16 May — 26 May 2013

Event Passed

me·nag·er·ie | m e’naj erē

1. A collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition
2. A strange or diverse collection

In a tiny derelict flat, a voracious mother, her repressed daughter and flamboyant poet son live in squalor, nourished only by competitive manoeuvring and nostalgic fantasies. You recognise this family. They have the same lost dreams and drowned sorrows as your neighbour, uncle, stepbrother. They are caged animals, wild at heart, with the American Dream – capitalism and hedonism – oozing through the seams of their imaginative worlds.

Menagerie is a new production based on the extraordinary life and work of one of the giants of the American stage, Tennessee Williams. DANIEL SCHLUSSER ENSEMBLE has built an exciting reputation for exploding the classics onto the contemporary stage with a unique sensibility and style. This award-winning company kicks off the inaugural NEON season with its most ambitious and potent work yet.

‘Schlusser has demonstrated that he is one of the most exciting theatre directors working in Australia.’ – Theatre Notes

DANIEL SCHLUSSER ENSEMBLE is a group of artists that make works for theatre, opera, visual art and other media. Since its inception in 2007, the ensemble has created Life is a Dream, The Dollhouse,_ Poet#7_, Ophelia doesn’t live here anymore, and their forthcoming adaptation of The Master and Margarita.

Daniel Schlusser is the 2012 George Fairfax Memorial Fellow.

Artwork for Jane Badler

Jane Badler

Kevin Hofbauer

Kevin Hofbauer

Artwork for


Josh Price

Karen Sibbing

Karen Sibbing

After graduating, Karen Sibbing was selected to join the Red Stitch Actors Theatre graduate program. She is a collaborating artist of theatre company Fraught Outfit, for which she has appeared in several works, and a core member of The Daniel Schlusser Ensemble. Her other theatre credits include productions by La Mama Theatre, Four Larks Theatre, Malthouse Theatre and Malthouse Education and Neon Festival for Melbourne Theatre Company. She received the 2013 Green Room Award for Best Female Performer in Independent Theatre for her performance in Persona (Belvoir St Theatre / Malthouse Theatre / Theatre Works). Sibbing is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts.

Artwork for Edwina Wren

Edwina Wren

Daniel Schlusser

Daniel Schlusser

Daniel Schlusser is a director, dramaturge, performer and writer. He has directed over 40 productions for the stage, including works for major festivals, numerous premiere productions by both Australian and international writers, as well as classics from the Russian and European canon. Recently with The Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, he has created M+M (Theatre Works/Melbourne Festival), Menagerie (Melbourne Theatre Company Neon Festival), Ophelia doesn’t live here anymore (Chamber Made Opera/Bell Shakespeare’s Minds Eye), The Dollhouse (fortyfivedownstairs), _ Life is a Dream_ (The Store Room) and Poet #7 (Full Tilt at Arts Centre, Melbourne). Schlusser received the prestigious George Fairfax Memorial Fellowship in 2012.

Dale Ferguson

Dale Ferguson

Artwork for Zoë Rouse

Zoë Rouse


Darrin Verhagen

Artwork for Nicola Andrews

Nicola Andrews

Artwork for Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith