The Empire NewsThe Empire News

Junior Ensemble Make Impact With Antarctic Tale of Survival


The 2023 Junior IMPACT Ensemble presented their annual production, Shack, by George Kemp from July 14-15.

Junior Ensemble Make Impact With ~Antarctic Tale of Survival~

The 2023 Junior IMPACT Ensemble took their audiences to Antarctica and back during their annual production of Shack, performed in the Armitage Centre from June 14-15.

Written by George Kemp and proudly presented by the Empire Theatres Foundation, Shack told the story of nine school kids aged 10-13, stranded in an old shack during a blizzard, while a sinister force circles outside.

As the limits of their courage are pushed into uncharted waters, these young explorers question the nature of power and the power of nature.

The story of Shack was inspired by real world explorer Ernest Shackleton’s incredible attempt to be the first person to cross the Antarctic. His ship become stuck in the ice and eventually sank, leaving his crew drifting and stranded in the most isolated place in the world for more than two years before they were rescued, and all brought to safety.

Shack Director, Nicky Haeusler said the ensemble had risen to the challenge of the material, displaying wit, resilience, and compassion in the rehearsal room.

“This age group are natural expert storytellers and Shack tells a story about young people who are the same age as them going through the same challenges and asking the same big questions,” she said.

“Across the past five months, the 2023 Junior IMPACT Ensemble worked incredibly hard to bring the story of Shack to life.

Their instincts for comedy, and for finding warmth and light in even the darkest and coldest of moments, are undeniably infectious and to say I’m proud of them doesn’t even start to chip the iceberg of how I feel about this ensemble’s courage, humour and kindness.

Nicky Haeusler - Director

Shack was proudly presented by the Empire Theatres Foundation and was the sixth Junior IMPACT production and 20th overall IMPACT production.

The Empire Youth Arts IMPACT program, featuring both a Junior and Senior Ensemble each year, is an audition based performance making program offering young artists the chance to tell their stories with the same level of quality and care as a professional production.

#What’s New

The Empire Launches 2024 ~Thrive on Arts Program~

The Empire’s popular family festival Thrive on Arts will return from September 26-29, celebrating all things nature and the environment.

We are Yuree by Adrian Bauwens

In the lead-up to 2024 NAIDOC Week celebrations, The Empire launched their Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in support of their ongoing commitment to fostering reconciliation in Australia.

 2023 Youth Bursary Recipients

The Empire’s commitment to nurturing and developing young talent in the region continues with the opening of applications for The Empire Foundation 2024 Youth Bursaries.

2024 ~Brian Boak Bursary Winner~ Announced

Following a record number of applications The Empire is thrilled to announce Munich-based Australian multidisciplinary performer, lirico-spinto soprano and actress Christiana Aloneftis as the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Brian Boak Bursary.

IMPACT Junior 2024: Mataya Forster, Eliza Kinniburgh, Chelsea Rogers, Samantha Cheetham, Edward Pocknee, Majella Ford, Minea Tao. Absent: Joshua Walkington

​The Empire’s youngest artists have kicked off rehearsals for their original production, Our Egg Named Larry, to be performed from July 12-13.

John Waters and Daniel MacPherson star in The Woman in Black

The second longest-running play in West End history will premiere on The Empire stage ahead of a national tour.

Acknowledgement
of country

The Empire acknowledges the Traditional Custodians, the Giabal, Jarowair and Western Wakka Wakka peoples, where we work and present stories. We would like to pay respect to the Elders, past and present and to all First Nations peoples.

Artwork: We Are Yuree by Adrian Bauwens

Empire Theatre