Australia is in a very lucky and almost unique position in the world – aiming to eradicate the virus at home and thus be able to continue work and performance. Whilst we are able to interact with actual audiences and able to travel between our capitals and to New Zealand, with quarantine, we are very aware of the different situation almost everywhere else the world. We understand that our joy and celebration in being able to open back up and create anew with audiences is at the same time as so much of the world continues to suffer and struggle with myriad challenges.
We have realised again the value of our international friends and presenting partners, needing to re-invent with remote collaborations, ways of engaging children at a distance, performance that can happen in lounge rooms and neighbourhood streets, audio works, interactive drawings and other inspiring offerings. Connection and support across distance can be one of the gifts of the virus that we take on into the future.
Actions and Collaborations
Our ASSITEJ Advisory group has begun for 2021 and we’re talking about the contexts of work in different regions of the country, the challenges they and their peers are facing and ongoing discussions about touring within Australia and beyond. We look forward to what we hope will be a national gathering in Adelaide in May.
A new video presentation of ASSITEJ Australia members and the work we create across many forms is being created to share at the World Congress in March 2021. It is a collaboration between artist Amelia Ducker and many companies and independent artists across Australia. We can’t wait to share this with everyone in March.
The hyper-local focus across Australia is resulting in more awareness of home-grown talent and the role that festivals can play in supporting proper development and the creation of new work. Perth Festival is a shining light with three Theatre for Young Audiences and Youth Arts companies performing and advisory and inclusive mechanisms in place. https://www.perthfestival.com.au/connect/for-young-people/youth-advisory-council/
Our practitioners in Australia continue to be involved in coffee sessions, on IPAY Kindling panels and showcases, showcasing innovative online forms and performing remotely across the world.
Connection, empathy and support are still the most important factors in our ASSITEJ community and with strength and courage we send hope across the seas to you all.