PROFILE | Julian Hobba, The Blue Room’s new ED

Posted by Cecile Lucas, May 29th, 2017

The Blue Room Theatre has a new Executive Director – please welcome Julian Hobba.

Julian is a Director, Programmer and Producer. Not only has he collaborated with many emerging and independent theatremakers during his four years as Artistic Director of the Aspen Island Theatre Company in Canberra, he was Program Manager – Arts and Culture for the Centenary of Canberra, and before that was Company Manager at Malthouse Theatre. He has written, directed or produced a number of his own pieces, including The Slip Lane (2016), Bartleby (2014) and Father.Son.Rule which was shortlisted for the 2008 Griffin Award.

Our Marketing Coordinator Cecile Lucas recently caught up with Julian to find out what brought him over our way, and what he has planned at The Blue Room.

CL: How familiar were you with Perth’s artistic scene before applying for this job?
JH: I’ve met a lot of artists from Perth over my time working in theatre, whether they had migrated to Melbourne, were touring shows or we were meeting at industry gatherings like the Australian Theatre Forum. Between those exchanges and my own interest in Australian theatre, I had a good sense of the macro-level changes in the WA industry and the work that was touring from here. I think in the past decade Western Australian work and artists have enjoyed much greater prominence in the national ecology – companies like The Last Great Hunt and Side Pony Productions for example – and Fringe World has become a greater focal point on the theatre calendar as well.

CL: What excited you about working at The Blue Room Theatre?
JH: There is so much energy and impetus around The Blue Room Theatre and I was aware of the critical role it’s played as an incubator for the work and the companies that have made the national impact I was referring to.

For me there’s a voice that Australian theatre has within Australian culture more broadly that I really gravitate towards it because it kind of makes life worth living. The voice is playful and irreverent and approachable. It’s inclusive and curious and unashamed. The Blue Room Theatre is one of the companies in Australia that embodies that voice, celebrates it, and creates a community around it.

CL: What do you see as your mission as Executive Director? Where do you want to take the organisation?
JH: The Blue Room Theatre has a great story to tell about the importance of the new, and new works of theatre. What we do equips the whole community to better understand, and communicate about, the contemporary world, the way it’s changing, and our relationship to one another.

I really see our mission, as a staff and a board and a membership about 500 people strong, is to do everything we can to support the artists who demonstrate that through their work 40 weeks a year in our two theatre spaces. What we exist to do is support the creation of great new work and great artists and make our venue accessible to the broadest possible audience.

As an organisation, we know that over the next period of the company’s life we need nurture work onto our stages that reflects the diversity and reality of our community. We need to enable the next generation of theatre artists and develop the most urgent voices. We also need to be a good collaborator within the sector and encourage established artists to be ambitious to make works of scale and tour.

Personally, I would really love to see lots of established artists apply to experiment at The Blue Room Theatre – to try that work they would love to do but sits just outside their comfort zone. It’s really exciting to see an artist who has great technique but is clearly discovering something new on stage in front of you.

CL: Are there any productions you’ve seen recently that you think will appeal to Perth’s audiences?
JH: My favourite show for 2017 so far was called Still Life and was at the Sydney Festival. I’m sure it would appeal to audiences anywhere.

It was directed by a Greek director named Dimitris Papaioannou, who is one of those senior artists I was talking about, maybe, who has done a lot of different things, like film and even directing events like the Athens Olympics opening ceremony, but always comes back to theatre to push himself and reconnect with the brilliance of live performance.

The show was about 80 minutes of vignettes inspired by the Myth of Sisyphus. It was largely physical theatre, including an opening sequence of at least 20 minutes which was just play with a large block of ‘marble’ that crumbled onto the stage as different performers were pushed and contorted through a hole in its middle; limbs in and out, from performers in twos or threes. And a thin plastic film, that was a roof to the stage, sagging over the performance and filling with mist. It was funny and also quite stark.

