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THURS 11th AUGUST – Investing in Cultural Leadership Showcase


113 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Networking afterwards at the Malthouse bar (Cash Bar).

The three recipients of Currency House’s Cultural Leadership Mentorship: DIDEM CAIA, DUNCAN GRAHAM, and JEREMY NEIDECK will each read from their writing, supported by their mentors, Ann Tonks, Julian Meyrick and Judith McLean respectively (Leigh Tabrett will stand in for Judith at this event).

Event is free but bookings are essential:


Why do we hide behind buzzwords and verbal advocacy and then fail to act? The lack of this nature of interrogation and the – sometimes – failure of new writing to interpret the now through the elements of drama is what leads to a stagnant theatre culture. It fuels writing which copies trends, recycles aesthetics, or worse, speaks only to its inner circle. Every time I sit at my desk, I ask myself how I might use playwrIting as an act of revolution. It’s one thing to believe that art is as important to understanding the world as science (or economics) are. It’s another altogether to make the work with that revolutionary energy.

The status quo operates by ‘telescoping’ our times into the ruling ‘canon’ of our theatre and by doing so preserves the established hegemony of our practice.
I will argue this is no time to ‘act well your part’, as Mulvany implores; but to open up lines of conflict to destabilise and ‘call out’ how these parts are actually being performed. Perhaps it’s time for the earthbound, the ugly, the barbaric, the mad men and women to raise their voices, and lose for a moment our so called sublime humanity.

There are no shortcuts to meaningful and sustained engagement in the arts. This holds true whether we are talking about connections between artists, or connections between artists and their audiences. Sure, you may believe in love at first sight, but what comes after that is the unavoidable hard work of maintaining the relationship. That is, if you are searching for something more than the fireworks that cap off an awkward night of fumbling in the dark.
What do we as artists need to strive for in order to ensure Australia is truly a culturally ambitious nation? Money on its own can not and will not generate positive change. Change requires time, and hard work, and groups of people willing to share a lifetime full of experiences. Naive and fanciful as it may seem spoken aloud or written down, but I truly believe that what we need is a renewed focus on personal connections and human relationships.

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