23rd Productions was established in 2006 with the aim of producing provocative contemporary international works with local artists. Run by Artistic Director Kathryn Fray and Associate Artistic Director Christopher Sommers, 23rd Productions looks to remove the distance between ‘real life’ and theatrical story telling: that is use texts that are relevant to the general public and stage them in an accessible manner. By speaking to current issues 23rd Productions also aims to bring a new audience to the theatre thus increasing the true relevance of theatre for our community and the desire for it.
The company was launched in 2007 with the debute production: Closer by Patrick Marber. It played from the 8th - 18th August 2007, in the Studio Metro Arts. featuring established and emerging creatives, and became a sell out production. It received excellent reviews and great encouragement for the future of 23rd Productions.
In late 2007 the company moved to its own premises at Metro Arts in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, and was announced at Metro Arts Company in Residence 2008.
The vision for the future is that 23rd Productions has great indelible longevity; that it offers extraordinary professional opportunities for local artists, creates new audiences and inspires all elements of our community.
Kathryn Fray • Artistic Director / executive producer
Kathryn Fray trained at one of Europe’s most prestigious Drama Schools and has worked with renowned British director Michael Winterbottom. After graduating she worked in London, first as Annette in the premiere of the opera Brundibar, and as Bobbie Michelle in Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Kathryn then came to Australia and toured NSW in the award winning L’Amour est Bizarre, returning to the UK to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After some TV and short film work, Kathryn moved back to Australia where her performances include as Emma Goldman Assassins (Warehaus Theatre, QPAC 2005); Lizzie Phagan/Sally Slaton Parade (Warehaus Theatre, QPAC 2006), Georgie The Full Monty (Lickety Split Productions, QPAC 2006), Lady Juanita Much Ado about Nothing (The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, 2007), Hostess The Merry Wives of Windsor and Viola Twelfth Night (4MBS Classic Players 2010 and 2011), and on a locally produced feature film. She has also worked on various corporate, commercial and television productions.
With a commitment to bringing powerful contemporary international theatre to the heart of Brisbane, Kathryn launched 23rd Productions. As executive producer she was responsible for all aspects of the business: sourcing texts, selecting projects based on their quality and relevancy to company vision, creating production teams, organising casting sessions and having a large input into the casting process, facilitating the creation of marketing material and campaigns, devising budgets and manage productions in accordance to them, resolving problems in any area as they arise, completing all production reconciliations, applying for funding and grants, sourcing and apply for co-productions and programs to grow and develop the business, looking for partnerships and contra deals as subsidies, maintaining the database of mailing list and professional contacts, creating and distributing email newsletters, managing and updating the website and social media pages, working as a performer in productions when appropriate, ensuring an extraordinary experience for all involved, and developing and communicating the brand of 23rd Productions both locally and nationally.
23rd Productions started in 2007 with their acclaimed production of Closer in which Kathryn played Alice. In the following years she produced MOTORTOWN (also playing Marley / Helen, Metro Arts 2008); the hugely successful THE PILLOWMAN (Metro Arts 2009); my night with harold (Brisbane Festival Under the Radar 2009); the critically acclaimed BLACKBIRD as part of the 2010 inaugural La Boite Indie theatre program (also playing Una); and in 2011 the Queensland premiere of THE UGLY ONE as part of the Metro Arts Allies program (also playing Fanny). Over the years 3 productions were nominated for MATILDA awards, with The Pillowman collecting an unprecedented 4 for directing and performance.
Kathryn is an experienced performance and voice tutor, workshop facilitator, and a proud member of Equity/MEAA.
Christopher Sommers • Associate Artistic Director / producer
Christopher graduated from Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA Acting) in 2002. His Theatre credits include: ANATOMY TITUS: FALL OF ROME (Qtc and Bell Shakespeare Company) HOODS* (Realtv, Sydney Opera House & RAV) BEAUTIFUL. (And moor) Forward Movement and Springboard Theatre Company’s THE LARAMIE PROJECT , 23rd Productions CLOSER. QLD Theatre Company: – The multi award -winning production of PROOF, Premier Drama Awards, The Works Play Readings & Young Playwrights Awards., LA Boite Theatre: National Tour of ZIGZAG STREET. Restaged Histories Project: OMON RA , TRIVIA (Bunker Productions) SLEEPING AROUND (Downstairs Belvoir). Other credits include: THE ORACLE (Osmosis Dance Theatre) and STAINED (Storm the Barricade) His Film credits include: Jucy, Sinngh is King, AFI Award winning Unfinished Sky, All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, The Horseman His Television credits include: The Strip, Monarch Cove, The Starter Wife and Love Bytes. In 2006 Christopher was nominated for a Mathilda Award for Best Emerging talent. In 2009 Christopher will attend Masterclasses at The Ivana Chubbuck Studio in Los Angeles, California after receiving a 2008 Lord Mayors Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship. He is also one of Queensland Theatre Company’s Emerging Artists for 2009 and will appear in: Youth & Educations The Exception and the Rule, by Bertolt Brecht, School of Arts, by Bille Brown and finally Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible.
Christopher teaches for Backbone Youth Arts and Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts and is Associate Artistic Director of 23rd productions, Company in Residence at Metro Arts.. He is a proud member of Equity and will be a mentor for the Queensland Equity Mentorship Program in 2009.
- Hoods received an AWGIE award for Best New Play for Young Audiences-2007 and was nominated for a 2008 Helpmann award for Best Play for Young audiences