We cannot deny that things are currently in a state flux, or perhaps even disarray across the sector, not just in Australia but across the globe. The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has infected all facets of life and has made work within the academy incredibly difficult – for those at all career stages. The aim of this panel is to provide strategies for ADSA members on coping with and surviving this difficult period. The panelists will each offer some ideas and suggestions from their different positions and perspectives but the main aim is to provide plenty of time to listen to the very real concerns of members and to provide – where possible – solutions and support in response. As an organisation ADSA has always been collegial and supportive and this panel seeks to mobilise this collegiality for the common good of conference attendees.
Helena Grehan is Dean of Research for Arts, Business, Law, IT and Social Sciences at Murdoch University. She has published widely on performance studies and creative arts more broadly. Her current work focusses on listening as both a political and ethical act both within and beyond the borders of the performance space. She is a member of AusStage, a founding member of the Digitisation Centre of WA and is the Deputy Editor of Performance Research.
Oscar Tantoco Serquiña Jr. is a PhD candidate in Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne, where he is working on a dissertation that explores sites of speech study, training, and performance in the Philippines from the 20th to the 21st centuries. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts at the University of the Philippines. His essays have appeared in Theatre Research International, Humanities Diliman, Kritika Kultura, the Philippine Political Science Journal, and the Philippine Humanities Review.
Joanne Tompkins has just completed a three-year term as Executive Director for Humanities and Creative Arts at the Australian Research Council. She has returned to the University of Queensland where she is a professor of theatre. She has published widely on theatre. Her recent work visualises theatres that no longer exist. She is a founding member of AusStage, and is Chair of its Management Committee.
Dr Asher Warren is a Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Tasmania. His research explores intermedial, networked, participatory and collaborative practices, and the sites of contemporary artistic practice. He is a member of Performance Studies international, the IFTR intermediality working group, ADSA, and currently sits on the PSi Future Advisory Board.
Theatre and Internationalization: Perspectives from Australia, Germany, and Beyond
Theatre and Internationalization examines how internationalization affects the processes and aesthetics of theatre, and how this art form responds dramatically and thematically to internationalization beyond the stage.
With central examples drawn from Australia and Germany from the 1930s to the present day, the book considers theatre and internationalization through a range of theoretical lenses and methodological practices, including archival research, aviation history, theatre historiography, arts policy, organizational theory, language analysis, academic-practitioner insights, and literary-textual studies. While drawing attention to the ways in which theatre and internationalization might be contributing productively to each other and to the communities in which they operate, it also acknowledges the limits and problematic aspects of internationalization. Taking an unusually wide approach to theatre, the book includes chapters by specialists in popular commercial theatre, disability theatre, Indigenous performance, theatre by and for refugees and other migrants, young people as performers, opera and operetta, and spoken art theatre.
An excellent resource for academics and students of theatre and performance studies, especially in the fields of spoken theatre, opera and operetta studies, and migrant theatre, Theatre and Internationalization explores how theatre shapes and is shaped by international flows of people, funds, practices, and works.
Ulrike Garde(German Studies, MCCALL, Macquarie University) specializes in research in German intercultural studies and theatre. She currently investigates multilingualism on the Berlin stage. Her most recent book, co-authored with Meg Mumford, is Theatre of Real People: Diverse Encounters at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer and Beyond (2016).
John R. Severn is a Research Fellow at Macquarie University. He is the author of Shakespeare as Jukebox Musical (Routledge, 2019) and is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded Discovery Project on the economic and cultural value of theatre in Australia.
