Month in the Country Submissions Now Open for 2017

A Month in the Country (MITC) is a regional residency program supporting the development of new Australian work. It provides a rare opportunity for performance-makers to reflect and create in the quiet atmosphere of our Splitters Creek farmhouse. Submissions are now being accepted for residency requests for the period 1 February to 30 June 2017.  Submissions for the second half of the year will be called for in February.

MITC is a HotHouse Theatre and AlburyCity program, run in association with Murray Arts. Since its inception more than a decade ago it has hosted groups, artists and companies including  Flying Fruit Fly Circus; Lano and Woodley; Lally Katz; PACT Theatre and Damien Callinan. This years resident artists have included Colin Kinchela, Jody Mundy Collaborations, Alyson Evans and Rachel Small with projects ranging from Indigenous science fiction to a project to engage children and families in arts activities that explore place, identity, and belonging

Submissions for the first half of the year will close 28 November 2016.

Read more about Month in the Country.

Information and guidelines:



Q & A with Georgie Currie

A quick catch up with Studio Ensemble member, Georgie Currie, during a brief break from rehearsals.

The process for developing At the Hip has been quite different to other shows you may have been involved in. What has been your favourite thing about the process of being ‘reporter/actor’?

This entire process has been super interesting and unlike anything I have ever done before. I think my favourite aspect of this whole development has been the interviews themselves. It was a genuine pleasure to just sit down and truly listen to some really interesting people just talk. I also found noting human mannerisms and characteristics quite fascinating.

What has been the most challenging ?

The most challenging has been treading the fine line between true reflection of the person’s voice and nature, and mockery! It’s been a real challenge to ensure that we don’t create a caricature of the person we interviewed. Hopefully we haven’t.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?

I have lived in Albury-Wodonga for six years and three months! We moved to Albury because my family was tired of the speed of Sydney. They’d always talked about moving somewhere more regional, and Albury fitted the mould quite nicely as it’s not too small and it’s only an hour away from my grandparents.

What’s the BEST thing about living in Albury-Wodonga?

The best thing about living in Albury-Wodonga has been growing up here. I felt what it was to grow up in a city as big as Sydney, and it never held the same sense of community that you find here. Best of all, the young people are still given opportunities to nurture their passions and dreams just as they would in metropolitan areas. Now, I feel ready to move away, but I’ll always be grateful to have grown up in Albury-Wodonga.

The interviewees were asked what is their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?

My big dream is to live a fulfilling life in the performing arts. Wherever that may lead me!

I don’t have a clear plan right now, I just know that I’m happiest when I’m performing or creating something. If the universe decides that I’m not able to make a career in the performing arts, then I’d like to do something with humanitarian work. Either way, I intend to follow my passion, it’s important, I think it’s sort of what we’re here to do.

Finally, what is your favourite song?

My favourite song is by Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge over Troubled Water. I first heard this song when I was singing with a combined schools choir during my time in Sydney. We were fortunate enough to perform this at the Sydney Opera House, and still every time I hear it I am reminded of how it felt to sing that beautiful song with my childhood friends. I even remember spotting my excited Grandma waving from the front row. She was pretty stoked to be there.

You can see Georgie and the other Ensemble members in At the Hip  3 – 19 November. Book tickets here.


Q & A with Matt Davidson

We talk to Matt Davidson about his experience with making At the Hip and being a born and bred Albury-Wodonga resident, but he’s keeping mum about the song in the show finale.

What has been your favourite thing about the process of being ‘reporter/actor’?

I have enjoyed going through the process with everyone and gaining close bonds with everyone in the ensemble having had them do the same thing and learning alongside them is something I will never forget.

What has been the most challenging?

The hardest part of this whole thing was initially learning how to replicate each sound and inflection that we heard on the track.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?

I have lived here since I was born and couldn’t have thought of a better place to grow up, it had everything I could have wished for.

What’s the BEST thing about living in Albury-Wodonga?

