Interview with Tes Lyssiotis

Hotel Bonegilla is on its way!

A fantastic community cast is busily rehearsing with director Anni Gifford for our presentation of Hotel Bonegilla, 16-18 November. 25 local community actors – including our 2017/18 Studio Ensemble – are exploring Tes Lyssiotis’ moving play about the early migrant experience of Wodonga’s Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre. The Hotel Bonegilla presentation will be a part of the Centre’s 70th anniversary in November, and HotHouse’s 20th birthday celebrations.

The cast of Hotel Bonegilla is a mix of actors new to our stage, and some original actors from the 1997 production. These actors have vivid recollections of Tes Lyssiotis’ original production, and the meaning it had for them. It’s wonderful to see them sharing these experiences with a new generation of community actors engaged with our region’s history.

Rehearsals are travelling well: in the photo above you can see some of the actors, including original participants Martin Fussell and Robyn Smithwick. There are only four performances of Hotel Bonegilla, so don’t miss out!

7pm Thursday 16 November
7pm Friday 17 November
3pm Saturday 18 November
7pm Saturday 18 November

Find out more about Hotel Bonegilla.
Book here now!

Sydney Opera House: ANTIDOTE Satellite

Sunday 3 September from 11am

We are thrilled to partner with the Sydney Opera House to beam selected panels from its ANTIDOTE Festival of Ideas, Art and Action on Sunday 3 September, live into our Butter Factory Theatre. Sit back with a glass of wine, enjoy free nibbles and be part of the action, as we share these provocative panels in real time with Sydney audiences.

Tickets are a tiny $10, but if you are a subscriber: we are delighted to offer you two complimentary tickets to ANTIDOTE Satellite. The day runs from 11am until 2.15pm, and includes three premium highlights from the live Sydney event.  

ANTIDOTE invites audiences to imagine solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. Journalist and author Arkady Ostrovsky asks “Does Russia pose a threat to the West?” Tamika D. Mallory, National Co-Chair of the recent Women’s March on Washington, reflects on the wins of the Women’s March and what’s next in the fight for equality. Rutger Bregman discusses how utopian ideals like a basic living income and a fifteen-hour work week could become a reality in our lifetime.

Season Subscribers can reserve two complimentary seats by emailing: Tickets for additional guests can be purchased online for $10 each.

Click HERE for full details about the ANTIDOTE event.

Community Auditions Hotel Bonegilla

Auditions: 6-8pm Tuesday 22 August

We are thrilled to announce that fabulous local teaching artist and director Anni Gifford will direct our special rehearsed community reading of Hotel Bonegilla.

We are ready for you to audition!

The two-hour session on 22 August will include a brief information section, warm-up and enjoyable group auditions. If you performed in the 1997 production of Hotel Bonegilla, we would love you to be involved in this special 20 year anniversary event! We also welcome newcomers (of all ages) to audition.

Auditions will be held at our Butter Factory Theatre, Gateway Island, Wodonga.


Community acting roles for Hotel Bonegilla are voluntary roles, with rehearsals spread across an 8-week period.  We will work with the cast on suitable rehearsal times, but you must be available for all technical rehearsals and performances to be part of Hotel Bonegilla.

Community actors will be required to rehearse once a week (after work hours or on a weekend) between 18 September and 13 November.  Additional rehearsals may be called as it gets closer to performance week, but these will be kept to a minimum.  Days and times will be negotiated with community actors, once casting is complete.

Technical rehearsals: Monday 13 November, Tuesday 14 November, Wednesday 15 November (4 hours each evening).

Performances: Thursday 16 November (7pm), Friday 17 November (7pm), Saturday 18 November (3pm and 7pm)


To find out more and/or check in for the audition session,  please email Artistic Program Producer Beck Palmer or Artistic Director Lyn Wallis with your name and contact details. Or call us during office hours on 02 6021 7433.

Hotel Bonegilla is proudly supported by

Studio 2017/18 Auditions!

It’s time again! Are you a dedicated young actor aged between 17 (or turning 17 in 2017) and 26? Are you a teacher with talented students in this age group? If the answer is ‘yes’, then we want to hear from you.

The Studio is an advanced skills development program for talented young actors who have a passion for acting and making theatre.The 2017/18 ensemble will be led by fabulous local teaching artist and director Anni Gifford.

Studio will be involved in two professional projects at HotHouse Theatre. The first is our rehearsed reading of Hotel Bonegilla 16-18 November, to be directed by Anni Gifford. The second is our first subscription season show in March 2018, to be directed by Sport for Jove’s award-winning Artistic Director Damien Ryan.

Studio is an intense participation experience, and actors must be prepared to attend weekly classes on Tuesdays from 5 September (5-7pm), as well as additional rehearsals leading into performance periods. An audition pack with detailed information (including monologues) can be downloaded below. Please read carefully before booking your audition time.

Individual auditions will be held every 15 minutes on the following days/times:  Tuesday 22 August (4.30-5.30pm), Thursday 24 August (4.30-6.30pm) and Friday 25 August (4.30-6.30pm). 

