Our production explores the raw truth, the unbridled joy and the devastating paradox of surrogacy through a carefully woven story of love, generosity and a newborn child.- Nadia Tass, Director, e-baby, Ensemble Theatre 2016.
The Ensemble Theatre will present the Sydney premiere of e-baby, directed by Nadia Tass from October 13 to November 13 as part of its 2016 season, starring Danielle Carter as Catherine and Gabrielle Scawthorn as Nellie.
Danielle, a NIDA graduate, has appeared in many plays for The Ensemble, most recently My Zinc Bed, by David Hare. She has also appeared in plays at The Sydney Theatre Company, and her many TV credits include All Saints, Neighbours, Blue Heelers, and Under Belly.
Gabrielle Scawthorn is also a NIDA graduate and appeared at The Ensemble earlier this year in Blood Bank, by Christopher Harley. Her TV credits include Dr Blake Mysteries (ABC) and Fresh Blood (ABC)
Nadia Tass is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and awarded theatre and film directors. In 2014, she was awarded the Screen Leader Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Screen Industry.
Tass made her directorial name with the hit film Malcolm, starring a young Colin Friels, and these days combines both film and theatre directing in Australia and overseas.
She has directed numerous plays, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in 2001/2, for which she was nominated for Best Direction for a Musical in the 2003 Helpmann awards.
In 2015, she directed Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Flick, for a return season for Red Stitch Theatre, to critical acclaim, and most recently she directed another Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar, for Melbourne Theatre Company, receiving five-star reviews.
e-baby will be the first play that Tass has directed for The Ensemble.
Designer Tobiyah Stone Feller and Lighting Designer Nicholas Higgins complete the e-baby Sydney production team.
e-baby is the story of Catherine, – a woman who has everything except a child and who turns to surrogacy in a last desperate bid to fulfil her dream.
It’s Melbourne premiere at Chapel Off Chapel in March 2015, with direction and dramaturgy by Anna McCrossin-Owen, was highly praised.
With one-in-six couples facing infertility, e-baby is a story of our times and I am extremely privileged to have such a wonderfully talented team bringing it to life for Sydney audiences for the first time at The Ensemble.
The Ensemble Theatre, on the waterfront in Kirribilli, in Sydney, is Australia’s longest running professional theatre company, presenting theatre at its highest standard.
New Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry (formerly Assistant AD and who replaced Sandra Bates who spent 30-years at the helm) has had great success this season with an exciting and varied selection of plays, including those from some of the most beloved and outstanding playwrights of our time, such as David Williamson, Alan Ayckbourn and Neil Simon.
The company has also just announced a rich and varied 2017 season.
Click here for more information about e-baby and the Ensemble Theatre 2017 season launch:
News Flash: e-baby will make it’s Tasmanian debut in Hobart in 2017 at The Tasmanian Theatre company, directed by Anne Cordiner and Julie Waddington, and starring award-winning actors Jane Longhurst and Katie Robertson. Stay tuned!
See what the media said about The Ensemble’s 2016 season:
Sydney Morning Herald
e-baby in London!
Rave reviews for London rehearsed reading of e-baby on 14 July 2015
We laughed and cried and I would like to see it have a future life here…
– Sarah Berger, Artistic Director and Founder, The So and So Arts Club
From left: Kat Rogers, Pamela Shermann and Becky Hands-Wicks
A rehearsed reading of e-baby at the So and So Arts Club at 6 Fredericks Place, London on Tuesday July 14 received a fantastic response.
The reading was directed by Pamela Shermann and starred Kat Rogers as Catherine and Becky Hands-Wicks as Nellie.
Here’s what some of the audience members had to say:
… intriguing, informative, emotional, and kept us guessing right to the end as to the outcome. – David Waters
…a wonderful piece, congratulations to you and the fabulous actors and director.– Rachel Creeger
Congratulations Kat, Becky and Pamela. And thank you Sarah for finding yet another playwright who writes great parts for women. Wonderful play, wonderful performance. – Grace Cookey-Gam
…a great night, great script, great acting great directing! – Gillian Steventon
Well acted and an emotionally gripping story. – Carol Allen
The So and So Arts Club is London-based global arts club that aims to put emerging artists in touch with established artists to share knowledge and resources.
Thanks so much to Sarah, Pamela, Kat and Becky and everyone who came along to support the reading.
See below for information and reviews for the recent Melbourne premiere of e-baby at Chapel Off Chapel from 4-15 March 2015.
“e-baby, a new play by Australian journalist and cartoonist Jane Cafarella, does a brilliant job of laying bare the complex issues involved in commercial surrogacy arrangements…”
– Angela Savage, critic and author
“Director Anna McCrossin-Owen has magically created a world for each woman that we can understand. Their long-distance and face-to-face interactions are seamless.
“The set looked deceitfully simple but gave the actors plenty to work with. I particularly liked the DNA-like installations. For its humorous moments and strong performances alone, e-baby appeals, but it is the way it challenges preconceptions and sheds a light on surrogacy that make this a show well worth seeing.”