Writing outside the circle of rightness: two incursions into the mainstream Australian repertoire
Serendipitously, in 2014, productions of Alison Lyssa’s Pinball and Donna Abela’s Jump For Jordan offered Sydney audiences one of the first, and the latest, lesbian-themed plays to make incursions into the mainstream Australian repertoire. As Duck Duck Goose Theatre Company’s production of Lyssa’s internationally-celebrated Pinball – first produced by the Nimrod Theatre Company in 1981 – took over the Tap Gallery, the Griffin Theatre Company’s premiere of Abela’s award-wining Jump For Jordan packed out the nearby Stables Theatre. Written thirty years apart, each play moved the margin to the centre, claiming the main stage for lesbian bodies and narratives, feminist-informed forms, female subjectivities, and work authored by female playwrights. In this paper, Lyssa and Abela discuss the strategies they employed to write about people held outside of established circles of rightness, and subject to “The Great Silence” (Greenaway 1990) or the erasure of lesbian women and experience from mainstream history and culture.
Donna Abela is playwright, dramaturge, and creative writing lecturer. She serves on the board of PYT Fairfield (which she co-founded), and along with Vanessa Bates, Hilary Bell, Noëlle Janaczewska, Verity Laughton, Ned Manning and Cath Zimdahl is a member of the alliance 7-ON Playwrights. While at the University of Wollongong, Donna completed her practice-led doctoral thesis titled Dialogic Interplay: a Strategy for Representing Difference and Cultural Diversity on Stage. Jump For Jordan, the creative component, won the 2013 Griffin Playwriting prize and the 2015 AWGIE Award for Stage, and is included in the 2019-2022 HSC Drama Syllabus.
Alison Lyssa is a playwright and poet, teacher and mentor. As a writer-in-residence at Nimrod, 1982, she discovered dramaturgy’s uncanny ability to ask the right questions. Alison’s first two plays, Pinball, 1981, and The Boiling Frog, 1984, are now online in Australian Plays’ NIMROD 50 Collection, 2020. Pinball was previously published in Michelene Wandor (ed.), Plays by Women vol. 1V, London and New York: Methuen, 1985, and in Bruce Parr (ed.), Australian Gay and Lesbian Plays, Sydney: Currency, 1996. In 2019 she work as dramaturge on Catherine Zimdahl’s brilliant new play Gifted, supported by Playwriting Australia’s Duologue program. Alison has served on the Advisory Boards of Playworks Women Writers’ Workshop and Women Playwrights International. Her play, Who’d’ve Thought?, created with Women and Theatre Project, Telopea, was nominated for the 1991 AWGIE Award for Community Theatre. She has a PhD in creative writing, a certificate in screenwriting from AFTRS and has taught Writing for Performance, Creative Writing and Screenwriting. In 2019 she was a playwright-in-residence at Currency Press, writing a new play, Hurricane Eye.
‘Harmony in Diversity’: A Compartmentalist Approach to the Three Teachings in Mulianxi
This paper has two subjects: the ‘unity of the Three Teachings’(sanjiao heyi), which is often described as most characteristic of the Chinese religious system; and Mulian drama or Mulianxi, which is the oldest and greatest Chinese ritual drama that has been staged for more than nine hundred years since its first recorded performance in the Song dynasty (960-1279). The first concern questions whether the Three Teachings (Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism) were syncretised into a unitary belief system in imperial China as literally suggested by this Chinese term, and the second questions whether Mulianxi is a syncretic product of the Three Teachings.
In this paper, I re-examine the conception of sanjiao heyi from a perspective of compartmentalism proposed by Timothy Brook (1993). I argue that sanjiao heyi is not a syncretic product but instead a compartmental process and that Mulianxi is not a syncretic product, either, but a perfect compartmental gestalt of the Three Teachings. My arguments are based on a critical review of imperial discourse on sanjiao heyi and also on a close analysis of Mulian Rescues His Mother: A Play Text Newly Compiled to Exhort Goodness (Xinbian Mulian jiumu quanshan xiwen), the oldest dated surviving text of Mulianxi that consists of a 104-scene play in three volumes written in the southern style of chuanqi (marvel drama) by the Ming dynasty playwright Zheng Zhizhen (1518-1595).
