In the week following an exhausting Darwin Festival (shows by night, working by day) which included hosting the successful Front Row program, Brown’s Mart Artistic Director, Sean Pardy, was due for a meeting of The Regional Presenters Consortium on Friday 30th August on the Sunshine Coast. He caught the Red Eye special to Brisbane Thursday night, managing to fall asleep before the plane took off and waking again when the pilot said, “cabin crew be seated for landing” and then a bus to the Sunshine Coast ready for the meeting. Numerous caffeinated drinks were had.
The consortium are a group of regional theatre makers and presenters who are looking at ways of getting regionally made theatre to regional Australia. Gone are the days where the regions are simply a place for selling shows from the city. The recent surge of regional theatre producing, including work coming out of Brown’s Mart, is changing the theatre culture in Australia and this theatre is vital, dynamic and speaks directly to an audience not living in a big city.
The forum discussed the development of regional artists, including an exploration of the residency model that occurred at Mary River, the development of regional audiences and finally a catch up the things that each region is doing to try and survive what are difficult times in the arts.