The Smallest Stage is an autobiographical story about love between parent and child by Manjimup writer Kim Crotty, recounting the period of his life in which he was ‘sent down’ for growing cannabis in the UK.
Whilst serving a two year sentence in Dartmoor prison, Kim discovered that ordinary means of communication with his two sons, then 3 and 5 years old, were heartbreakingly ineffective and became desperate to maintain his relationship with them. Powerless in his real world, he created fictional worlds in order to overcome the divide that separated them. He wrote and illustrated 47 children’s stories for his sons, before being deported back to Australia and reunited with them.
The Smallest Stage explores how some children learn the hard way that parents don’t always get things right, and that even in the most unlikely of places, with love, creativity and a handful of felt-tips, the mistakes that divide us today can bring us closer together tomorrow.
Issues of identity, masculinity, family histories, and what it means to raise boys are examined against the backdrop of commercial cannabis production and incarceration; interspersed with the funny and colourful stories of alternate superheroes that Kim wrote for his sons.
The Smallest Stage deals with uncomfortable truths and the mistakes parents can sometimes make, and opens the door on having the difficult conversations with our children that can lead to stronger relationships.
WRITER + CO-CREATOR Kim Crotty
DIRECTOR + CO-CREATOR Matt Edgerton
DESIGNER + CO-CREATOR Zoë Atkinson
PERFORMER + CO-CREATOR Ben Mortley
SOUND DESIGNER & COMPOSER David Richardson
LIGHTING DESIGNER Paul Parkes
ANIMATION Steven Aiton, Zoe Atkinson, Otto Crotty, Arlen Crotty, & Matty Zmitko
PRODUCER Fiona de Garis
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Siobhan Maiden
PRODUCTION MANAGER Alan Burke
STAGE MANAGER Courteney Cooper
ANIMATION WORKSHOP FACILITATOR Steven Aiton
PRODUCED BY Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
CO-COMMISSIONED BY Perth Festival
Tickets & Venue Info
INTERACTIVE TICKETS A limited number of Interactive tickets are available for each performance. One interactive ticket covers a parent/guardian or close adult carer AND their child aged 9-12. Ticket holders participate in the show via a guided audio track.
BREC ACCESS limited BREC Access tickets available
$10 OPEN – I need a good night out but I’m still feeling the COVID pinch
$20 ENTER – I need a good night out but can pay a bit more
$40 UNLOCK – I love a good night out and am happy to help
$60 FLING – I want to fling the door open and be a BREC champion
If you experience any difficulties booking tickets, please contact our Box Office Team on 1300 661 272. Our Box Office is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
ACCESSIBILITY For accessible bookings please contact our Box Office Team on 1300 661 272. Our Box Office is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
BREC is required to maintain a mandatory contact register for all patrons over the age of 16 attending the Centre. You can scan the QR code or fill in the physical form upon arrival.
We continue to encourage online bookings and contactless payments at the bar. The Centre has increased hygiene measures and will observe required COVID restrictions.
This project was developed at the 2019 BREC Artist Retreat
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
“This is a story about love that I hope will delight and inspire. Going from handwritten stories created inside Dartmoor prison for an audience of two, to a play for much larger audiences at BREC and Perth Festival, is something I would never have believed possible. Thank you!”
Writer + Co-Creator, Kim Crotty
“Producing The Smallest Stage demonstrates BREC’s ongoing commitment to supporting sustainable professional careers for local artists and getting local stories told for local audiences – before they tour the world!. The calibre of the creative team attracted to telling this story with Kim is exceptional. The Smallest Stage is a real opportunity for Bunbury and the South West to build our reputation as a vibrant creative community nationally. We can’t wait for opening night when we can finally share the production with an audience”.
Executive Director Fiona de Garis.
Meet the creative team
WRITER / LEAD ARTIST + CO-CREATOR
Kim is a former theatre stage technician who worked at several venues in the UK, including the Lyric in Hammersmith, the Bristol Old Vic and the Salisbury Playhouse. As studio technician at the Playhouse he developed a love for children’s theatre receiving touring performances in the Salzberg Studio. He also worked with Stage-65, the youth theatre company at the Playhouse, to develop works including The Little Prince and Oliver before becoming head of the stage department. He left the theatre world in 2010 to pursue a career in commercial cannabis production, for which he received a two year prison term. Whilst serving his sentence in HMP Dartmoor, he wrote and illustrated 47 children’s stories for his young sons, before being deported back to his native Western Australia in 2012. He currently works part time as a disabilities support worker and lives with his two sons in Manjimup. He studies English literature and creative writing online at Macquarie University and still writes short stories for his sons.
DIRECTOR + CO-CREATOR
Matt is an Australian theatre director with a diverse body of work including contemporary and classical shows across a range of forms, styles and scales, cross-cultural collaborations, work for children and theatre projects promoting social development.
Previously for Perth Festival, Matt has directed Black Brass and A Ghost In My Suitcase, Co-Created Le Nor and appeared in Plainsong.
Matt’s work has toured around Australia, the US and Europe and won Glug, Helpmann, AWGIE and PAWA awards.
Matt has held positions as Artistic Director of Barking Gecko and Resident Artist at Bell Shakespeare. He is a Churchill Fellow and proud member of Actors Equity.