Keywords: the Mulian drama, syncretism; compartmentalism; Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, the Unity of Three Teachings or sanjiao heyi
ZHAO Xiaohuan received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh. He had taught at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland and Otago in New Zealand before joining the University of Sydney in Australia, where he is Associate Professor of Chinese Literary and Theatre Studies. He publishes extensively in the fields of Chinese literature, culture and theatre with a specialist focus on ritual, religion and theatre. His most recent book is Drama, Fiction and Folk Beliefs (Shanghai: Fudan University Press, 2018). He is now engaged in a Routledge book project on Chinese temple theatre.
Bienvenue au théâtre du geste – Welcome to the theatre of gesture: Welcoming Jacques Lecoq’s theatre methodology in New Zealand
This presentation looks at the arrival and dissemination of Jacques Lecoq’s theatre methodology in New Zealand via the work of the graduates of L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France. It presents the timeline of the diaspora of Lecoq’s graduates in New Zealand based on the examination of archival material from Lecoq’s school. L’École officially opened in 1956. Thirty-five people attended the school between 1958 and 2019, and went on to disseminate Lecoq’s knowledge in New Zealand. The first local to attend the school was Yvonne Cartier in 1958, and the spread of Lecoq’s approach to the theatre in New Zealand gained momentum with Francis Batten and Theatre Action’s arrival in 1971 and continued through for another four decades.
This presentation is part of my PhD research at the University of Auckland about the genealogy of Jacques Lecoq’s theatre methodology in New Zealand and Brazil. This study looks at the diaspora of Jacques Lecoq’s theatre methodology and the history of the importation of his mimo-dynamic approach to theatre creation in both countries.
The presentation is a voyage through images of the descendants of Jacques Lecoq in New Zealand and a reflection on the welcome of Lecoq’s approach to theatre in New Zealand.
Pedro Ilgenfritz. BA Theatre – UDESC/Brazil, MTA Theatre Directing – Toi Whakaari & Victoria University of Wellington/New Zealand. Pedro Ilgenfritz a Brazilian born theatre practitioner and a senior lecturer at Unitec – Performing and Screen Arts Department in Auckland, New Zealand. His work is centred on the investigation of acting training methodologies and he researches popular forms of theatre such as clowning, mime and mask training. He is currently a PhD candidate at University of Auckland where he is investigating the genealogy of Jacques Lecoq theatre methodology in New Zealand and Brazil.
Abstract. Alice Nash, the long-standing Executive Producer and Co-CEO of Back to Back Theatre from 2003 to 2020 and now the Executive Director, Arts Investment at the Australia Council for the Arts, stewarding all direct investments made by Council, speaks about how value was created in her time and in collaboration with others at Back to Back Theatre and how this links inextricably to her work supporting and promoting artistic practice and the value of public arts investment at Council.
Alice provides concrete examples of the ways of thinking and working that she and her long-standing colleagues developed at Back to Back Theatre, including in collaboration with theatre academics, to support and in service to the exemplary artistic practice of artists with intellectual disabilities. This includes investing in time, space, creative investigation, and pursuing every possible avenue to increase reach and impact for audiences and community members and potential public and private investors.
Alice posits and believes that public investment in the arts is crucial in supporting the development of civil society.
Alice Nash is Executive Director of Arts Investment at the Australia Council for the Arts, stewarding all direct investments by Council, including strategic multi-year and project investments.
Prior to joining Council, across 18 years Alice was the Executive Producer & Co-CEO of Back to Back Theatre in the regional centre of Geelong. One of Australia’s most loved and critically acclaimed companies, and one of the most important cultural exporters, Back to Back Theatre company has at its heart an ensemble of six actors with intellectual disabilities who, in collaboration with others, create and perform all their works. The company also works extensively in community, education and screen and is a leading advocate nationally and internationally for exemplary disability arts practice.
