We Were There 2.0

Host - Michele Delaforce
Host - Michele Delaforce

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Host - Michele Delaforce
Host - Michele Delaforce

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Host - Michele Delaforce
Host - Michele Delaforce

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Host - Michele Delaforce
Host - Michele Delaforce

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Supported by ViiV Healthcare for 'The Art of ART', October 17th 2020
Presented by Tilted Projects


Our local HIV histories often recall men's experiences, but the women who were there have their own stories to tell - we honour them here.​

In late 2015 the project began in earnest with early collaborator Gavin Roach, followed by interviews throughout 2016. The recordings of which were meticulously transcribed, with serious attention paid to the vocal nuances of each speaker in the hope of translating to the page a deeply authentic re-presentation of each verbal contribution. We captured the organic inflections and casual non-verbal sounds of naturally occurring, uninhibited, and uncensored speech. By building upon playwriting techniques developed by Caryl Churchill, we set down a vocabulary of punctuation-based signifiers to inform the vocal interpretation and subsequent physical embodiment of each actor's performance, allowing for the cacophony of simultaneous voices and the mapping of internal shifts in thought and emotion. 


For the most part, the names of our participants remain unspoken within the text, and this is how we felt it should be. Their experiences did not occur in isolation; women all over the world share them. So, you may see only four women on the screen, but we hope that you hear a choir of voices, all of them singing "we were there". This work reflects upon aspects of the internal and social stigmas surrounding HIV&AIDS. It catalogues moments of grief, loss, survivor's guilt, and the everyday challenges faced by women living with HIV - spanning generations. It offers contrasting lived experiences of the virus from opposite sides of the triage counter. 

This project would not have been possible without our participants' ongoing generosity or the work of the first teams responsible for the 2017 creative development and the 2018 play. For more information on the original production, please click here.

<< Director's Notes >>



OUR HOST: Michele Delaforce

CAMERA: Michael Pattini (Camco Television)


CAST: Barbara Lowing, Jodie LeVesconte, Liz Buchanan, and Louise Brehmer 

CAMERA: Lauren-Ann Smith & David Mace-Kaff (Creative Path Films)



WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Dirk Hoult (Tilted Projects)

HEAD OF PRODUCTION: Kenny Timms (Diprose Media)


PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: Bear Baxter (Tilted Projects)

PHOTOS: Daniel Burke (Burke Photography) - 2018 Production Stills

POSTER IMAGE: Amelia J Dowd - w/ Anita Posterino


LIBERTY EVENTS: Kira Fitzpatrick & Richard Wyles

ViiV HEALTHCARE: Bill Paterson, Jared Croft, Sue Calvert, John Walton, Ann Maccarrone, and Fraser Drummond

"Stories about people living with HIV tend to be male-dominated. This striking piece of verbatim theatre, culled from interviews with a wide variety of women who experienced the HIV/AIDS crisis in the '80s and '90s, redresses a significant imbalance" - THE AGE
"We Were There is a space of learning, of listening and of sharing. A heartfelt and honest piecing together of a complex picture of facts, experiences, and emotions. Presented with humour and warmth, We Were There is a genuine act of sharing and a testament to the bravery and strength of the women interviewed" - THEATRE PEOPLE
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The premiere season of WE WERE THERE was embraced by theatre audiences at the Loft Theatre (Chapel Off Chapel) in January 2018. Thanks to the support of ViiV Healthcare, this work was able to reach a global audience in October 2020.
Barbara Lowing
Jodie Levesconte
Louise Brehmer
Liz Buchanan