Image: Kate Foy; Sand Drawing: Damien Kamholtz
Last night’s theatre excursion was closer to home than many in the last few weeks have been for me. It was to Brief Encounters at Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre Studio – and what a lovely little performance space this is.
Brief Encounters is the latest of the theatre’s Homegrown Studio series which sees local artists – established, emerging and embryonic – working together on the kinds of new work which so often never get to see stage lights shine on them. It’s vital, generative activity and the fact that it is being sponsored and supported by local business and the local council gives me great heart and delight that I live outside the capital city in a community that values such work. Regional artists don’t get to say that often but then, Toowoomba has always valued its art and, well, credit where credit is due. Now, it seems, there is also a place for that most arcane or, at least, often misunderstood of art forms – performance art.
artistic blind date meets creation under-the-gun. (Katy Harris-McLeod: the Tomorrow Collective)
Not all of this kind of work is what might be called successful in terms of being finished ‘product.’ That’s not the point; incompleteness, rawness, and even a bit of self-indulgence are expected in the service of creative experimentation – although several of the encounters were delightfully complete in themselves and quite free of any self-consciousness. With its time constraints Brief Encounters almost works against the pressure most artists feel to put something together that is worthy of sharing in terms of polish and finesse or completeness. Continue reading Brief Encounters – Homegrown at Empire Theatre Studio