Alice was a founding member and, from its inception through the next nine years, Deputy Chair of Theatre Network Australia, the Australian peak body for the small-to-medium theatre sector and independent performance artists. She has served on the Trust of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre and on the Victorian Government’s inaugural Creative State Advisory Board. She has contributed to numerous policy processes to support the development of robust practices for arts and disability across Australia.
This Dance Plenary will take the form of an introduction by Latai Taumoepeau with her work In Continuum (2020, commissioned by Kaldor Projects), a choreographic participatory paper by Lizzie Thomson, followed by a group discussion led by UNSW dance researchers Rhiannon Newton, Lizzie Thomson, and Erin Brannigan, with guests Amaara Raheem and Latai Taumoepeau. The framework is the relationship between language and embodiment, written score and enactment, with a reference point being DANCE. Dance in this context is understood as a collective practice (in counterpoint to solo practice). In recent definitions of dance and choreography, a traditional understanding of dance and singularity has been set against a new emphasis on collectivity. A network of specificities, possibilities, and limitations produces the autonomy and singularity of the dance. In counterpoint, the special condition of dance as social, relational, and medial is articulated by American choreographer Jennifer Lacey; “dance is about people spending time together, thinking by behaving, and modify [sic] their thoughts by modifying their behavior: it is potentially a very powerful work.” This collective impulse in dance can then be extended to include not only the choreographers and dancers, but the audience and context. Frédéric Pouillaude links to this condition of dance in performance to the term contemporary. He describes contemporaneity as “a neutral simultaneity, a contingent coexistence … all that belongs to a particular time.” Contemporary dance as collective gathering. These performed scores, instructions, panel and open discussion consider this aspect of dance and choreography through text, action and dialogue.
Please note: This session involves audience participation. We will invite you to turn on your cameras and microphones together for a section of this collective online gathering. We will not be recording this session and would like to extend a request to all participants to refrain from recording.
In Continuum – 2020, commissioned by Kaldor Projects (10 mins)
open a clear space to be upright and soft in your body. notice your breath and let your thoughts fall away freely. take your focus to your navel. imagine your umbilical cord inverted, gently pulling you backwards, making you walk or traverse a slow circle around yourself. you are moving at 1mm per second. recite aloud your genealogy. say your name. name your siblings. name your parents and their siblings. name your grandparents and so on. let them pass you. complete a full circle to close. FACE THE PAST AND BACK INTO THE FUTURE
do it (australia) | Kaldor Public Art Project 36. This project is the latest incarnation of do it, the longest-running and most far-reaching artist-led project in the world.Initiated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in 1993, the project asks artists to create simple instructions that generate an artwork, whether an object, a performance, an intervention, or something else entirely. doit.kaldorartprojects.org.au
The Choreographic Paper led by Lizzie Thomson: ‘Breathing into Corners’ (35 minutes)
Based loosely around an investigation into relations between language and embodiment, this workshop exists in written form and is delivered through spoken word to participants. It is structured in five parts, with each part offering a different entry into dance. The underlying frame of attention throughout the workshop is the question, ‘how do we attend to this dance?’. Underneath this frame, is the unspoken question, ‘what is this dance?’. We explore exercises that approach dance from a number of contemporary and ancient Western perspectives including ancient Greek beliefs about organs, the etymology of various words we use for body parts, Western binaries pertaining to space and bodies, and exploratory practices of listening through touch and memory.
Group discussion 20mins lead by UNSW Dance researchers; Rhiannon Newton, Lizzie Thomson and Erin Brannigan with guests Latai Taumoepeau and Amaara Raheem. Followed by open dialogue with online participants 20mins.
Lizzie Thomson is a choreographer, performer and researcher living and working on Gadigal and Wangal lands of the Eora Nation. Her choreographic work is driven by interests in affinities between dance and language, as well as in the political potency of practices of attention. Lizzie is currently undertaking a PhD in dance theory at the University of NSW. Her writing on dance has been published in books, journals and exhibition catalogues. Over the past 20 years, Lizzie has performed throughout Australia and Europe with many artists including Rosalind Crisp, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Mette Edvardsen and Jane McKernan.