– Beth Klein, The Melbourne Observer
“…a powerful and thought-provoking new Australian production by playwright and journalist Jane Cafarella.”
– Cate Altamura, film news.co.uk
“…the play stays resolutely away from sentimentality to bring to the stage an affecting story that is all too real and sad for many people.”
– Myron My, Theatre Press
Where new life can begin with a click of a mouse…
Written by JANE CAFARELLA
Melbourne season direction and dramaturgy by ANNA McCROSSIN-OWEN
The Melbourne production starred CAROLYN BOCK as Catherine and SARAH RANKEN as Nellie.
Have you ever wanted something so desperately that you will do anything to get it?
That’s the position that Catherine, the protagonist in a new Australian play, finds herself – along with thousands of infertile women in Australia and across the world.
Catherine’s story is portrayed in e-baby, a new Australian play about one of the hottest issues of our times – infertility.
e-baby goes behind the celebrity surrogacy stories and shines a light on a world where new life can start with an online ad.
The Melbourne premiere of e-baby was proudly supported by…
DIRECT WEB LINK:
e-baby – Melbourne premiere creative team
Director and dramaturg – Anna McCrossin-Owen
|Anna McCrossin-Owen’s directing credits include Essential Theatre’s ‘Shakespeare in the Vines’ , featuring performances of Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing, 2010-2012.She directed and dramaturged Death in White Linen by Michael Dalley at La Mama and the Victorian Arts Centre program Full Tilt, earning a 2008 Victorian Green Room Award Nomination for Best New Writing for the Australian Theatre.In 2002, Anna directed and produced A Trilogy of Revolution- three plays by Wallace Shawn for the Melbourne Festival with her own theatre company inthecompanyofpleasure.This trilogy included the Obie Award-winning monologue The Fever, by Wallace Shawn, which was performed by Merfyn Owen during 1999-2004 in lounge rooms in Victoria and New Zealand.She has directed new Australian writing, cabaret and music theatre – including The Mohair Stockings ‘groovy performance art cabaret’, Water Project, with long-term unemployed youth, Pills, I love em to Death by Jennie Swain and Teenage Brain with Kensington Community School.
Anna was also an Assistant Director at the Victorian State Opera and Stonnington Opera in the Park from 2003-8.
A graduate of Queensland University and the Victorian College of the Arts, Anna was honoured in 2011 by the Victorian Green Room Association with a Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Melbourne Stage
Playwright – Jane Cafarella
While current events about baby Gammy in Thailand have brought surrogacy to the fore, the seeds for this play were sown back in 1988.
In those days I was a journalist, writing for the Accent pages of The Age, and was one of the first to interview Maggie and Linda Kirkman, who made history when Linda carried a child for Maggie.
My interest was further fuelled in 2005 when I met a woman whose two children were born via surrogacy. Intrigued by her story, I spent hundreds of hours reading posts from surrogates and intended parents via online communities.
I found myself drawn into a world with its own language and rules and which challenged the definition of families and motherhood.
It is this world I have tried to portray in e-baby, which is my first full-length play
While the characters are fictional, the story is based on real events that occur in surrogacy every day.
I’ve been writing plays for about five years. My other theatre credits include:
- Members Only, directed by Mark Nagle, Short + Sweet Top 80, Week 4, Sydney, 27 January to Feb 1
- The Last Minute, a Christmas monologue, performed by Carolyn Masson at Monologue Soiree, directed by Elizabeth Walley for Melbourne Writers Theatre, December 2014.
- Errata, directed by Rob White for Script-in-Hand, Sydney, 25 August 2014.
- Hard Times with the Semi-Naked Chef Oliver Jamie, directed by Kay Lopez, for Script-in-Hand, Sydney, June 2014.
- Oliver With A Twist, a 10-minute play performed at The Singapore Arts House, as part of its 10th anniversary call out, directed by Susie Penrice Tyrie, 6 April 2014.
- Little Red Riding Hood (Singapore style), directed by Bob Scheer for The Stage Club, and performed at The British Club, The Tanglin Club and The Swiss Club, Singapore, November and December 2014.
- Voyage – Around the World in 80 Minutes, dinner theatre, directed by Hunter Wood and Susie Penrice Tyrie for The Stage Club, performed at the Tanglin Club in 2013 and The British Club in 2014.
- For When She Comes, a monologue from the full-length play e-baby, performed at the May 2014 Mamapalooza Festival by Rowena McNicol at the Roxbury Hotel and the Tapp Gallery, Sydney.
- Errata, directed by Chantelle Ashby, 2013 Take Ten Festival, Gemco Players
- Supersnout, directed by Joanne Watt, for Hartwell Players, 2012 One Act season A Slice of Funcake. Nominated for Best New Comedy and Best Script in the Dandenong Ranges One-Act Play Festival
- For When She Comes, a monologue from e-baby, performed by Carolyn Masson at Monologue Soiree for Melbourne Writers Theatre, Carlton Courthouse, December 2012.