CL: What do you look for in a script? And what turns you off?
JH:Personally, I tend towards lyrical scripts I think – Greek classics, Tennessee Williams, Lorca and Tony Kushner were probably the first plays I really fell in love with; and Patrick White, Dorothy Hewett and Jack Hibberd from the Australian canon. I started out loving poetry and I think the stage can do lyricism in a way that other mediums can’t and it’s what makes play scripts special and unique.

What’s great about The Blue Room Theatre’s programming model, though, is that the decisions aren’t reliant on the tastes of just one person. We have a peer review system that brings expertise and familiarity with a wide variety of theatrical forms and work is programmed based on the strength of its ideas, its team and the thoroughness of its production concept and planning. I think that allows us to take the work that’s most ripe for a presentation within our seasons.

OPPORTUNITIES | Not your usual options…

Posted by Thom Smyth, April 20th, 2017

While there’s been a lot of focus on diminishing government funding for the arts, there are still heaps of other opportunities out there if you know where to look. This month, we’ve unearthed a few of them to get you thinking beyond the government funding box. Many of them will also get you out of Perth to see work and expand your networks around the country and the world! This is far from an exhaustive list – check out the online resources available at Res Artis or Transartists. Make sure to check if it’s a supported residency or if you have to raise the funds.

Need advice on applications? We found this great resource from Arts Queensland. Still stumped? Contact your preferred auspice body (who do them all the time), or get in touch with us and we can point you in the right direction – shoot an email through to

That image up there? Thom caught that as part of Pony Express’ The Raft of the Medusa development at Adhocracy. See below.

ANTARCTIC ARTS FELLOWSHIP | Expressions of Interest open
For those who are fascinated by the stark icy landscape of Antarctica, and love the confrontation with the vastness of mother nature, we couldn’t find a more immersive experience than this one.

The Fellowship is a rare opportunity for artists and writers to experience Antarctica first-hand, and share this with the broader Australian community through their chosen art form. The Arts Fellows travel south by ship or plane, and spend time at Australia’s Antarctic research stations. Applications close Fri 5 MayMore info>>

ADHOCRACY RESIDENCY | 2017 Artists call-out
We love Adhocracy! Thom went last year – read his blog about it here. In 2016, WA artists Pony Express (Loren Kronemyer and Ian Sinclair) were among the 12 artists and groups programmed, and our Sydney colleagues were producing artists-in-residence Lz Dunn & collaborators. Adhocracy is Vitalstatistix’s national hothouse, supporting the creative development of new experimental and interdisciplinary arts projects. Artists receive funding to support their travel to Port Adelaide, accommodation and a fee, allowing them to spend four days and nights in an open studio environment developing new work. Each day, audiences and peers are invited through a public program of artist talks and work-in-progress showings presented across three evenings. It’s fun, friendly, informal, and has resulted in some awesome shows! Applications close on Monday 29 May. More info>>

PROFESSIONAL ARTS PLACEMENT | Shanghai International Dance Centre
The Australia Council is offering professional arts placement opportunities for arts workers to visit China. These placements will build international expertise, inter-cultural capability, foster industry relationships, and develop an understanding of the Chinese arts market. EOIs are now open for arts managers, producers, and production managers to apply for a Professional Arts Placement at the Shanghai International Dance Centre. Applications close 16 May. More info>>

The Georges Mora Fellowship gives one contemporary artist $10,000 for up to 12 months’ research and given the means and uninterrupted time to work closely with the rich resources of the Victorian State Library, including access to a private study within the Library, which can be used outside normal opening hours! Applications close 23 April. More info>>

Get out of town with the Cultural Trust – grants up to $7,000 to assist emerging and early career artists of exceptional talent to take up professional development opportunities, usually overseas. They support applicants who can demonstrate both initiative and exceptional talent, together with an ability to convert their ambitions to reality. Applications close 23 May. More info>>

Sissy Reyes – ‘The Window’. Captured at Arteles Residency using an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant.

