I am ecstatic to have joined Kill Your Darlings as a columnist for theatre and the performing arts through 2015. You can read my column every second Monday here, and the work of the rest of the columnists here.
Unlike Europe, Australia does not have well-subsidised opera houses continually showing work in repertory. Our small population has neither the audience numbers, nor the financial investors, to support a commercial industry like Broadway. This could be seen as to the detriment of new Australian operas and musicals, but only if we hinge our expectations of what an opera is on the European standard, and of musicals on the American standard.
Seeing theatre is a wonderful activity to do unaccompanied, because as soon as the performance starts, everyone is alone in some way. I am, of course, talking about theatre in its most traditional form: the sense of a dark, full room, where you join hundreds – maybe even thousands – of other people, all sitting and looking in the same direction, silently watching a group of people at the front talk to each other while pretending the audience aren’t there. Under darkened house lights, in front of proscenium arches creating invisible fourth walls, we sit alone.
And one other, pre-columnist piece with KYD from last year:
I ask #howmanywomencomposers for one simple reason: because it is 2014 and I am tired of old structures feeling like they can get away with ignoring women. Every time I find myself tweeting there are no women in yet another program, I feel like these organisations are completely removed from contemporary conversations. If so little critical thought goes into programming that the lack of women is overlooked, what other factors aren’t being engaged with? And why would I want to engage with this art?