- Presence, Little Gems, 2011, Gemco Players. Also performed by Babs Wheeton on 3WBC 94.1 FM Whitehorse Boroondara Community Radio on the program Anything Goes on Thursday December 22 at 11.30am.
- What the Dickens! A trio of 10-minute treats, including Oliver With A Twist, Greater Expectations and Hard Times with the Semi-Naked Chef Oliver Jamie, presented as dinner theatre, directed by Susie Penrice Tyrie, will be performed at The British Club, Singapore, by The Twisties, on April 25 2015.
- She Drinks was presented as part of Rhymes with Silence, a show comprising various plays about women and domestic violence directed by Joy Roberts of Improvising Change, as part of Mamapalooza in May 2015.
- Currently working on VCE – the Musical! with composer/musician Lachlan Davidson, to be presented in 2016-17.
For more information about me, please go to the About page.
The actors – e-baby Melbourne premiere
Carolyn Bock – CATHERINE
Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, Carolyn’s diverse career has encompassed dance, theatre, television and film.
In theatre, she has worked for the MTC, Playbox, La Mama, Theatre at Risk, The Shift Theatre, and on a myriad of independent productions.
Her most recent theatre credits include The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood for The Stork Theatre and Lost In Ringwood by Barry Dickens for LWOLF Productions/La Mama.
In 2009, together with Helen Hopkins, she co-founded The Shift Theatre and played in their first production of Two Sisters and A Piano by Nilo Cruz.
After two years research and development, The Girls In Grey, The Shift Theatre’s first co writing venture, played seasons in Melbourne 2011/12 and throughout regional Victoria in 2013.
Carolyn features regularly on television. Her most recent credits include INXS The Untold Story, Dr Blake Mysteries, Winners and Losers, Neighbours and City Homicide.
Film credits include Vanished, Murder in Greenwich (USA), SNAK, Zone 39, and many short films. She is also the Associate Director of Rollercoaster Theatre for actors with disability, and continues to work with children and youth in rural areas devising performing arts experiences.
Sarah Ranken – NELLIE
Sarah graduated from the University of Ballarat Arts Academy (BAPA) in 2008.
Since then she has worked on a number of theatre productions, including Uncle Vanya, directed by Laurence Strangio at fortyfivedownstairs.
Sarah has also been involved in various film and television productions. Recently she completed the television series Leongatha and the feature film Plague.
Sarah continues to train with Howard Fine and his associates at the Howard Fine Studio Australia and at 16th Street.
Sarah read the role of Nellie at a public reading of e-baby directed by Brenda Palmer at fortyfivedownstairs in August 2014.
Talking about surrogacy ...
A post-show Q & A was held on International Women’s Day, Sunday March 8
A vigorous debate, chaired by Louise Johnson, Executive Director at the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority, was conducted by experts from both sides of the surrogacy debate after the 5pm show on Sunday 8 March, in The Loft at Chapel Off Chapel.
- Jane Cafarella, writer/producer – e-baby
- Prof Manuela Toledo, Infertility Specialist at Melbourne IVF
- Assoc Prof Justin Oakley, BA, PhD (Philosophy) at Monash University Centre for Human Bioethics
- Dr Catherine Lynch, of the Australian Adoptee Rights Action Group
- Dr Renata Klein, feminist health advocate and author
- Renee Gollard, altruistic surrogate, representing Surrogacy Australia
A NEW LIFE JOURNAL ON LIFE MATTERS
For those who asked, here’s the link to the interview with Natasha Mitchell on the ABC Radio National Program Life Matters about my book A New Life Journal.
The book is a compilation of the columns I wrote about our family life for The Age, Quality Time Magazine, and Life Matters and on my blog. It was launched at Readings, Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, by former Age Editor and founder of the Eureka Report and Business Spectator, Alan Kohler on August 4.
If you would like to buy a copy of the book, please contact me here.
It is also available through Amazon or other online book stores. I published the book through Partridge, a division of Penguin as a gift for my daughter’s 21st birthday and my son’s 29th, and for those Age readers who were original fans of the column – and for the next generation of mothers.
Feel free to review it or to alert me to any reviews.
By pamela on September 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By SDY on October 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Journalist, cartoonist, editor, playwright – and mother
I am a Melbourne journalist, cartoonist and trainer and playwright with 36 years’ experience in metropolitan and suburban newspapers, the government and community sectors. (See section About Me for further info).
During that time, I have worked as a reporter, sub-editor, section editor, columnist, cartoonist, publicist and journalism trainer.
I am well-known and respected as a writer who can be both accurate and entertaining, and who can write to specific markets and deliver on time.
I specialise in translating complex documents into plain English and am passionate about helping people communicate more effectively.
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I live in Singapore but offer my services world-wide.
Please contact me on email@example.com if you would like more information or if you would like to discuss your writing project.