Performing Arts Exchange – Twice the Angels!
Written by Philippa Maughan
Last week Paul MacPhail, CEO, and I attended the Performing Arts Exchange or PAX in Melbourne. Hosted by the Australian performing arts Centres Association (APACA) PAX showcases ready-to-tour and in-development performing arts productions and aims to bring together programmers, producers and presenters of beautiful theatre and dance.
The two days kicked off with a retrospective of Ilbijerri Theatre Company’s 25 Years of Bringing Black Stories to the Stage which included current and past Artistic Directors and producers and the inimitable Uncle Jack Charles talking about the history of the company and plans for the future.
The PAX showcased some exciting work from across the country including some wonderful shows from Western Australian companies. Ever artistic, James Berlyn created an impromptu twitter art project posting photos of #RestingPitchFace.
I gave a speed arts update about what’s happening in the Western Australian touring landscape and mentioned the Vote Arts campaign is about to launch. There were presentations from Perth’s indie theatre company The Last Great Hunt, award winning Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Marrugeku Theatre and honorary West Australian Tom Hogan – all showing innovative and inspiring work. It was great to see presenters from the far flung reaches of Western Australia including Port Hedland and Beverley, amongst others, hearing about potential touring work in the funky Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne’s Southbank. It’s a long trip but worth it!
And we were visited by angels. The Climate Guardians came to highlight the vital role of guardianship of the precious natural world and the protection of the future generations against climate change. With huge feathered wings, they moved amongst attendees and quietly discussed the urgent need to think about how we can contribute to change.
And a different group of angels came to send messages between the divine and the mortal. For Heaven’s Sake angels glided wordlessly across the stage (and fell over the seating banks) as they brought a sense of calm and delight to the audience.