Snugglepot and Cuddlepie Hit the Boards

by cate on February 1, 2007

May Gibbs’s Gumnut Babies and Banksia Men have begun an Australia-wide journey in a new musical, The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom.

Premiering in January at the Sydney Festival (where the opening night was attended by Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir), the show moves to the Perth International Arts Festival during February and will then be produced at the Adelaide Festival in March.

The originator of the musical adaptation is Cate Fowler, artistic director of Adelaide’s Windmill Performing Arts Company. Fowler had the idea for a stage production based on Gibbs’s characters over a decade ago, but development has not been straightforward. Collaborating with director Neil Armfield, Fowler’s initial idea was to involve Nick Enright. The Sydney playwright accepted the project and was working on a script at the time of his death.

Following a hiatus, Fowler and Armfield again looked at the project. Armfield decided that if the work was to be resurrected, “we needed to scrap everything … we needed a completely fresh start” (Sydney Morning Herald, 30 December 2006).

Enter the comic genius of satirist John Clarke. Sydney Morning Herald theatre critic, Bryce Hallett, describes Clarke’s book and lyrics as ‘witty and sparkling, not just quips about mateship or mismatched flora and fauna but sly, satirical observations about the media, celebrity, sport and politics’ (15 January 2007).

Fowler’s dream is that The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom will show that ‘May Gibbs is not a museum piece. She has contemporary resonance and hopefully this will place Gibbs where she should be in our cultural history’ (Advertiser, 25 October 2006).

Source: AusLit News


2006 Woman of Distinction in the Arts award

by cate on September 3, 2006

The Asia Pacific Business Council for Women recognises business women who inspire and motivate others. Often they are unaware that the guidance and encouragement they’ve offered, or the simple words of wisdom they have shared, have helped shape our thinking and our lives.

Cate Fowler has a strong background in education and extensive experience in theatre programming and production. Well known throughout the Australian youth arts sector, particularly in South Australia and Queensland, Cate was both Youth and Family Program Manager at the Adelaide Festival Centre and the artistic adviser to the 1995 Come Out Youth Arts Festival in South Australia.

Prior to accepting the position with Windmill in 2001 Cate was Director, Education Services for Queensland Arts Council. She received a Matilda Award in 1998 for her contribution to the development of Early Childhood Theatre and was one of the inaugural recipients of an Australia – Japan Arts Network Fellowships. She was a member of Asialink from 1999 to 2002, chairing the Performing Arts Committee.

Cate undertook a three month residency in Japan in 1999, to encourage cultural exchange and explore options for collaboration between Japan and Australia. Consequently, Cate has produced the Australian tour of A World of Paper in association with Theatre Kazenoko Kyushu from Japan; Twinkle Twinkle Little Fish to tour Japan in July 2006, with negotiations to take the production The Green Sheep to Singapore, Hong Kong and China in 2007.

Windmill is committed to a programme of social inclusion all for children, and has developed several initiatives to ensure disadvantaged children are given the opportunity to access quality theatre by experiencing Windmill performances.


Survivor – or Big Brother?

January 8, 2003

Robinson Crusoe Adapted by Gillian Rubinstein Windmill Productions in association with Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image Windmill Productions have completed their first year of operation and there is much to celebrate. In the capable hands of Creative Producer Cate Fowler, Windmill is firmly in the first rank of companies which specialise in work for young […]

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Australia Japan Arts Network

June 6, 1989

The Australia Japan Arts Network, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the Australia Council, assisted senior arts managers to develop ongoing networks between key organisations in Australia and Japan. At the time of her residency, Cate Fowler was the Artistic Director of Windmill Performing Arts Company in Adelaide. Her residency, based […]

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