Guess what frustrates many arts-workers living and working in regional Queensland, especially if their base of operations lies within a 2 hour driving radius of the capital where (arguably) the ‘important audiences’ lie? You know where I’m going with this, right? I meet it all the time living as I do in Toowoomba where we tend to shrug off the apparent lack of interest from elsewhere i.e., the audiences from Brisbane, with the ‘water doesn’t flow uphill’ epithet. For those of you who don’t know the geography of SE Queensland, Toowoomba sits on the top of the Great Dividing Range less than a couple of hours from the state capital.
If you are a professional theatre maker, you do know when the work deserves a wider audience. However, unless a concerted effort is made to ‘tour’ it, then the work stays at home. Whilst sharing excellent work is undeniably valuable in profiling the group and the individual artists and creatives, I think it’s a false premise to assume audiences and colleagues in a capital city are needed to validate the work being made in the regions. As the region to the capital city so the capital city to a bigger capital city to the world etc. You know … the cringe thing again?
Last week I spoke about these things and a lot more with Timothy Wynn the Artistic Director of That Production Company which, after a couple of years in Brisbane, is now based in Ipswich – about 40 mins from the capital. Tim, along with professional partner Cassandra Ramsay is committed to working in his own back yard. Tim is currently directing a production of Lynn Nottage‘s Pulitzer Prize winning play RUINED(2007) with a cast of Africans now living in and around this regional city. It’s going to be an Australian premiere and it’s certainly note-worthy for Tim’s commitment to building work in and for his own community. Continue reading Timothy Wynn (Interview 35)