Creative Convergence

Extending Connections with Audiences Post-Show


Following on from research into audience responses to Melbourne Talam (2017) and hungry ghosts (2018), Paul Rae has been working with the MTC team on online Q+As. Using Finegan Kruckemeyer’s The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to You as a case study, they have been exploring how to extend the connection with audiences post-show. Paul took this picture of Karin Farrell, Harry Tseng and Josh Price during the Q+A at Launceston College in Tasmania. Afterwards, he conducted a workshop with the students to find out more about their responses to the work, and what they would be interested in from an online Q+A. Nick Tranter back at MTC HQ trialled a Q+A using Instagram Stories, and a week later, MTC’s Jeremy Rice hosted one on Facebook (see photos below). The next step will be to evaluate the responses, and work out the best way to implement such initiatives in future.

Creative Convergence 2019

Entering year three of this ARC project, we are moving into the outreach phase of the research, by developing opportunities to share the findings of the Creative Convergence research thus far, and to experiment more fully with how we embed understandings of young people in regional Victoria in the work of theatre and theatre companies.

We will be continuing some of our fieldwork, particularly in reaching out to new areas of the state such as central Gippsland, as well as thinking more carefully about what we have learnt about the growing regionalisation, or decentralisation, of Australian culture. We are also planning a VR experiment in partnership with Arena, MTC and one of our other regional hubs, and will be hosting a one-day conference in October 2019 curated in association with Theatre Network Australia and the Abbotsford Convent.

Sadly, Nat Cutter, our very able research assistant who made such a difference to the content management of Circuit, our mapping tool, will be moving on to finalise work on his PhD. So thank you Nat! We are in the process of recruiting a replacement Researcher, and will update the blog when this can be announced.

Paul, Jen, Christian, and Jeremy (CIs for the CC project)

iNARPA Symposium Melbourne

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.

Welcome to 2018!

2018 will be a big year for the Creative Convergence Project, as we look to visit a number of schools around regional Victoria, and present our preliminary findings at major conferences in Australia, New Zealand and Serbia. We also welcome Nat Cutter to the team as our new research assistant/project manager while Meg Upton takes some well-deserved leave until late 2018. He is a PhD Candidate with experience in research administration and the digital humanities, and will be your major point of contact for the project. Stay tuned for more news!

Creative Convergence: Enhancing Impact in Regional Theatre for Young People