While companies, artists and their work are the most visible aspects of the live performing arts in Australia, the community extends far beyond this relatively small but high-profile group. Surrounding them are networks of participation that include ancillary support, administration and supply staff. Beyond them is the largest and least represented section of the community – the audience.
We believe that the thoughts, experiences and memories of the wider community are a vast repository of untapped potential. We want to open the discussion on live performance on Witness to everybody who’s interested, not only in the comments, but in forums and in real life meat space.
Witness forums are where you can discuss whatever you like, sheltered from the wilds of social media. They offer a continuity of discussion that is often lost on Facebook and Twitter, where many vital or interesting conversations simply disappear. As a member of the Witness community you can create groups, suggest new topics, message other members, and maybe begin your own projects. Like all good things, we expect that the Witness community will take time, but we’re hoping it evolves into a vital and fun part of the website. Don’t be shy if you have suggestions: we’re here to listen.
We’re very aware that live performance is a parochial art that is part of an international conversation, and we hope to welcome people from far beyond our home base of Melbourne.
Throughout 2018, we’ll be running collective projects in the Witness forums.
Our first projects for 2018 are:
Witness Live Nights
Book Club for theatre. With our Stage Partners, we have programmed an exciting monthly series of live meetups at selected performances in Melbourne, where we all go to a show together and have an informal group discussion afterwards over a drink. Good theatre, good conversation, good company. What’s not to like?
There’s always more to talk about, and the Witness forums are there to continue and widen the conversation.
The Archive Collection
Much of the history of performance is lost as performers and audience store their collections of programs, posters and ephemera in sheds, cupboards or under beds. Witness (more specifically, Rob) is collecting these archival records in order to document and preserve the work made by Australian artists. Weʻre particularly interested in small to medium and independent performance works and companies. So if youʻre thinking about throwing out that box of old programs, contact us first and we may be able to give them a good home.
Watch this space. No, better still, come in and make yourself at home.