Here it is. Further to a couple of earlier posts, Jobs for the girls: logging the stats and First quarterly report: jobs onstage, here's the second of four planned reports of cast numbers in programmed productions for both subsidised companies in Brisbane in 2011. We've added this quarter's figures to the last to give a running total.Plays include: An Oak Tree and Faustus (Queensland Theatre Company) and Statespeare and Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness (La Boite Theatre). When it comes to Queensland Theatre Company's production of An Oak Tree, things get a bit tricky. An Oak Tree included appearances by 1 male actor and 23 guest actors (10 M; 13 F) in the same role across the season. Each guest appeared in one performance only. 11 other actors (8 M; 3F) played the role during the rehearsal period. The guest figures for this production appear in the first chart (below) Comparative Chart (i) even though they represent the equivalent of a casual rather than a seasonal acting engagement in a programmed production. Comparative Chart (ii) (below) excludes the guest actor figures for An Oak Tree. Any errors or omissions, please let us know. A much better and fuller picture of employment of actors would include figures for other independent productions. Whilst this would be problematical as a ‘living-wage’ employment statistic (most indie productions are stipend or fee-based, deferred payment or non-waged) it would give a sense of how many performance opportunities are being made available for female actors, which is where this conversation began. These quarterly reports do not include other casual employment for actors, such as play-readings, workshops and other creative development activities by both companies Just for your information, the National Minimum Wage in Australia as of July 2011 is set at $589.30 per week or $15.51 per hour. Source: ASU National Net To see what your union has negotiated as minimum rates of pay for professional work, you can download a pdf file of the 2010 Equity Minimums from the MEAA website Alliance Online. The next update here will be in September.
It takes a lot to get a house full of Toowoomba people on their feet for a standing ovation, but it happened last week at the opening night of The Boy From Oz directed by Lewis Jones. This is the latest big musical production from Empire Theatre Projects Company (EPC) based at the gorgeous hard-top Empire Theatre which just happens to be celebrating its centenary this year. I hear that audiences stood again at subsequent performances.The EPC's productions of plays and musicals - a couple a year - are hugely popular and, more often than not, draw full houses. By the way The Boy From Oz concludes today with an additionally-scheduled Sunday performance, and I have no doubt that delighted audiences will rise as one yet again. Why wouldn't they? By any standards it's a terrific production led by Tye Shepherd as Peter Allen and Bernadette Pryde as Judy Garland. Besides, Toowoomba needs a good shot in the arm, and this joyous, sensitive production is just the tonic. The Boy From Oz is a community production and proudly so, but it defies any kind of pigeon-holing in terms of its definition as either amateur or professional. As far as the scope of its work goes, labels just don't stick on the EPC - unless it's the 'extraordinary' label. The EPC has been working non-stop for the past few years under the Artistic Direction of Lewis Jones. It runs regular drama workshops for children and young people in Toowoomba and other centres in its regional catchment area; mentors and provides production experience for local artists and small independent groups as well as higher education students and trainees, and provides professional development seminars for teachers. It also provides employment for artists, creatives and technicians. Continue reading On their feet: The Boy From Oz at EPC Toowoomba
As I write this, an Arts Queensland sponsored tech forum 'LowFi' is just finishing up in Brisbane. I was due to attend what was planned as a day-long gathering of speakers, workshops and quick conversations on digital media and its application in the arts. I couldn't make it so I've been following the proceedings today via hashtag on Twitter. Some of the tweets sang the social-media mantra re developing relationships with 'customers,' and not just using social media as a marketing add-on. Yes, of course, but the strategies and the actual daily process of using social media for marketing - for getting the word out and engaging with potential and current audience members - are still being discovered and developed. In a time when arts coverage appears to be receiving less coverage in 'big media' there is both challenge and opportunity for individual theatre companies to change the landscape of the wider media modus operandi. (The embedded tweets below are from today's LowFi twitter stream)