WHAT IS CELSIUS: Independent Theatre?

CELSIUS: Independent Theatre is a program that supports the development of local, independent theatre practitioners.

HotHouse Theatre has created a space that entices creative risk takers to experiment, encourages collaborations across disciplines, and strengthens the creative capacity of local artists to develop exceptional works that ignite and inspire regional audiences.

CELSIUS 2022 offers Albury Wodonga artists funding, space, time, mentoring, marketing, technical support and opportunities to drive the development of new Australian work into production. 


HotHouse Theatre is pleased to invite submissions from local independent artists and artistic teams to be part of its 2022 CELSIUS: Independent Theatre program.

Submissions will close at 9am on Monday 1 August 2022.

Download the Guidelines


regional artists
new works
artists & arts workers employed
independent productions
audience members
creative developments
showings & feedback sessions
guest audience

9 projects were part of the Celsius: Independent Theatre program in 2021-2022.


Research and Development:

The Happy Mask

Writer/Producer Aimee Chan, Director/Dramaturg/ Producer Rachel McNamara, Musical Direction Connie O’Connell

Aimee and her team are developing a stage adaptation of children’s picture book The Happy Mask by Albury-based author Aimee Chan. This children’s book is a gentle story that examines what it is like to live in a world surrounded by people in masks from a child’s perspective.

They will experiment with music and movement playing off each other’s strengths to bring out the emotions and the layers in the story that were previously represented with printed words.

The long-term goal is to create a theatre show for families with children under 10 or primary school groups.

Research and Development:

Life is Short

Writer Jenni Munday, Dramaturg Peter Matheson 

Jenni is writing a playscript adaptation of Vitae Brevis by Jostein Gaarder – the novel is based on fictional letters of St Augustine’s concubine. The play shows a woman who has remembered a different relationship and through her reading of Augustine’s writing and her own recollections comes to terms with the ill-treatment and disregard of her former lover. Gradually through her reflections and through the vehicle of Seneca’s Medea, a work contemporary to the time, she grows in strength.  

With support from Peter Matheson, Jenni will work toward a first draft of the play.

Creative Development:

Boss Squad 2.0

Acrobat & Producer Felicia Lannan, Producer Marina Gellmann, Acrobat Amy Stuart, Acrobat Marcela Scheuner, Acrobat Kelsey Shepherd  BOSS SQUAD is an award-winning contemporary circus show featuring high level circus skills from some of Australia’s fiercest female performers. The show calls out the cat-callers while embracing all things weird and acrobatically wonderful.  BOSS SQUAD 2.0 (Working Title) will have themes of empowerment throughout and there is strong feminist undertone, as it’s led by all-female artists. The concepts explored will be largely based on ‘the female experience’; drawing on our own personal experiences with topics such as cervical cancer, anxiety, female comedy, female friendships, sexuality and physicality/the female body.   Australian circus is always pushing the limits of what is possible in acrobatics. Women can often be left out of the conversation (and the action) when it comes to developments of new acts and skills, but BOSS SQUAD intends to ‘up the ante’ and assert ourselves as ones not to be overlooked.  The key outcome will be to finish and perform new acts in front of an audience for the first time, receiving constructive feedback for future refinement of the new show. 

Creative Development:

Cathy Goes to Canberra – The Musical

Team – Kofi Issacs, Sal Kimber, Toby Mobbs, Michelle Fracaro, Cathy McGowan, Danielle O’Keefe, Alyce Fisher In November 2020, after the release of her memoir ‘Cathy goes to Canberra’, Cathy McGowan floated the idea to develop her story and the story of Indi turning Independent, into a musical. The Indi story is one that captures some universal themes; the power of a community’s spirit, victory of hope over cynicism, connects with our deepest need to be seen, to be listened to, for our voices to be heard and acknowledged, it has the added element of the battle between David and Goliath, and it has a happy ending where they ‘all lived happily ever after’. This is an Australian story which is worth telling and music, dance, and theatre are such great vehicles for storytelling and audience engagement.

Creative Development:

World Repair Services

Created by Jo-Ann Lancaster, Simon Yates, Tim Barrass From locally grown, internationally renowned artists, Acrobat – a Clown Punk Protest Band. Subversive and cathartic. The world is broken and we will have the delusion that we can make a difference. It will be funny and/or sad. We are sick of all the bullshit. The world needs change. Without it we continue the march into an exploitation fuelled environmental (and the accompanying social) oblivion. We need to put our shoulder to the wheel and do our bit. It may already be too late. Initial support from the Flying Fruit Fly Circus as part of the ‘Make Our Way Out’ program.


Warriors R Ousss!

Written & performed by Racheal Oak Butler and Kamarra Bell-Wykes with Design and live composition by Andrew Niven. Set in a dojo, this is an energetic physical theatre piece accompanied by a live musician. The audience will learn practical self-defence and self-empowerment techniques and giant insight into predator/prey power dynamics. Ceremonial dance cycles and stylised fight sequences explore historical, personal and collective cycles of violence. In May 2021, Racheal Oak Butler and Kamarra Bell-Wykes changed direction during a Celsius creative development of another work, and the outcome was the beginning of Warriors R Ousss! Using text and physical devising techniques Racheal, Kamarra and Andrew will collaboratively develop the script and movement cycles to create a final draft ready for rehearsal and presentation at Deadly Fringe, Melbourne in 2021.


Parenting Partners

Created & performed by Alyce Fisher, Co-creator Seth Scheuner, Director & Dramaturge Rachel McNamara, Sound Artist Lucy Tan, Sound recording and technical support Adam Boon from Professional Audio Services. She is not the vessel, He is not the donor. Parenting Partners is a deeply personal one human show, which tells the story of Alyce Fisher and Seth Scheuner’s experience creating a family outside of the heteronormative. The work explores the themes of fertility, conception, pregnancy, birth, family and is ultimately a love story. The show is grounded in storytelling, features comedic highs, gear shifting and confronting truths, audience participation, and aims to leave the audience having experienced all the emotions. Parenting Partners is envisaged as a 50-minute, one human show, which stretches performer Alyce Fisher’s varied skill set as she brings the audience into the fold of her warm embrace.



Writer & Performer Kerryn Beatty, Directorial support Karla Conway, Dramaturg Alyson Evans, Musical Director Helena Kernaghan Her is about a girl, a woman, a mother who lives regionally. Her is asking the questions of why is it so? Her is asking how hard parenting is, how hard partnering is, how do we end up where we do. What are we scared of and why? Kerryn was part of the 2019/20 Celsius program. With her current draft, Kerryn and her team will be exploring and investigating essential elements for the future production of the work, including form, musical composition, design and casting.


Tale of Two Harpies

Tale of Two Harpies is a new physical theatre comedy co-created and performed by Nicci Wilks and Emilie Bloom and co-created and directed by Susie Dee, Assistant to the Director Meg Shiels, Slapstick Consultant Phill Witt with Lighting Design by Kofi Isaacs. The tale of two displaced Clowns – Audiences will experience a nostalgic and timeless world that is inspired by old circus vintage aesthetics and found detritus – like someone poured black paint over a Doctor Seuss book. Using attention to the smallest of details that render even a walk on stage as a hilarious act, Tale of Two Harpies is a parade of sight gags and circus tropes that is underpinned by a foundation of an intelligent examination of the human condition in a displaced environment. Performances 9 to 11 December at the Butter Factory Theatre, included as part of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ Borderville Festival
CELSIUS is proudly supported by the AustralianGovernment through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.