ARTELES | Enter Text Residency (Finland)
Enter Text is an international residency program for poets, writers and text-based artists, taking place at Arteles Creative Center in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. The program brings together emerging and established writers & artists with various backgrounds, from all fields of literature and text-based art. Applications close 30 April. More info>>

WOMEN’S CIRCUS | Artist Residency Program
This offers female artists working in performance their very own room – for free!  The program provides up to 2 weeks of access to the Drill Hall, our training and rehearsal space in West Footscray. The Artist Residency is an opportunity for artists to explore, refine, re-develop, rehearse their work in a supportive space. Applications close Mon 1 May. More info>>

BUNDANON TRUST | 2018 Residency Program
Located in calm and luxuriant New South Wales South Coast, Bundanon Trust’s Artist-in-Residence program is open to professional artists and thinkers from all disciplines, individually or in groups, and is here to support new work, research and collaborations. This is your opportunity to apply for residency space in their beautiful surrounds. You may even spot a wisdom of wombats (actual collective noun!). Applications close Mon 19 JuneMore info>>

OPPORTUNITY | Navigating the touring jungle

Posted by Thom Smyth, February 14th, 2017

So you were one of the 750 shows that featured as part of this year’s Fringe World Festival. You think your show has legs, and you want another opportunity to revisit it and give it a further life. What do you do next?

There are many avenues for touring your show, but finding your way through the jungle can be a little daunting. Fear not – we’ve got a handy round up to help point you in the right direction for your work.

Our biggest tip – do your research! Jump onto some venue websites to see what they are programming – it’s the venues that make the ultimate decision what goes on their stages. Check out the showcase events and what sort of shows they are featuring. Have a chat to other artists who have toured.

Performing Lines & Performing Lines WA
At Performing Lines WA, we work with independent Western Australian contemporary artists to get their projects off the ground, including regional and national tours. Recent tours we have completed include Sensorium Theatre’s immersive production for children with disabilities, Oddysea, and The Skeletal System’s Great White by Will O’Mahony.

We also have offices in Sydney and Hobart. Our Sydney office works with artists and companies in any state, while Hobart focusses on Tasmanian artists.

Our focus is on producing contemporary performance – check out our artistic policy here. There are a number of other options that may be a better fit for more traditional theatre, comedy, circus and dance shows.


National Touring Selector
The first step to getting on the road is to head over to the National Touring Selector to register your production. The NTS is a virtual market for performing arts, bringing together producers and presenters, and offering a comprehensive list of resources and contacts. It is also used by many of the showcase events to take registrations of shows.


Country Arts WA
Western Australia has a number of options available to support and tour your production. Country Arts WA may be a good first stop for you. They offer an annual Shows on the Go program touring self-contained productions to a mix of managed and volunteer run venues. Want to know more?

Shows on the Go program
Shows on the Go promotes professional, self-contained productions, and is a community-driven touring model where regional venues vote for the productions they would most like to see performed in their town. An annual Shows on the Go Touring Menu is produced via shows registered on the National Touring Selector website. For information for touring in 2018, please contact the touring team at

Maybe (   ) Together’s Small Voices Louder successfully pitched at WA Showcase 2016.

This is a state-based showcase bringing together West Australian artists and companies with presenters and venues. The Circuitwest WA Showcase will be held on 10 til 12 May 2017 at the Subiaco Arts Centre. Circuitwest is the peak body representing Presenters and Producers in Western Australia.

At last year’s showcase, Alex Desebrock of Maybe (   ) Together pitched the aMoment Caravan and Small Voices Louder. Performing Lines WA picked up Small Voices Louder, and we’ve just opened the premiere at Perth International Arts Festival, while aMoment Caravan just completed a successful season as part of The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights program.

Submissions are open until 1 March 2017 and feature a variety of different categories to represent your work in the showcase. To submit your show for consideration, click here.

Not sure about pitching? We’d recommend attending a day to see how it all works and seeing if it’s an appropriate forum for your show.

Also – check out the Circuitwest website for a list of venues, news and more.


APACA PAX (Performing Arts Exchange)
The Performing Arts Exchange (PAX) is the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association’s (APACA) networking and tour development event. The accompanying APACA Conference also offers professional development opportunities with international guest speakers. This year’s event will take place in Sydney from 21 to 24 August 2017. Applications to present at the event will open in April.

