Shock Therapy Arts is a Gold Coast based not-for-profit performing arts organization established in 2015. Our vision is to create meaningful, relevant and transformative experiences. We aim to deliver high quality, multidisciplinary performing arts and to be a leader in the Arts and Culture Sector on the Gold Coast and QLD. Shock Therapy Arts tell stories that are meaningful and thought provoking, celebrating both the confronting and cathartic nature of performance. We create award winning issue based theatre that is intended to move people, to shift perceptions and spark change.
Since establishing the company in 2015 the company received multiple awards “best independent productions” from the Matilda Awards 3 years running from 2015-2017 and the last two years have been phenomenally impressive. It has seen the organisation blossom into a leading arts maker on the Gold Coast, and a leader in performing arts in Queensland. 2018 and 2019 included 2 major commissions, creating 2 new touring productions, appearances at 6 major festivals, presenting and touring 6 productions to over 70,000 audience members and close to 200 in-schools performances & workshops. All done with just two full time staff members, co-founder’s and director’s Sam Foster and Hayden Jones. In 2018 Shock Therapy’s award winning production “Viral” was published by Playlab and in 2019 Unge Viken (formerly Akershus Teater) from Scandinavia contacted the company to develop a version of the production for schools touring all around Norway between 2019 – 2024.
The company was commissioned by “Festival 2018” on the Gold Coast to create a site-specific, immersive work for families called “Welcome to Sameville” which was also funded by Arts Queensland. The show included a professional cast alongside a cast of 20 young and emerging local performers. Part guided tour and part free roam, it dealt with issues of conformity, freedom of expression, control and prejudice, creating an entire world that was complex, detailed, and highly imaginative. Shock Therapy Productions was also asked to assist in writing and directing sections of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Sam and Hayden were also cast to play a featured role in a film component of the ceremony, televised to 1.5 billion viewers.
In July 2018, the company was commissioned by Splendour in the Grass Festival to create a new performance installation called The Cleaners which was an experimental immersive & interactive endurance theatre piece. This new work marked a move into new artistic territory for the company, shifting away from theatre and into installation art, performance art and visual art to a large-scale music festival audience. The Cleaners was regarded as one of the highlights of the 2018 Splendour Arts program by both the organisers and the punters. It has since presented at Bleach Festival 2019 with future presentations nationally and internationally in the pipeline.