I would have to say the people of Albury-Wodonga is the best part, no matter where I go I always see someone I know and even if I don’t I will always be greeted by someone, it is an easy place to meet people

The interviewees were asked about their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?

My big dream is to be successful. I hope to one day to have experienced all I can experience in the acting industry and to be able to live purely off of my acting career, because I will no longer have to ‘work’ but I will get to enjoy every day doing what I love

Finally, what is your favourite song?

This was always the hardest question to ask others because I could never decide what my favourite song was. But I am happy to say that after this long journey my favourite song is the one in our finale.

Which is?

It’s a secret.


At the Hip – the perfect pre-Christmas get-together (Let us look after your function at the Butter Factory Theatre)

At the Hip is a show about the BIG Dreams of Albury-Wodonga – so whether you’ve been here all your life or just arrived – there’s something in it for you.  Share the experience with colleagues for  work/team-building, or a special family or friends group outing. It’s perfect too for a pre-Christmas get-together, so get a group together and enjoy a night out at HotHouse Theatre’s historic Butter Factory Theatre.

  • Book now for 5 or more guests and save up to 35% (regular single ticket prices: $49 full, $43 concession).
    5 tickets or more $36 per ticket  |  10 tickets or more $31 per ticket
  • Book our Studio function room for your exclusive work or personal gathering. In partnership with La Maison Café, we offer scrumptious, value-for-money food and beverage options.
  • Fundraise with our tickets! We offer ticket re-selling options for charities and community groups.
  • Meet our talented Studio Ensemble members and the director, Lyn Wallis at the post-show meet the artists sessions after the performance on Friday 11 & 18 November.

In the years before his dramatic dismissal in 1975, Gough Whitlam had a dream for Albury-Wodonga. He envisioned a national growth centre to rival Canberra, with a booming population of 300,000.

In 2016, our HotHouse Studio Ensemble unearth the legacy of this grand, abandoned vision, by digging into the past, interrogating the present and imagining the future. After months of interviewing dozens of locals they are ready to report back.

At the Hip is a celebration of Albury-Wodonga, and the hopes and dreams of its people. Using Roslyn Oades’ ground-breaking audio techniques, our Studio Ensemble actors channel the real-life voices of local residents: born and bred, young and old, and newly arrived.

At The Hip tells the story of how Albury-Wodonga became the twin cities they are today, through the fly-on-the-wall reminiscences of those who witnessed it.  The words of well-known locals such as Dr Bruce Pennay, John Alker-Jones and Jean Whitla take us back to where it all began.  What do our young people, and elderly citizens dream about in 2017?  Our talented Studio Ensemble recreate the extraordinary voices and experiences of ordinary locals aged between 16 and ninety. Plus, there’s a few toe-tapping tunes to sing along to.

Yes Albury-Wodonga, it’s time to hear your stories, and sing your songs!

And perfect for your Christmas function.


Our Butter Factory Theatre is an unique and charming venue and we have a cosy function room that can be yours for the night! We offer flexible food/drink/entertainment options in partnership with the fabulous La Maison Café for groups of up to 100 guests.

Patrons enjoy the Galah Bar at the Butter Factory Theatre

The Studio set up for Galah Bar













Looking for a fun way to raise money for your charity or social group? We offer fundraising ticket packs (20 tickets plus). Buy a ticket pack at our extra special fundraising rate ($27.50ea), and re-sell to your friends and fundraising stakeholders for a profit. Then enjoy an awesome night out together!


Make a group booking for the evening performances of Friday 11 and 18 November and stay for our Meet the Artists talk with the Studio Ensemble and Director, Lyn Wallis.