Showbroker, a new performing arts market opportunity, will be launched in Adelaide from 27 February to 1 March 2017, during the Adelaide and Adelaide Fringe festivals. Producers of tour-ready work will be pitching – check out the full program here>>

arTour is Queensland’s state-based touring coordinator. It supports performing artists and producers from all around the country to tour work through regional Queensland. arTour runs an annual touring showcase event and will be hosted at the Redland Performing Arts Centre on 21 and 22 March 2017. Applications to pitch have now closed – keep an eye out for next year.

Regional Arts Victoria
Regional Arts Victoria are Victoria’s touring body. Partnering with the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC),  Regional Arts Victoria runs an annual performing arts marketplace Showcase Victoria – this year’s event will be held at Malthouse Theatre from 31 May – 1 June 2017. Applications to pitch have now closed – keep an eye out for next year.

Nicola Gunn’s Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster. Performing Lines secured a recent New York season at APAM 2016.


Australian Performing Arts Market
If you think your show has international appeal, the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) is Australia’s internationally focused event for contemporary performing arts. Held bi-annually in Brisbane, applications to be part of the 2018 program will open later this year.


A range of funding is available to individuals and performing arts organisations for touring.

The Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA)
The Regional and Remote Touring Fund (RRTF) supports performing arts shows touring to regional and remote towns and communities in Western Australia, and is available for performing arts organisation or artists with a ‘tour ready’ show who can demonstrate support from a minimum of two regional presenters, venues, or communities in regional WA.

Smaller tours may be possible through the Creative and Commercial Development grants system – click here for more info>>

Travel-only support is also available to assist with the costs of pitching at interstate showcase events. Check out the Commercial Development Grants Program for more info.

Australia Council for the Arts
The Playing Australia: Regional Performing Arts Touring program supports performing arts to reach regional and remote communities  across Australia. These grants are available for individuals and organisations to support the net touring costs associated with national (multi-state) touring.

Smaller tours may be possible through their other grants programs. Click here for more info>>


Both arTour and Circuitwest websites offer a collection of helpful resources, including tips, templates and videos, when planning a tour.

Still confused? Give us a shout! Shoot an email through to Thom Smyth, Marketing Manager –

NEWS | Rachael Whitworth reports on ISPA & IPAY

Posted by Cecile Lucas, February 9th, 2017

Our Producer Rachael Whitworth has just returned from a trip to the US, concluding her engagement with the ISPA Australia Council Legacy Program. She attended the ISPA Congress in New York, and the International Performing Arts for Youth Showcase in Wisconsin. Too excited to hear all about it, Cecile did not leave her time to catch her breath, and quizzed her on the international experience.

Cecile: You’ve recently attended the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Showcase in Wisconsin, as well as the International Society for Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress in New York. Can you tell us a bit about each?

Rachael: I have been an ISPA Australia Council fellow for the past four years. This has been an amazing opportunity to be a part of the global fellows program which fosters emerging and mid-career arts workers from around the world. The fellows come together for a day before the official congress and it is always my favourite part of the program. It provides insight and understanding of arts practice from around the globe and makes me feel very lucky to be living and working in Australia. Some of the fellows literally risk their lives in their quest to create and distribute art in their home countries.

There is a strong focus on leadership at ISPA: how can we make arts relevant to our communities and continue a legacy of the arts as a mechanism for inclusion and change? This year, the theme was ‘Currents of Change: Arts, Power + Politics’. This focal point was intensified by the state of politics around the world and sharpened the lens on the need for the Arts to provide a voice for those who are being silenced whilst offering insight and a different way of thinking for others.

IPAY is a market and showcase for theatre created for young people. This is a smaller gathering of about 200 people and everyone is extremely friendly and open! The program literally runs from 9am to 11pm every day, with full shows presented, break-out discussions around particular topics, 15 minute pitch sessions and an exhibition hall for meetings. It was pretty exhausting as the four-day showcase was packed but I met a lot of presenters and saw plenty of international work, both good and bad.

