ACFP Individual Project Spotlight: It’s Still Her Voice
Director Kate Gaul received $19,604.00 of Individual Project funding through ACFP 21/22 Individual Funding Round One for It’s Still Her Voice.
It’s Still Her Voice is an experimental mash-up of Jean Cocteau’s 1928 play and Francis Poulenc’s 1958 opera La Voix Humaine, performed by two women simultaneously (actor Pollyanna Nowicki – and soprano Karina Bailey). It’s Still Her Voice transposes these works within a contemporary context and speaks to the way our lives, relationships and emotions are mediated through phones and technology.
The story, sung in French and spoken in English, unfolds entirely over the telephone – incorporating both the old-school landline and modern smartphone, with the audience sharing in the experience of receiving texts as the subtitles appear on screen in message form.
Director, Kate Gaul said “the work presented a haunting microcosm of quarantine life throughout the pandemic, with the smartphone being a scarcely suitable substitute for in-person interaction. It’s all the protagonist can cling to – the only thing keeping her afloat while her world is crumbling around her.”
It’s Still Her Voice was rehearsed in Sydney and presented over four performances at The Flying Nun (4-5 March 2022), applauded by audiences and critics alike.
“Every part of the application needs to be supported by evidence… The budget tells the story, so I always start with that.”
Speaking about her approach to the Arts and Cultural Funding Program (ACFP) application experience, Kate explains that her submission was substantiated by solid evidence: audience data, budget figures, professional-quality personal support material and third-party endorsement.
“You have to show how the work will come together and succeed, not simply tell. Every part of the application needs to be supported by evidence.”
Kate starts with the most time-consuming parts of the submission: the budget and letters of support.
“The budget tells the story, so I always start with that. The numbers reveal the nitty-gritty, what actual costs are involved and what the grant funding will cover.”
“Early on in my process I approached three colleagues for letters of support. These are respected industry professionals in the music and theatrical worlds, and they understood the project’s experimental vision and purpose to develop an alternative opera audience. I provide a few brief points to elaborate on, and all three came back quickly with their words of support.”
“It’s critical to include who is it for and how you will connect with them.”
Another piece of advice Kate offers is the importance of a mentor who can cast a critical eye over your application to add an outsider’s perspective. This way, you can work together to troubleshoot all aspects of the project and identify any gaps in your application.
“An experimental work like It’s Still Her Voice needed a clear picture of the intended audience and why it would resonate. It’s critical that you include how you will develop your audience, and articulate not just why you’re doing this, but who is it for and how you will connect with them.”
To find out more about Kate’s work visit: https://www.sirentheatreco.com/its-still-her-voice
Applications for Round Two of the Arts and Cultural Funding Program close on 13 February 2023. For more information on Individual Project Funding and how to apply click here.
Image: It’s Still Her Voice Pollyanna Nowicki Photo Alex Vaughan