The Creative Convergence project examines the work of six Australian theatre companies and performing arts venues – Arena Theatre Company, Arthur, Bell Shakespeare, Geelong Performing Arts Centre, HotHouse and Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) – and their interaction and engagement with young people in regional Victoria.
Our other partners include Creative Victoria, Theatre Network Australia, and Regional Arts Victoria, peak arts bodies that have a deep interest in young people’s engagement in and with the arts in regional Victoria.
Theatre events happen, we propose, at diverse sites of “creative convergence,” between people, organisations and media. Such events can have transformative impact in the lives of young people.The term “convergence” establishes a practical and a theoretical research context for our project.
“Creative convergence” is also a phrase used by Arena Theatre Company to describe how young people interact informally with diverse media to express themselves in performance and participatory contexts. As a creative approach, it is indicative of how theatre companies and performing arts venues are adapting their work to reflect the life experiences of young audiences and the circumstances of touring and presenting in the regions.
Researching both the creative processes of theatre-making and audience participation, this Australian Research Council Linkage project asks how theatrical impact can be enriched through relationships and activities that extend beyond the immediacy of the event.
Better appreciation of how young people themselves seek out, interact with and engage with theatre and other (social) media, might also change our understanding of what a theatre event is in contemporary times for you young people. We are working with our project partners to see how these insights might be applied nationally and internationally.
This research was partially supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage funding scheme (project LP160100047). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Government or Australian Research Council.
This research has been approved by the University of Melbourne Human Research Ethics Committee, with the Ethics ID 1544415.2.