What have you found the benefit of these sorts of event to be for the artists you’re working with and for you as a producer?
ISPA is a professional development opportunity for me as a Producer. I have dramatically expanded my international network and have a better picture of how the arts industry operates in different countries around the world. Many of the people I have formed relationships with I may never work directly but certainly some of this network may lead to opportunities for artists. Indeed, we’ve a couple of exciting presentation opportunities in the pipeline….

Travelling to both ISPA and IPAY also provides exposure to a lot of performances that helps to benchmark arts practice in Australia. And so, this benefits artists that we work with at Performing Lines WA as I have a context for what is happening in performance practice around the world and how the work made in Western Australia may or may not fit in different markets.

Did you see any shows that were amazing?
There are lots of festivals happening in NY in January and I try to see as many shows as I can. You might expect everything you see internationally to be amazing when in fact, there is an equal amount of good and bad everywhere. I saw an amazing dance work for young people And then… by Claire Parsons Co (Sweden), The Polar Bears Go up by Fish and Game (UK) and Shh!  We have a plan by Cahoots (Northern Ireland) at IPAY.

And Then...’ by Claire Parsons Co

My favourite shows in NY were part of COIL Festival by PS122: Forced Entertainment’s Real Magic was incredible – it repeated a 10 minute section of a reality show over and over for 90 mins; and A Study on Effort by Bobbi Jene Smith, an intense dance work with a live violinist.

A Study on Effort by Bobbi Jene Smith

How does Australian work you’ve seen compare to the sorts of shows presented at these markets?
The good news is the Australian shows at both conferences were awesome, and some of the best in the program! Nicola Gunn’s Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster (produced by Performing Lines) and Antony Hamilton’s MEETING were standouts at COIL Festival, and Slingsby Theatre’s The Young King won the Victor Award for best show at IPAY as voted by attendees.

I think the standard of Australian work is very high. Much of the best work I saw, particularly in NY, has something very important to say about the world. Whenever I return to Australia, I always have a refreshed sense of making sure we work on projects that not only have artistic rigour but also a clear focus on what the work is trying to say or reflect about our society today.

So imagine I’m a producer from a small-to-medium and/or an independent artist. What advice would you give to me if I’m considering attending a big arts market like these, PAX or APAM?
If you can, I highly recommend attending before you go with something to sell. It’s a chance to meet people, see how other artists and companies represent their shows, and get a feel for how it all works.

If you are wanting your work to tour, you need to have that in your mind from the outset and create the work to be nimble and tourable. That doesn’t necessarily mean small, or cheap-looking, or that its fits into a suitcase, but that it’s smart and made with an eye to how it will pack up and hit the road. Australian work is very expensive to get anywhere, so really consider the set and your cast and touring party size. Good images and interesting description of the work is important in getting people to engage with your idea and form, in what is often, a very competitive and tiring environment.

I think it is always best for presenters to actually see work live which I know is not always possible at these markets. If you know why you have made the work and who you made it for, you can quickly and succinctly direct your work to the presenters who are actually interested.

Got other questions about pitching your work? We can help. Have a chat with Rachael, Fiona or Thom. Shoot us an email at
Stay tuned for our rundown of upcoming arts markets, and for Thom’s Top Tips for preparing tour marketing materials.

WA Decides – 2016’s Top Performance Picks

Posted by Thom Smyth, December 15th, 2016

It’s that time of the year when we go out to the industry to find out what got people talking and who they’re watching out for in 2017. This year we added a category – the commission. Given a chance to commission a show about anything, what would you pick? Check out the suggestions below.

There was a range of shows and artists mentioned, but the big winner for 2016 was Barking Gecko Theatre Company for their completely charming instant classic Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories. Congrats to the company and all the artists involved. Bambert is off on tour throughout 2017, but if you missed it, keep an eye out for a return season in Perth in late 2017!

Honourable mentions as well to The Last Great Hunt‘s New Owner, Bangarra‘s touring hit Our Land People Stories; and Blackmarket by pvi collective.