At the Hip, 3 – 19 November
8pm, Thursday 3, 10 & 17 November

8pm, Friday 4, 11 & 18 November

8pm, Saturday 5, 12 & 19 November

3pm, Saturday 12 & 19 November


If you have any questions about group bookings, functions or fundraising options, call Beck Palmer or Sam Terry on 02 6021 7433 or [email protected]

Image credits: Rhys Llewelyn

A City in the Country

A city in the country without the Sydney or Melbourne hang ups is one way to describe Albury-Wodonga. It has all the convenience of a city ( but perhaps needs better public transport) without all the major issues facing our two state capitals.
With a combined population of close to 100,000, Albury-Wodonga is a regional city in its own right with boundless potential: not yet riven with commuter issues as Sydney and Melbourne are, although the occasional back up of traffic on the Lincoln Causeway is not unknown, and close to the snowfields, wineries and farmland.

For some it may epitomise the stereotype of the sleepy rural abode, but there is always plenty to do and the range of things to do on offer – whether you are a culture vulture, a sports fanatic or both – is increasing. At the Hip tells the story of life in our twin cities from many perspectives. The ninety-year olds in an aged care facility; the students who have come from overseas to study and transform their lives; young parents who see a future for themselves and their families, and those, like Jean Whitla who as an ABC radio jounalist, had first hand experience of meeting Gough Whitlam and talking to him about his BIG DREAM for this region.

Come to the show and learn more about these two cities whose futures are intertwined and truly joined ‘at the hip’.

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here.

Listen to Jean Whitla talk about her love of the ‘City in the Country’.

The Soundtracks of Their Lives

The link between song and memory is strong. A song can return us to the school hall and our Year 10 social; to the time we met our partners or to a particular workplace.

Each of the interviewees for At the Hip were asked to name their favourite song and make an eclectic and memory-sparking playlist from a range of eras and includes such gems as the Albury-Wodonga song. The song was written as part of a promotional campaign for the region.

Image: The Albury Hotel,rebranded as Paddy’s and now a property in the Beer Deluxe group. Behind the building was the Cactus Bar – home to the first Galah Bar performances. Galah Bar has been revived in 2016.

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here.

1976 Advertisement from The Border Mail.

Top 5 Historic Photos of Albury Wodonga

Our next show At The Hip explores the big dreams of Albury-Wodonga set against the backdrop of the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation and Whitlam’s Growth Experiment.

Our team have poured through the archives and found 5 images that highlight the development of Albury-Wodonga over the last 40 years.

5. This advertisement was placed in The Border Morning Mail. 


1976 advertisement in The Border Morning Mail. Image: Flickr

The Development Corporation hosted walking and bus tours throughout the twin cities to showcase the grand dream of a true cross-border growth centre.


4. The P.S. Cumberoona, exploring the Murray River.


P.S. Cumberoona on the Murray River. Image: Flickr


The P.S. Cumberoona was a Bicentennial project, allowing people to explore the mighty Murray River.

It launched in 1986 and after a number of years out of service, the Cumberoona relocated to Yarrawonga in 2015. Find out more here.


3. Paul Keating visits Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre.

Paul Keating visits Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre

Keating visits MDFRC. Image: Flickr

Celebrating 30 years this year, the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre was one of the shining examples of the thought leadership available in the region.

Find out more about MDFRC here.


 2. View from the Water Tower.

Wodonga's High Street

The view from Wodonga’s Water Tower on High Street, before the recent redevelopment. Image: Flickr

Wodonga’s High Street has changed greatly since the Development Corporation was founded. Recent redevelopments have opened up High St and activity has increased greatly.


1. Gough Whitlam attends launch of the Development Corporation.


Whitlam arrives at Growth Centre launch, 1973. Image: Stone Family in Australia

Prime Minister Gough Whitlam attended the launch of the Growth Centre at the Albury Travel Lodge in October, 1973.

Here he is pictured with Cr. Les Stone JP Mayor of the Rural City of Wodonga, Hon Tom Uren MP Federal Minister for Urban & Regional Development and Sir Robert Askin MP KCMG Premier of NSW.


Find out more about Albury-Wodonga and the Growth Experiment in HotHouse’s next show At The Hip, premiering at the Butter Factory Theatre 3 – 19 November, 2016. Book here.

