A major new theatrical work from Back to Back Theatre, co-commissioned and presented by Carriageworks, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, will have its world premiere at Carriageworks on 25 September, before completing an Australian tour and going on to the United States. Inspired by its own ensemble of actors, Back to Back Theatre is a leading voice in contemporary world theatre. Over the last decade the multi-award-winning company has presented 44 national and 82 international seasons of its work. This production will explore the changing nature of intelligence in contemporary society.
Co-conceived by five performing core ensemble artists of Back to Back Theatre, Mark Deans, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Simon Laherty and Sonia Teuben, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes centres on five activists with intellectual disabilities who hold a public meeting to start a frank and open conversation about a history we would prefer not to know, and a future that is ambivalent.
Weaving a narrative through the ethics of mass food production, human rights, the social impact of automation and the projected dominance of artificial intelligence in the world, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes is a theatrical revelation inspired by mistakes, misreadings, misleadings and misunderstanding.
Back to Back Artistic Director Bruce Gladwin describes, ‘The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes will remind us that none of us are self-sufficient and all of us are responsible.’
Back to Back Theatre nurtures a unique artistic voice with an emphasis on the ensemble’s own commentaries on broad social and cultural dialogue. The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes has been created through a collaborative process of research, improvisation and scripting, and from the multiple perspectives of the ensemble. It comes from a unique place of commentary on the contemporary world and explores ideas of democracy, disability rights and human rights.
Carriageworks Acting Director Euan Upston said, ‘Carriageworks is proud to have co-commissioned and to present audiences with a world premiere from this vital, boundary pushing theatre company creating artist led work. The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes marks a noteworthy step in an ongoing relationship: Carriageworks presented Back to Back’s Lady Eats Apple in 2017, and Ganesh versus the Third Reich in 2014.’
Back to Back Theatre is part funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes has been co-commissioned by Carriageworks, the Keir Foundation, the Thyne Reid Foundation and The Anthony Costa Foundation, supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus 1, with development support from the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Une Parkinson Foundation, The Public Theater (New York City) and ArtsEmerson (Boston).
The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes was developed, in part, at the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA.