Mystery surrounds Area 53 in the old Whyalla library building

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Aliens from outer space landing in Whyalla? 

That is the scenario as the city’s old library has been put to good use again with a “secretive” set up in the CBD building. Code named Area 53, it is a project that explores the possibility of aliens in Whyalla with an entertaining and innovative experiential theatre piece.

area53Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer, along with councillors David Knox and Sarah Minney, were given an exclusive preview tour of Area 53, the first of four tours. It is a production/project directed by lead artists the award winning theatre maker Claire Glenn and Anthony Kelly in collaboration with D’faces of Youth Arts, a Whyalla group that provides workshops and special programs in performing and visual arts. 

We are unable to give a lot of details about the experiential theatre piece as it deals with aliens in Whyalla and may be unveiled to the public again next year in another series of sneak previews.

What we can tell you is that it is another D’faces project that has made good use of the old library building after the youth group’s popular Pop-Up Paper installation space in December 2016.

Cr Minney, who is the Chair of the D’faces board, was suitably impressed with Area 53. 

“Area 53 was part performance, part installation, part expose and all class,” Cr Minney said. 

“It was sophisticated, funny and a multi experiential immersement into the alien world. 

“There are not enough good things I can say about it.” 

Manager of Visual Arts at D’faces, Olivia White said the youth organisation and all the participants were extremely proud of the project and grateful the City of Whyalla continued to support the group in many ways including providing continued access to the old library building. 

“It is such a generous gesture by the council to provide us with the sort of facility we need for this sort of project,” Olivia said. 

“We had the Pop-Up Paper exhibition in this building and it is hard to find this sort of space so council’s support in this project is so very much appreciated.” 

Cr Knox was also impressed and looking forward to seeing it all again.

"It was very intreresting and full marks to everyone involved, it is a very creative project," Cr Knox said.

"I'm pleased council can assist with these sorts of projects and I hope we can see it again."

That may happen as D’Faces is now looking for funding to extend the Area 53 project and possibly incorporate it into next year’s award-winning Whyalla uneARTh Festival. 

The Area 53 experience involves taking people on a mystery bus trip before a tour of the “secretive” scientific alien investigative facilities. 

Dare we say it … Area 53 could be one of uneARTh’s “X-Factor” satellite performance at the March 30 and 31 festival next year. 

PICTURES: An Area 53 guide takes guests, including Cr Knox (left) and Cr Minney (second from right), through the project. BELOW: Another of the guides from Area 53 takes visitors through the eye-opening project and Mayor Breuer gets a close look at one of Area 53's mysteries.

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