EARTHSIDE reimagines the story of Ellen Ripley (Alien, 1979) as an allegory for the modern woman's experience of pregnancy, birth trauma and beyond.
EARTHSIDE is a vital, urgent piece of confessional theatre, that reimagines the story of the world’s most loved action heroine as an allegory for the modern woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth trauma and beyond.
In 1979, Ellen Ripley experiences a life-threatening betrayal when she exposes the true mission of her spaceship, the Nostromo. In 2018, Kaitlin Tinker experiences birth in a WA public hospital. On their lonely journeys to retrieve an extra-terrestrial parasitic being, both learn that they are expendable.
EARTHSIDE re-frames the wildly true account of one woman’s quest to survive pregnancy, birth and trauma, through the cinematic lens of Ripley’s own dire attempts to escape the Nostromo alive.
It’s the darkly funny debut play from award-winning ex-showgirl Kaitlin Tinker – who experienced a gruelling 30-hour labour, emergency c-section, bonding difficulties, postnatal depression and PTSD. It’s a progressive, rule-breaking play that explores the far reaches of step-parenting, sequins and all the things that eat us inside out. It chronicles a collective experience of grief and reimagines it as a joyful ride of laughter and strength, and asks: how does popular culture from the greater universe allow us to grapple with very earthly narratives of our own?
EARTHSIDE provides a momentous occasion to shed light on a terrifyingly common experience – it’s radical storytelling designed to foster hard conversations and drive social change.
EARTHSIDE was designed with community at heart:
- Parents-and-bubs sessions: EARTHSIDE’S development season at The Blue Room Theatre featured a special parents-and-bubs matinee performance, followed by a facilitated morning-tea. It was wildly successful and out-sold Saturday nights. Parents could enjoy the performance and feel safe in the space with their babe. The morning tea, facilitated by infant-advocacy group Mother Baby Nurture (MBN), was designed as a comfortable space in which to debrief the show, have a cup of tea, a bite to eat, and a chat with others about the experience. MBN is a group run by Playgroup WA, designed to support parents and their infants through the early days of parenting as they get to know and respond to each other. It helps parents who are struggling with the transition of becoming a parent or feeling isolated, anxious or low.
- Birth Story Sessions, in collaboration with the Australasian Birth Trauma Association. Kaitlin Tinker will hold circle with local women as a trained ABTA peer-support worker to allow them a safe space to share their personal birth stories. The power of story-telling as part of the healing process has been well-documented.
- Writing the Heroine’s Journey: a workshop for makers where Kaitlin will walk-through her writing process, and how to devise autobiographical work based on Maureen Murdoch’s “The Heroine’s Journey” – a female-centric wheel that challenges the linear path of the more traditional hero’s journey.
Form and Style
EARTHSIDE has been designed for a black-box theatre, but is a work that can be adapted to a variety of spaces. The performer blends storytelling with physical theatre, dance and immersive, experimental audio-visuals – influenced heavily by 1970s cinema.
It features a pilot’s chair set piece, as well as immersive audio-visual
elements (at least 1 projector and 1 haze/smoke machine are required, in addition to LX.) Projections feature throughout, and should be thrown on flat or screen behind the chair – this can be adapted to the room’s capabilities. It’s designed to give the sense that the audience are seated onboard the spacecraft with the performer: the projections depict the stars and various phenomena that occur outside the spacecraft’s “windows”.
Ideally, the work is presented in a standard, front-on theatre configuration with raked seating. There is no lock-out for this performance – audience members are welcome to leave and re-enter performance at any time, and we welcome performance spaces that allow audiences to do this safely.
The audience experience begins in the foyer space, where front of house are encouraged to dress in the supplied flight suit and deliver pre-show announcements with a distinct space flair. As the audience enter the performance space, they are greeted cheerfully by the performer and hosted to their seats.
“A profound masterpiece of truth-telling.” – Betty Grumble
“Compelling… a complete experience” – Stage Whispers
“Tinker is a great performer. She is highly engaging and even though there are lots of laughs, expect a few tears to escape too. Earthside is touching and funny, performed with guts by a super badass mother – it’s childbirth but not as you know it.” – Fourth Wall Media
Available Marketing Collaterals
- Professional poster / flyer artwork in many sizes/formats. Acid Tongue’s in-house graphic design ensures all venues have high quality materials in the formats they require.
- Video trailer & poster animation
- Sample media release
- Pull quotes, reviews & social media tiles.
EARTHSIDE brings together some of WA’s most in-demand creatives – some who have historically partnered together in award-winning presentations; others whose demanding schedules critically aligned to build this work. Accomplished director Libby Klysz (Feminah; The Tempest) joined forces with highly acclaimed “art doula” Emma Maye Gibson (aka Betty Grumble, Love + Anger; Sex Clown Saves The World) and dramaturg Geordie Crawley (Logue Lake, Hive Mind) to guide Kaitlin Tinker (Size Queens, Club Briefs) through the birthing of EARTHSIDE.
The immersive, audio-visual world of the play is shaped by sound designer Jeremy Turner (Panawathi Girl; Projections at City of Lights – Perth Festival), lighting designer Chris Donnelly (Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories; I Am My Own Wife) and features choreography from Storm Helmore (Co:3, Strut Dance). The set piece, described by SeeSaw Magazine as a “retro masterpiece”, was built by Eoin O’Briain.
AvailabilityFrom October 2022
AudiencePrimary target audience is mothers who have experienced birth and/or been affected by birth trauma or post-partum depression. These women are aged 25 - 65, who often prefer attending theatre experiences as a small group, and may be looking to incorporate the show as part of a full 'night-out'. Others come in quiet pairs, often bringing a close friend or relative (mother, grandmother, sister or auntie) to experience the work safely. Secondary audiences include: - Families & fathers, witness to their loved one's lived experience. - Health professionals (Obstetricians, midwives and doulas.) - Fans of sci-fi cinema and indie theatre. Responding to this growing group with an authentic and critically timed work of theatre is a powerful and significant opportunity for communities. We leverage our alliance with advocacy groups like the Australasian Birth Trauma Association and Mother Baby Nurture to bring new audiences to theatres. This presentation is valuable to an enormous community of parents seeking to connect with an in-person experience, where currently no in-person WA support groups exist. For our audience - primarily women (but relevant to any who have suffered trauma at the hands of medicalised intervention) - creating community through the experience of theatre in a distanced world is more important than ever. Additionally, using a popular action film (Alien) as a narrative tool to drive story, gifts access to a wider audience.
Bump In8 hours
Bump Out3-4 hours
CostsRemount Cost: Approximately $6000 - $8000
Weekly Fee: $4000
Company ContactsKaitlin Tinker
Tell me more
Venue FormatIdeal for Black Box, but adaptable/suitable to most spaces
Maximum performances a week: 6
Does this show require a remount? Yes
First Possible Performance: 3-hours after bump-in
Minimum Break Between Shows: 3 hours
Minimum stage dimensions: 6m wide x 4m deep
Staging and Set Description : Pilot’s chair centre stage, video projected behind on wall/screen/flat.
Lighting requirements: LX Plot TBC
Audio requirements: Dependent on space.
Other technical or performance notes: TBC