is there a gene responsible for perfection?
Soft explores the social implications of the developing genetic technologies, specifically the ethical dilemmas of pre-natal screening.
Winner of The Age 2002 Critics Award for Creative Excellence. Nominated for Best Play 2002 – Helpman Awards, Australia’s National Performing Arts Awards.
Pictured: Rita Halabarec. Image: Jeff Busby
Soft is a large scale theatrical performance created and first presented at the 2002 Melbourne International Arts Festival. The production received overwhelmingly positive response from the Australian general public and the international arts community. Soft toured to the Zurich Theatre Festival in Switzerland and the Laokoon Festival Hamburg in 2003.
Soft explores the social implications of the developing genetic technologies, specifically the ethical dilemmas of pre-natal screening. Developed from conversations between the Back to Back ensemble and scientists working on the development and application of genetic screening technologies, Soft’s strength lies in the three performers who are the physical representation of Down Syndrome, a genetic condition society increasingly seeks to screen and eradicate.
A sci-fi spectacular, housed in giant inflatable bubble, Soft merges architectural design, live performance, animation and 3D surround sound delivered to the audience via individual headphones. A unique sensory experience, Soft advocates for the value of diversity of human form and simultaneously explores the subject through a dynamic diversity of theatrical form.
Director/Devisor Bruce Gladwin
Devisors/Performers Rita Halabarec, Darren Riches, Sonia Teuben, Nicki Holland, Jim Russell, Marcia Ferguson
Dramaturg Melissa Reeves
Sound Design and Composition Hugh Covill
Set Design Chris Price, Dave Morison Lighting Design Efterpos Soropos Animation Rhian Hinkley
Inflatable Construction & Puppeteer Mark Cuthbertson Costume Design Shio Otani
Project Funders & Partners
Melbourne Festival, Arts Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, Melbourne Docklands, Ian Potter Foundation, The Myer Foundation, Lake