Erin Brannigan is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of New South Wales and works as a writer, academic and curator.
Rhiannon Newton is an Australian dancer and choreographer who grew up on Dunghutti land (Crescent Head) in regional NSW. Her creative work and research draws attention to ecofeminist ways of understanding interdependence between bodies and the world. Rhiannon currently works from Gadigal land (Sydney) where she contributes to community and culture through creation, performance, collaboration, teaching and curation, leading the artist-run venue, ReadyMade Works, and the lecture-performance series, Talking Bodies.
Latai Taumoepeau makes live art. Her faivā (performance practice) is from her homelands, the Island Kingdom of Tonga and her birthplace Sydney, land of the Gadigal people. She mimicked, trained and un-learned dance, in multiple institutions of learning, starting with her village, a suburban church hall, the club and a university. Her body-centred performance practice of faivā centres Tongan philosophies of relational space and time; cross-pollinating ancient and everyday temporal practice to make visible the impact of climate crisis in the Pacific. She conducts urgent environmental movements and actions to create transformation in Oceania. Engaging in the socio-political landscape of Australia with sensibilities in race, class and the female body politic, she is committed to making minority communities visible in the frangipanni-less foreground. In the near future she will return to her ancestral home and continue the ultimate faivā (performing art) of sea voyaging and celestial navigation before she becomes an ancestor.
Amaara Raheem is a Sri Lankan born Australian grown dance-artist who lived in London fifteen years and is now based in Black Range (regional Victoria). Amaara is completing a practice-based PhD at School of Architecture & Urban Design, RMIT University. Her practice-research is in movement and words, how they meet, intersect, collide, run in parallel and inhabit particularly in relation to the built environment. Amaara works as a solo and collaborative artist. She’s currently working with UK choreographer Janine Harrington (winner of Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award, 2020) on a new work ‘Satelliser’, a collaborative, durational dance and conversational choreography made for galleries.
Lily Shearer, Dr Liza-Mare Syron, Penny Couchie and Meg Paulin
Serpent and Water Stories: An International First Peoples Cultural Arts Exchange
Themes: Rituals of hospitality and accommodation’ Meetings – formats and procedures, Conversations – listening, speaking and turn-taking, Performing negotiation, seeking reconciliation, and Critical communitas – arts of assembling.
This Plenary is an open discussion on the transcultural processes and practices involved in creating a performance installation based on First Nation women’s serpent and water stories. The panel will be led by collaborating artists Lily Shearer and Dr Liza-Mare Syron (Moogahlin Performing Arts, Sydney, Australia) with First Nations artists Meg Paulin and Penny Couchie (Anmitaagzi, Nipissing First Nations, Ontario, Turtle Island – Canada).
The Plenary will outline the background to this collaboration and include women’s stories about water from the Ngemba/Murrawarri (Barwon/Culgoa Rivers NSW Australia), Biripi of the two Rivers (Manning and Hastings Rivers NSW Australia), and Anishinaabe (Lake Nipissing, Turtle Island). The discussion will also include a conversation on facilitating and activating safe and open inter-tribal dialogue and artistic exchange employing First Nations and First Peoples of Australia cultural protocols for engaging with artists through a workshop process of land based activities, and creating a public impact performance installation for presentation through models of story weaving with communities.
Lily Shearer (Moogahlin)
Lily is a proud citizen of the Murrawarri Republic (north-west NSW/south-east QLD) and Ngemba Nation, with over 30 years’ experience in First Peoples Cultural Arts & Community Development, Arts Management and in Theatre and Performance making. Lily is a Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts based at Carriageworks in Redfern NSW. A 2016 Ross Bower Australia Council Award recipient and 2019 Create NSW Arts Fellow, Shearer has been instrumental in the development of and creative support for First Peoples cultural arts and community development for over thirty five years. At Moogahlin Lily has worked as the producer on the Baiame’s Ngunnhu Festival, Yellamundie National First Peoples Playwriting Festival and The Weekend by Henrieta Baird. Co-Director/Curator of Fire Bucket, and Manuwi Jam Ya Murong (Footprints in the Sand) for the Blacktown Native Institute. Lily has also worked as a creative on Broken Glass, a site-based work presented at St Bartholomew’s Church & Cemetery that examines NSW women’s mourning practices.
