh Warren & Dancers, Windmill Performing Arts, Hothouse, Melbourne Theatre Co, Playbox, Chamber Made Opera, Legs on the Wall, Riverina Theatre Co, Hothouse Theatre Co, Patch Theatre, Darwin Theatre Company and Gekidan Urinko Theatre Company in Nagoya, Japan.  In 2004, Kathryn won the Green Room Award for Visual Design (Independent Theatre) for Traitors by Stephen Sewell. Kathryn designs for major events and spectacles as well as for theatre.  She was Costume Designer for a co-production of Maria de Buenos Aires between Leigh Warren & Dancers and The State Opera of SA (2010).  She was Event Designer for The Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2011, and won the Best Venue Award for her design of the Queen’s Theatre in the 2012 Adelaide Fringe.

PJ Rose – Producer

Dr PJ Rose is a theatre director, radio producer, community arts organiser and former university lecturer.  She’s worked in Nicaragua, Indonesia, the USA and Australia with youth & adults & elders in Indigenous, multi-cultural and multi-gender communities.  From 1976-1987, she was Artistic Director & General Manager for the award-winning theatre At the Foot of the Mountain (Minneapolis, USA).  In 1989, she began traveling internationally, supporting herself as a cab driver, looking for ways to reconcile apparently contradictory passions for feminist theatre, Indigenous politics and musical comedy. She arrived in South Australia in 1990 to teach Drama at Flinders University.  From 1999-2004 she was Program Manager at Radio Adelaide.  In September 2004, she rejoined No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability as artistic director. PJ has founded theatre companies, organised international conferences, produced & presented radio programs, directed over 50 professional theatre productions, including 25 premieres of new scripts (most with original music), and produced hundreds of original performance pieces. She has a PhD in Political Theatre.
About No Strings Attached
No Strings Attached is a contemporary theatre company that creates original theatre through the unique perspectives of its disabled performers. The company produces locally, tours nationally and discovers new talent in weekly workshops tailored to the individual abilities of the participants. No Strings Attached aims to lead the way in training, services and opportunities for disabled artists by creating world-class theatre, supporting members to build career paths in the performing arts.

About Performing Lines
Performing Lines develops, produces and tours new and innovative Australian performing arts regionally, nationally and internationally.
Performing Lines is present at every level of the Australian performing arts sector.  We work with emerging independent artists to help increase their skills and sector awareness; we produce the work of these artists as well as that of more established artists and companies; we connect artists with national and international presenters, and broker and manage the tours that result.  Performing Lines has producers in Perth and Hobart as well as Sydney, partners and collaborators in every state and territory, and an increasingly rich network of contacts overseas. In addition we manage a number of related but separately funded initiatives.