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POSTED 21 AUGUST 2010

When the zombies are prowling the streets, the only safe place is at the drive-in

Australia is in a state of emergency. A virus is turning people into zombies — snarling, unpredictable and dangerous. The only way to stop the living-dead is decapitation or a quick shot to the head. Most alarmingly, the virus comes and goes, leaving humans who only vaguely remember.

Relatives, co-workers and friends are one minute trying to eat you and the next trying to save your life. Scientists are working tirelessly to develop cures. Manufacturers are developing synthetic brain-replacements. Office workers desperately try to hide the onset of symptoms from clients and friends. It’s complicated and strange, and there is a foreboding that things are getting worse.

At The Drive-In — a new work created by Shopfront Contemporary Arts & Performance and performed by young Australians — will premiere Gymea’s Hazelhurst Galleries on 27 August.

Combining live music, performance, dance and film, At The Drive-In will be performed at Hazelhurst from 26-29 August, before becoming a unique youth arts festival in the Living Desert, Broken Hill, from 10-11 September.

Framed against red dirt, rocky hills and a smoky twilit sky, city and country kids, both indigenous and non-indigenous, and including emerging artists and first-time performers, will be coming together in this unique multi-platform event. At The Drive-In uses zombies, aliens and real events in the lives of young people to explore what affects us and how we affect the world.

The immersive performances, which take place in and around the audience, showcase new steps, original performances, new and remixed stories for the big screen, dioramas and original songs.

Blurring lines between social commentary, film, musical and performance, this unique project establishes connection and exchange between young people from both city and rural locations.

Young people will travel from Sydney, rural New South Wales, and as far as Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, to participate in the final performance, which acts as a catalyst for community involvement and interaction. At The Drive-In empowers young people through broad involvement, via outreach workshops in Sydney and Broken Hill, an online ideas exchange and a national call out film content.

Writer Tim Spencer, Shopfront Artistic Director TJ Eckleberg, Outreach Director, Sarah Emery, as well as a comprehensive and highly-talented creative team, are supporting the young collaborators, along with project partners Shopfront Contemporary Arts, West Darling Arts, Heaps Decent, Barkly Arts (NT), Hazelhurst Galleries and the Broken Hill community.

 “This is about more than zombies – it’s about how we affect our world,” said TJ Eckleberg.

“Young people face ‘zombies’ everyday — from issues with parents and friends, to dealing with who they want to be, and how they want to relate to their world. At The Drive-In draws on a rich tapestry of real stories from real young people.”

*Based on media release issued by Shopfront.