Please email Artistic Program Producer Beck Palmer:

Include your name and contact details in the email, and the day you prefer to audition. Beck will then contact you to confirm a specific audition time.


Hotspot Podcast: all about ‘Hurt’

The next HotHouse cab off the rank is White Box Theatre’s terrific production of Catherine McKinnon’s terrific play Hurt – opening on Tuesday 25 July. The show’s director Kim Hardwick, took time out of the Hurt rehearsal room to chat with HotHouse’s Artistic Director Lyn Wallis. They talk about what attracted Kim to the play, about its themes and ideas … and a little bit about the weather!

Outposts: free playwriting course!

Playwriting Australia (PWA) is the national organisation working with playwrights and theatre artists from all backgrounds and at all levels of their careers. Outposts is based on PWA’s nationally renowned writer training programs, and HotHouse Theatre is thrilled to partner with PWA to bring Outposts to writers in our region.

Whether you participated in the crash course on 7-9 of July or not, we are now also taking  Expressions of Interest for the next phase of the program- the Outposts Salon.

Beginning Monday 24th of July, award-winning playwright Lachlan Philpott will lead up to 12 participants  through a free structured program working on the skills needed to develop their own work. At the end of the 8 sessions, 4 playwrights will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one dramaturgical support on their scripts and work with a professional cast and director to bring their plays to life in a public showing  at HotHouse Theatre in 2018.

Expressions of Interest close on SUNDAY 16th JULY at 11.59pm.

Your Expression of Interest must be accompanied by samples of your writing for performance or theatre. This must be 5 pages or more, but need not be consecutive scenes, or even all from the same work. Examples of writing you might submit include but are not limited to:

  • Stage play
  • Screenplay
  • Radio play
  • Sketch comedy
  • Performance poetry

Please note, we can’t accept treatments or non-dramatic writing. This work doesn’t need to be finished in any way, we just want to get a sense of how you write dialogue.

Of course, you’re welcome to submit some of the things you’ve written during the Intro Course at HotHouse if you went along to that.

A panel of experts from Playwriting Australia and HotHouse Theatre will consider all the expressions of interest . Playwriting Australia will get in touch by the 20th July to advise on the outcomes of the EOI process.  It’s a very tight turn around from the day we advise you to the start of the Salon on Monday the 24th!



COST: Absolutely Free 

Outposts Salon 2017

Monday 24 July

Tuesday 8 August

Monday  21 August

Monday 4 September

Monday 18 September

Tuesday 3 October

Monday 16 October

Mon 30 October

Time and place: 5.30pm-9pm at The Butter Factory Theatre

One on One Dramaturgy

January 2018 – April 2018.

Workshop and showing

9-13 April 2018.

If you have any questions or want to speak with us please call our General Manager Michelle Kotevski on 02 8274 0907 or email

To submit your Expression of Interest click here.

Photo by James Wilshire, Border Mail

Border Mail Review – In HART, in Reconciliation Week, HotHouse Theatre has a work that resonates

Like theatre, story telling is an art that has continued through the ages and Ian Michael masters both with HART – an emotional piece highlighting Australia’s recent sorry past.

Michael, a Noongar man in his 20s, is a new generation storyteller keeping the stories of his ancestors alive and relevant, as elders have done for thousands of years before him.

HARTstarts with familiar voices –Colin Barnett, Lang Hancock, Tony Abbott, Allan Jones, Kevin Rudd, Pauline Hanson, John Howard, Julia Gillard and more – but it comes to life when Michael gives his voice to three generations of people tied to the Stolen Generations.

He delivers with class and draws on humour in what would otherwise be an uncomfortable and confronting soliloquy.

In HART, in Reconciliation Week, HotHouse Theatre has a work that resonates.

The play runs at the Butter Factory Theatre until June 3, and a ticket also includes an indigenous themed meal.

A vegetarian tart or lamb are offered, prepared and presented by the hospitality training unit at Beechworth Correctional Centre.

HART opened to a full house private performance for Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service on Friday, May 26, recognising the 20th anniversary of Bringing Them Home: the ‘Stolen Children’ Report. and had its public opening on May 27.

The play is well constructed and cleverly executed. A simple set full of symbolism. Our storyteller is seemingly trapped within an endless cycle with no opening in sight.

Sound and visual components strengthen the impact of Michael’s performance.

Set designer Chloe Greaves has done a first class job while director Penny Harpam has a storyteller of the highest calibre in Michael – honest, passionate and believable.

Among the opening audio sequence are grabs of Paul Keating’s landmark Redfern Speech in 1992, where he suggests the starting point to right the wrongs of Australia’s past “might be to recognise that the problem starts with us non-Aboriginal Australians”.

Now, here in Reconciliation Week 25 years of speeches later, HART asks how many more speeches are needed before Australia genuinely moves forward as a united nation?

If theatre is to challenge us, it is a good question.

John Chanter, Border Mail

29 May 2017

Photo by James Wilshire, Border Mail