Q & A with Clancy Hauser

We spent a few minutes with Studio Ensemble member Clancy Houser, who gave us her thoughts about being an actor/reporter for At the Hip.

What has been your favourite thing about the process of being a ‘reporter/actor’?

 Getting to meet the people I am portraying and learning their story.

What has been the most challenging?
Coordinating with multiple factors such as jobs, time, unavailability, limited resources etc.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?
Three years in Albury; 18 in the Kiewa Valley.

If you weren’t born here, what were your circumstances around you coming here?

My family lived in the area.

What’s the BEST thing about living in Albury-Wodonga?
Close to the city and country

The interviewees were asked about their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?
To run my own theatre company.

Finally, what is your favourite song?

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd.

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here

Q & A with Sarah Maloney

The process for developing At the Hip has been quite different to other shows you may have been involved in.

What has been your favourite thing about the process of being ‘reporter/actor’?
Being really involved in the whole development of the script. Up until now I’ve only ever been given a script and told my part, but actually being a part of the whole ‘behind the scenes’ part of the production has been amazing.

What has been the most challenging?

 Playing real people. It’s so hard to gauge whether or not you doing the person justice or just being offensive.

How long have you been in Albury-Wodonga?
Four years.

If you weren’t born here, what were the circumstances around you coming here?
My dad who is an air traffic controller got a job offer down here, and since Albury is a lot bigger than Tamworth where I grew up. There were better opportunities for my brothers and me down here.

What’s the BEST thing about living  in Albury-Wodonga?
As I mentioned, all of the opportunities available. I’ve been able to perform at HotHouse for the past four years and also do a school performance workshop at Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne as well as record two original songs at a professional recording studio. It is seriously unreal how many opportunities are available for young people in Albury-Wodonga.

The interviewees were asked what is their BIG DREAM. What is your BIG DREAM?
Become an actress/filmmaker and fight for world peace.

Finally, what is your favourite song?
There are actually so many that I would never be able to pick one, but my top few would be:

Into My Arms – Nick Cave; Revolution – JBT and Hey Jude – The Beatles. Also anything U2 or Coldplay 🙂

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here

The Dream Begins

HotHouse intern Andrew Walker reflects on generational change in attitudes to growth in the region in the lead up to our next show At The Hip.

One of Australian politics biggest dreamers had a grand vision of establishing National Growth Centres in the 1970s. That dreamer was Gough Whitlam and part of his dream saw Albury-Wodonga as an inland city with a population of 300,000
by the year 2000. Over successive governments (both state and federal) the planned expansion, run by the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation, was wound up in 2014.

With the corporation wound up, lobbying for funding now resides with the local councils to grow the region. Older generations grew up in a time when the attitude was to accept the fate life had given them, while the view is that the younger generations are more aspirational than their predecessors. Has the dream of a growing and united Albury-Wodonga completely failed? Or is it still alive in the post Whitlam generation as it finds a way to adapt to the changing times?
Dr Bruce Pennay, one of fifty people interviewed for At the Hip suggests that even though Whitlam’s dream may be no more, through adapting to the new circumstances a different dream is within reach.

As a younger person who has left Albury-Wodonga and returned I don’t see it as an unachievable dream. The politicians had their own timelines but the region is growing and adapting to these changes and will only get bigger as time goes on.

It is this idea of achieving the regional dream that frames At The Hip. The production opens up with the dream of a unified city and recounts not only the development and growth of our region but also the hopes and dreams of local people in their own words.

Andrew Walker

Pictured above: The political power behind the growth centre L-R Bob Askin (NSW), Gough Whitlam (Commonwealth) and Dick Hamer (Victoria) meet under the Pollard Arch on the Lincoln Causeway on January 25, 1973. Photo credit: Border Mail

At The Hip will play at HotHouse Theatre from November 3 – 19. Find more information and purchase tickets here