Dr Liza-Mare Syron (Moogahlin)
Liza-Mare’s family is Biripi (Mid North Coast of NSW). She is a theatre maker and an award winning academic. Liza-Mare is the Co-Founder and a former Co-Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts. For Moogahlin Liza-Mare has produced many works including Koori Gras with Sydney Mardi Gras, The Visitors for Sydney Festival, and as a creative collaborator on Manuwi Jam Ya Murong (Footprints in the Sand) for the Blacktown Native Institute, and on Broken Glass, a site-based work presented at St Bartholomew’s Church & Cemetery that examines NSW women’s mourning practices. Liza-Mare has also directed The Weekend by Henrietta Baird for Sydney Festival, The Fox and The Freedom Fighters by Rhonda Dixon-Grosvenor and Nadeena Dixon for Performance Space, and Rainbows End by Jane Harrison for Darlinghurst Theatre. Liza-Mare was a workshop director for the Yellamundie Festival 2015-2017. Liza-Mare often lectures at NIDA and has worked as a dramaturge on NIDA student productions. She is widely published in the area of First Peoples cultural arts practice and has received the following Australasian Theatre and Performance Studies association awards, the 2005 Phillip Parsons Prize for Performance as Research, the 2010 Marlis Thiersch Prize for research excellence in an English-language article, and a 2015 Rob Jordon award citation for a book chapter.
Penny Couchie (Aanmitaagzi)
Penny is a dancer, actor, teacher, choreographer and community arts practitioner of Ojibway and Mohawk ancestry from Nipissing First Nation, Ontario. She holds an Honors BA in Aboriginal Studies and Drama from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Penny has performed as a dancer and theatre artist in principal roles both nationally and internationally. Her most recent choreography includes a workshop production of her newest work, When Will You Rage? performed at the Dancemakers Centre for Creation in Toronto, Manaabekwe, a co-choreography with Christine Friday O’Leary developed with Aanmitaagzi and youth from Temagami First Nation performed for the Temagami Gathering in Bear Island, Ontario, the Centre For Indigenous Theatre’s 2010, 2011 student showcase, Outta the Woods and Red Romance, directed by Muriel Miguel, performed at Factory Theatre, Toronto Ontario and A Bridge of One Hair for Jumblies Theatre performed at the Harbourfront Centre. She has guest taught at universities and colleges throughout Canada and the US. Penny is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Anmitaagzi, and co-owner of Big Medicine Studio.
Megan Lozicki Paulin
Megan Lozicki Paulin is a multi-disciplinary installation and performance artist. She was born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, and is from Mi’kmaq and Polish descent. She incorporates elements of visual art, archival materials, scientific research, sound, and projection while experimenting with site-specific art and community-based performance art. Megan is a core ensemble member for the company Aanmitaagzi Story Makers, has apprenticed under Master Tsimshian Carver Victor Reece and Sharon Jinkerson-Brass’ Big Sky Storytelling Society, and has been mentored for the past five years by choreographer Penny Couchie and multi-artist/actor Sid Bobb. Megan studied Fine Arts and Indigenous Studies both formally and non-formally and has enjoyed travelling and working with Indigenous youth. She is currently completing her Master’s of Environmental Studies at Nipissing University focusing on themes surrounding harvesting, art making, and storytelling techniques and their impacts on cultural identity, continuity and resurgence; resource protection and monitoring; and the transmission of traditional knowledge.