And there was a wide range of hot tips for who to look out for next year. Sally Richardson’s new circus company Maxima, dancer and choreographer Tyrone Robinson, and writer and director Will O’Mahony are safe bets to keep tabs on in 2017.

Thanks to all respondents – let us know on Facebook what your top picks were!

Stephen Bevis | Communications Manager, Perth International Arts Festival

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental – 17 Border Crossings: Thaddeus Philip’s virtuoso solo theatre work took us around the world and deep into the personal intensity of trying to enter another country.

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Barking Gecko Theatre Company – Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories: This beautiful tale of a bookish recluse sending his stories into the world by balloon won a rare Helpmann Award for a WA company.

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Red Ryder Productions – Grounded: Alison Van Reeken’s exhilarating Blue Room performance of George Brant’s taut, morally complex monologue about a fighter pilot-turned-drone operator was an adrenaline rush akin to that craved by the grounded lead character.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017: Will O’Mahony: He never ceases to surprise and assembled a great cast for his Performing Lines/Black Swan co-pro Coma Land.

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: Roe 8 – The Musical


Rick Heath | Executive Director, Australian Performing Arts Centres Association

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Barking Gecko’s Bambert – this show rocked on so many levels but above all it was quite simply sublimely crafted – and kudos to Tim Watts – I could watch this guy all day!

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: James Berlyn’s I Know, You’re There – a deeply personal experience that resonated in ways indescribable.

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: The Waifs – Fremantle Arts Centre – for the sheer joy of local artists celebrating and sharing their extraordinary talents with ‘their people’.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: James Berlyn – the work of a mature artist who continues to evolve and reimagine what’s possible is always worth watching

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: ‘People in Glass Houses …’ A dance work on the contradictory political career of Peter Garrett featuring the music of Midnight Oil – © all rights reserved R Heath


Andrea Gibbs | Performer & Co-creator of Barefaced Stories

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Is This Thing On? by Zoe Coombs-Marr @ The Blue Room Theatre – Of course!

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Barefaced Stories – all of them!

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Bangarra Dance Our Land People Stories at The State Theatre Centre

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Side Pony Productions

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: Barefaced Stories Regional


Aaron Beach | Executive Director, Co3 Contemporary Dance Company

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Our, Land People Stories by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Always a thrill to see these guys in Perth, we were lucky enough to have them in WA twice with Terrain touring as well

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Sugarland by Australian Theatre for Young People (toured by Performing Lines). I’m a little biased but I think this was a really important work to present in Perth.

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: The Object Lesson by Geoff Sobelle at Perth International Arts Festival. Incredible magical theatre.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Gavin Webber, Grayson Millwood & The Farm

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: Chrissie Parrott, Tyrone Robinson, Antony Hamilton – Let’s look at dance through the eyes of these change-makers!


Sharon Custers | General Manager, Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Falling Through Clouds – The Last Great Hunt

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Oddysea – Sensorium Theatre

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Kaya – Ochre Contemporary Dance

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Ochre Contemporary Dance

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: The future


Aurelien Scannella | Artistic Director, West Australian Ballet

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: West Australian Ballet/Matt Lehmann/Radio and Juliet

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: West Australian Ballet/Chihiro Nomura/The Nutcracker

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: West Australian Ballet/Andre Santos/Ballet at the Quarry

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Chihiro Nomira/West Australian Ballet


Matt Edgerton | Artistic Director, Barking Gecko Theatre Company

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: The Blue Room, Porto, Written by Kate Benson, Directed and Produced by Lisa Louttit. This was an exceptional piece of funny and multi-layered new writing, realised with a lot of subtlety and class.

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Black Swan State Theatre Company, Tonsils and Tweezers, Written and Directed by Will O’Mahoney. An really inventive new work, directed with pace and precision – full of satisfying revelations and comic delight.

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: The Last Great Hunt, New Owner, Created by Tim Watts and Arielle Gray. A cracking piece of children’s theatre with a lot of heart that never spoke down to its audience. It has a very long life ahead of it!

HONOURABLE MENTION: pvi collective, Blackmarket, Kelli Mccluskey & Steve Bull with Steve Berrick & Chris Williams. Immersive post-apocalyptic mayhem on the mean streets of Subi. So much fun!

