Workshop participants creating an image Melbourne Talam two months after seeing the performance. Image from Melbourne Talam by Jeff Busby of Rohan Mirchandaney, Sahil Saluja and Sonia Soares.
In March, Paul Rae, Jeremy Rice and Abbie Trott presented at the iNARPA (International Network of Audience Research in Performing Arts) Melbourne Symposium. iNARPA is a new international network led by Ben Walmsly from University of Leeds in the UK and Katya Johanson at Deakin University in Melbourne. Their second event was a day long symposium in Melbourne. The keynote speakers were Dr Caroline Heim from Queensland University of Technology and Lisa Walsh Research Manager at Australia Council) on the performing and participating audience respectively. The day’s presentations traversed forms including participatory theatre, visual arts and dance, with perspectives from policy makers, scholars, practitioners, consultants and artists, and speakers from Australia, the UK and Europe. We were the last panel of the day, and after an introduction about how the education program, Melbourne Talam, and regional touring fits within MTC’s program from Jeremy, Paul spoke about the observational and interview process in the early stages of research as a way of introducing our research. Abbie then talked about some of the methodological considerations we faced speaking with young audiences, including some preliminary findings, and Paul drew this together with the experiences of the actors while on a regional Victorian tour. Jeremy finished up by introducing this year’s education show, Hungry Ghosts.