ABOUT KNOCK ‘EM DOWN
KeDT’s Artistic Directorship comprises Mary Anne Butler, Stephen Carleton and Gail Evans.
Formed in 1997, KeDT are on an extraordinary upward trajectory for a small, regional theatre company, producing national award-winning plays whose currency, lyrical poeticism and compelling evocation of time, place and sociopolitical culture have seen them find their way from Darwin to the national mainstage. In recognition of this commitment to excellence, the company was endowed with a Sidney Myer Foundation capacity-building grant in 2016 which has seen them build connections with theatre companies, directors, and playwrights in Dublin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
Gail Evans directed the successful national Australian touring production of Broken, and directs much of KeDT’s body of work. She is an accomplished writer and performer in her own right, but has turned her focus to directing over recent years, and undertaken intensive training in the Viewpoints method. Gail has collaborated with, mentored and created work with generations of NT artists, and worked with all major performing arts institutions in the Top End in a long-term career commitment to the region.
Mary Anne Butler’s plays have been produced throughout and toured across Australia, and received readings as far afield as Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and with the Australian Theatre Company in Los Angeles. She was endowed with a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2016, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (2016), and has been shortlisted for the Griffin Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Drama, and an AWGIE for her landmark play, Broken. Her most recent play, The Sound of Waiting, had successful seasons in Darwin (2017) and Sydney (2018). Her play Highway of Lost Hearts is on the NSW high school theatre curriculum.
Stephen Carleton won the Patrick White Playwright’s Award (2005) for his breakthrough play Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset, after which it was produced around the country and now sits on the Queensland secondary drama curriculum. Bastard Territory (2014) became the first play by a company from the NT to be picked up by a state theatre company when QTC presented it in 2016. The Turquoise Elephant won the Griffin Theatre Award for Best New Australian Play in 2015, premiering at Griffin Theatre in 2016, and in Darwin at Brown’s Mart in 2018.
Over the past 20 years, the company has provided hundreds of professional development and wage-earning opportunities to Northern Territory theatre practitioners. It has also been strategic in bringing interstate skills development opportunities, networks and connections into the Northern Territory as well as exporting NT work to interstate theatre companies, demonstrating outstanding planning and collaboration, innovative thinking, resourcefulness and a dogged pursuit of craft at every turn.