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: I’m really looking forward to seeing the work of emerging designer Tyler Hill, designing set and costumes for Endgame, Black Swan State Theatre Company


Tony Currie | Content Development & Publicity Officer, West Australian Ballet

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster, Nicola Gunn & Performing Lines

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Pindorama, Lia Rodrigues at Perth International Arts Festival


ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Tyrone Robinson

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC?: Relevance


Henry Boston | Executive Director, Chamber of Arts and Culture WA

PERFORMANCE PICK #1:The Wild Duck by Simon Stone, Perth International Arts Festival

PERFORMANCE PICK #2:Decadance by STRUT Dance

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: The Punch Brothers



Ian Sinclair | PONY EXPRESS

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Pindorama by Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues as part of PIAF: A live dance installation that drowned the audience in political, environmental and spiritual extremes.

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Blackmarket by PVI COLLECTIVE also part of PIAF. Surviving Subiaco has never been more fun!

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster by the indomitable Nicola Gunn at PICA: an ethically charged, ‘word vomit’ extravaganza complete with a Duck hyper ballad!.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Choreographer Tyrone Robinson; man-about-town Chris Donnelly; Maybe (   ) Together’s Alex Desebrock; all things Mikala Westall x The Lost Boys; visual/performance artist Liam Colgan; Sally Richardson’s new company MAXIMA; Will O’Mahony’s Coma Land presented by Black Swan Theatre Company + Performing Lines WA, new kids on the block Those Who Love You led by Monty Sallur and Your Mouth Collective led by Madeleine Lewis, Lukas Radovich and Phoebe Sullivan.

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC: The online radicalisation of straight white men.


Jenna Mathie | Producer, The Blue Room Theatre

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Grounded – Red Ryder Productions

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories – Barking Gecko Theatre Company

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Our Land People Stories – Bangarra Dance Theatre

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Tim Green and Samantha Maclean are recent graduates from WAAPA’s BPA course who just made their first show and it was a ripper. I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves. I’m also looking forward to seeing Will O’Mahony and Joe Lui making their directorial debuts with Black Swan State Theatre Company and The Last Great Hunt are working on some exciting projects including The Midnight Run as part of PIAF.

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC: Diverse voices on our stages including culturally and linguistically diverse artists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and artists with disability.


Jenny Simpson | Artistic Director & CEO, Awesome Festival

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: New Owner –  The Last Great Hunt

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Oddysea – Sensorium Theatre

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: A Mano (By Hand) – El Patio Teatro

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: Sensorium Theatre



Ryan Taaffe | Executive Director, Circuitwest

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories – Barking Gecko Theatre Company. A beautifully crafted and performed piece that brought childhood back to lots of adults.

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: New Owner – The Last Great Hunt. On of the newest offerings from this company and is a touching story that makes use of the digital space and puppetry.

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: I Know You’re There – James Berlyn. A well placed, personal work from a wonderful story teller.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: SAMANTHA MACLEAN AND TIMOTHY GREEN. Getting great reviews and praise for their first outing Tissue at The Blue Room.

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC: Unity, mob mentality and fear thinking/communication. The discourse of power and hate speech.


Graeme Watson | Editor, Out In Perth

PERFORMANCE PICK #1: On the Face of Things – this Fringe show from WA Youth Theatre Company Ensemble was so much fun, I was captivated.

PERFORMANCE PICK #2: Picnic at Hanging Rock – Black Swan State Theatre, I always loathed the story, and this production made me love it, and it was scary!

PERFORMANCE PICK #3: Vaboux – this odd new drag queen on the scene is always mysterious and creative.

ARTIST/COMPANY TO WATCH IN 2017?: I never have any expectations

2017 COMMISSION TOPIC: I’d like to see more works addressing HIV/AIDS in 2017, we’ve forgotten to talk about this important issue. Especially the reality of living with HIV.

Images by Jon Green, Jhuny Boy Borja, Gregory Lorenzutti,