Casting Off

A Good Catch, Australia

August 14, 2020 | 8:45pm

Runtime: 5 Minute Live-Stream performance from Australia, 50 minute pre-recorded show + LIVE Artist to Audience Talkback

Content advisory: Mild adult language.

ASL/Captioning availability TBC

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The first $5 of any donation made to 2020 Online Artists will support the work of the Nanaimo Fringe, in lieu of a regular Festival Button purchase. Donations over $20 can choose to receive a physical 2020 Nanaimo Fringe Pin mailed to them as a special Thank You for your support!


About the Artists

Casting Off is an all women, cross-generational show that challenges the conventions of circus and subverts expectations of age. Casting Off stereotypes, three generations of gutsy women ages 31, 42 and 60, talk while they tumble, fly, and balance precariously; where the personal is political, the furious is funny, and the acrobatics are downright dangerous. Self-directed, hand knitted and honouring the life events that get in the way of work, Casting Off is a theatrical circus experience that celebrates thoughtful, strong and resilient individuals. A fabulously funny, intelligent and profoundly heart-warming show that is set to a soundscape of the many disparate texts (lists, poems, conversations, melodies, arguments and biographies) that embody each day. Casting Off is non-narrative circus with words that’s easier done than said.

Debra Batton |Co Director Performer

Debra is one of Australia’s leading senior circus artists. She has a wealth of experience as a performer, director, choreographer and teacher in circus, theatre and dance. Debra was a performer and then Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall for 14 years. Leading a dedicated ensemble on several wonderful projects and touring nationally and internationally. Prior to this, Debra performed with Storm in a Teac Cup Dance Theatre, Tracks Dance, Magpie Theatre and Circus Oz as both performer and director. She is regularly invited to direct and teach performance  NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts). 

Debra has collaborated with countless other companies around the world including  Axis Theatre, The Belfry Theatre and the Vancouver Arts Theatre in Canada, Kneehigh Theatre UK, and Tumble Circus, Belfast. She has been performing and creating in the circus /physical theatre for over 30 years and is held in high regard for her creativity, depth of knowledge and sense of fun. She chooses to challenge and support the continual exploration of  what circus might be.

Sharon Gruenert | Co Director Performer

Born the youngest and smallest, Sharon was inspired to be brave and always challenge herself physically. Sharon Gruenert began her circus journey with a bang by joining Cirque Du Soliel’s, Saltinbanco in 1998. From this elite beginning she has not stopped discovering her body’s ability and her joy in circus while raising two children. Risk is one of the many provocations that is built into the very core of her style of circus because this is how you get the audience to care. She is known for being courageous, innovative and considered; reinventing circus skills to communicate ideas and trusting her kinaesthetic sense. 

For the past 23 years Sharon has flown around and been thrown around with companies such as Circus Oz, Cirque du Soleil, Circus Monoxide, Dislocate, Strange Fruit and A Good Catch. 

Spenser Inwood | Co Director, Performer

At 8 years old Spenser Inwood knew exactly what she wanted to do. She then spent the next 10 years training, creating and touring with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, performing, directing and being involved in every production possible.
Some of her achievements with FFFC include; touring to remote Aboriginal communities at the age of 12 and being an Assistant director and performer for the Closing Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

Directing and creating work has always come hand in hand with performing
and she directed her first show “What do I want?” in 2013 at The Women’s Circus. Since 2013 Spenser has been an integral part of the Circus Oz ensemble, touring extensively both nationally and internationally from Arnhem Land to Munich, and Frankston to Bogota. Her passion, performance and leadership skills make her the quintessential collaborative artist. Spenser believes that your job as a performer is to make everyone else look good. She has the uncanny ability to hold and support the artistic big picture while attending to the intricacies of performance. 

Alexandra Harrison | Dramaturg, Outside Eye, Contributing Writer

Alex is a trained anthropologist who has never practiced. She is an untrained performer, dramaturg and director who has practiced for 22 years. She is also a mother – definitely untrained. She used to listen to her feet when she danced and probably still does. This has its limits as well as advantages. She has made visible lots of devised physical theatre, dance and performance. From solo, full-length work to large scale international collaborations these strange and special treasures disappear into a past she can only glimpse. Today, she is interested in vitality, dramaturgy, moving, making and doing charcoal and movement workshops with lawyers. She knows there is no line really and yet she is following something. She would like to thank both Gertrude and Alice.