DESIGNER + CO-CREATOR
Zoë studied scenography at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts in Czech Republic, and the Institut Internationale de la Marionette in France. Since returning to Australia in 1997 she has worked nationally and internationally in opera, dance, theatre and the visual arts. Most recently she has co-created and designed the Perth Festival events Home, Boorna Waanginy, and Amy Sharrocks’ Museum of Water, and designed Black Swan Theatre’s York, Yirra Yaakin’s Hecate, Performing Lines’ Black Brass, Black Swan/Malthouse Cloudstreet, Malthouse Theatre/Victorian Opera’s production of Tom Waits’ The Black Rider (Helpmann nominated for Best Costume Design), Malthouse’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and Belvoir’s The Life of Galileo. Zoë has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Green Room for The Splinter Group’s Lawn and a Helpmann for the Malthouse Theatre/Black Swan production The Odyssey. Zoë lives in Perth and is the mother of two boys.
PERFORMER + CO-CREATOR
Ben is a performer and film maker. His screen credits include the feature films ‘Dingo’, ‘Lantana’, ‘Drift’, ‘Pinch’, ‘The Gateway’, and award-winning performances in ‘Zelos’, and ‘The Decadent and the Depraved’.
His television credits include ‘McLeod’s Daughter’s, ‘Cloudstreet’, ‘Home & Away’, ‘A Place to Call Home’, and ‘Itch’.
He has performed in theatres around Australia including works for Black Swan Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare Company, The Ensemble Theatre, Barking Gecko, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, & the Blue Room Theatre.
Most recently, the short film ‘Carmentis’, in which he plays the lead, had its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, as well as winning best film awards at CinefestOz, the San José International Short Film Festival, and numerous awards at the St Kilda Film Festival including Best Actor.
Ben is currently developing a TV series whilst also studying for his Master of Counselling.
Paul has been working in the entertainment industry for the past 20 years. Specialising in Stage Lighting Paul has had extensive experience working in all aspects of live Theatre. After an accidental beginning in Theatre Paul has turned a part time job into a full time passion. Designing and operating live stage productions has been a challenging and rewarding career. “Lighting the stage for me is painting on air, the colour of the scene on stage only lasts a matter of moments but must leave a lasting impression in the mind of the audience”.
Paul has worked on hundreds of local and international shows. He has worked on large scale international productions as well as ‘the back room of the local pub’. His work has taken him from Bunbury to Indonesia, China and all parts of Australia. He is now based back in Bunbury at the Entertainment Centre and continues to improve his skills and experiment with ‘illuminating the black box’.
SOUND DESIGNER + COMPOSER
David is a graduate of the Punk Rock School of DIY, whose recent credits include sound design and music for ‘Meat’ and ‘The Other Place’ at Fremantle Theatre Company.
Somehow, whilst heroically undertaking the noble goal of educating the youth of regional Bunbury and more at risk students in Fremantle, David has managed to help produce contemporary and unconventional work in several fields. He has produced award winning work for theatre (‘the boat goes over the mountain’, ‘Two Bees’, ‘The Other Place’), as well as film (‘Perished’, ‘The Toll’, ‘Tartan’), art installations (‘Ghosting Pasts’, ‘Outsiders’), dance (‘Paperland’, ‘Street Dreams’) and museum exhibitions (‘Saving Face’).
David cut his chops as a drummer in several Perth and Bunbury bands before moving into film and theatre in order to proselytise to the masses whilst earning occasionally equitable wages.
ANIMATION + WORKSHOP FACILITATOR
Steven Aiton is a Western Australian animation artist. Ever since graduating Curtin University with a Bachelor of Arts in Art, he has become actively involved in many local, regional and remote community arts projects. Steven has placed a career focus on combining arts with health and works as an animation art therapist in mental health and has completed successful artist residencies in Perth hospitals working with children and adolescents. He is currently Artist in Residence at Perth Children’s Hospital as part of its Arts & Health Program. He has been involved in large-scale community projects in the Western Desert, Pilbara, Kimberley, Wheatbelt, Christmas Island and Fremantle. Often collaborating with other artists, his animation work has featured in art galleries, on television and in film festivals around the world.
FIONA de GARIS
In May 2018 Fiona de Garis joined the team at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, where as Executive Director she continues to explore the transformative potential of art to change lives and build communities. Fiona is skilled in facilitation of the creative process and has worked extensively across performance genres, with a strong focus on developing new Australian work. From 2008 to 2018 Fiona was Senior Producer at Performing Lines WA, where she nurtured independent West Australian artists and their projects. Prior to that she enjoyed the diversity of fifteen years freelancing as a stage, company and event manager; working for many of Australia’s leading performing arts organisations. A graduate of both UWA and the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Fiona regularly serves on peer panels and is currently on the Board of Cooinda Primary School and PICA, and is Chair of CircuitWest.
Originally from Ireland, Alan relocated to WA from Macau with his family to join BREC in 2017.
With a professional career spanning over two decades working with the likes of Cirque Du Soleil, Sands Resorts China & Carnival Cruise Lines there really isn’t much in the world of event production that Alan hasn’t done.
His career has taken him all over the globe working alongside industry leaders creating large scale festivals, arena rock shows and world class theatre productions.