Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue

8 November — 23 December 2014

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The MTC season of Pennsylvania Avenue has now ended. For tickets to the return season of North by Northwest at Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre in 2016, presented by Duet, visit the Arts Centre Melbourne website.

An astonishing collaboration of three artists in 2010 led to one of the runaway hits of the Australian theatre year, which stormed the stages of five states. That production was Songs for Nobodies by Joanna Murray-Smith, starring Bernadette Robinson and directed by Simon Phillips.

The final box is packed and the door is open, but Harper is not quite ready to leave. Having worked in the East Wing since the first weeks of the Kennedy presidency, there are just too many memories holding her back. For forty years she watched history being made. And listened to it being made, too – all those singers who sang for the President, defining the times while creating their unforgettable moment.

Joining forces once again, this same creative team brings us Pennsylvania Avenue, a brilliant new music theatre work featuring a fresh collection of iconic singers, all of whom had a deep connection to the White House – as a performer, a friend or something more intimate.

Joanna Murray-Smith, writing with Bernadette Robinson’s unique powers of transformation in mind, creates a sparkling narrative that brings show business history to life. Pennsylvania Avenue also sees the long-awaited and much sought-after return of former Artistic Director Simon Phillips to the MTC stage.

Image: Sean Fennessy, Getty Images

Bernadette Robinson

Bernadette Robinson

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips

Ian McDonald_BW.jpg

Ian McDonald

Nick Schlieper

Nick Schlieper

Chris Twyman

Chris Twyman

John Kachoyan

John Kachoyan

<p>John is the Creative Director of <span class="caps">MKA</span>: Theatre of New Writing and a Green Room Award-winning director, producer, writer and dramaturg specialising in new writing. He previously worked with <span class="caps">MTC</span> as Assistant Director for Simon Phillips on Pennsylvania Avenue. John began his career in the UK where he gained an MA from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and co-founded IronBark, commissioning and presenting new Australian plays to UK audiences. Returning to Australia in 2012, John was the Director in Residence for Bell Shakespeare Company and a 2013 Critical Stages Resident. As a director, his work includes Dogmeat for <span class="caps">MKA</span>; Alraune for <span class="caps">NEON</span> Up Late/MKA; The Tender Land for Lyric Opera of Melbourne; The Winter’s Tale for Mind’s Eye/Centre for Theatre and Performance (and Dramaturg for John Bell’s production); Sweet Nothings for <span class="caps">ATYP</span>/Under The Wharf; His Greatness for the Finborough Theatre; The Captive for IronBark/Finborough Theatre; Unrestless for Old Vic New Voices, People of the Abyss for Young Vic Genesis Programme; La Dispute for Edinburgh Fringe/Old Red Lion/Soho Theatre Upstairs; An Itch in the Junk and The Last Bell for Rock Surfers; and Never Swim Alone, Drake the Amazing, La Dispute and This is a Play for the Darlinghurst Theatre. John has previously assisted directors Sir Peter Hall, Wilson Milam, Phil Wilmott, Peter Evans, Lee Lewis, and John Bell. Originally trained at <span class="caps">NIDA</span>, John is a former Associate Artist for SnapDragon Productions, former Resident Assistant Director at the Finborough Theatre, and has lectured at the Royal Central School, University of Sydney, <span class="caps">NIDA</span>, <span class="caps">VCA</span> and Monash University.</p>

Artwork for Shaun Gurton

Shaun Gurton