Taking theatre to the streets

By Isabel Vieira | posted on January 14, 2021

IMPROMPTU theatre in the streets of Albany is not something you see every day, but one group is gearing up for a surprise performance.

Southern Edge Arts is offering a Making Theatre Everywhere Masterclass, a practical five-day course where people aged 15- plus will learn and create site- specific theatre performances.

Dr Alan Hancock will be running the course, where the group will pick specific landmarks or locations around Albany and create a piece of theatre to be performed in the public area.

Dr Hancock said they often draw on the locations history and create a theatre performance that’s related to it.

“It can be a kind of street theatre, where you can do it on any street and you’re interacting with passers-by, like what you’ve prob- ably seen before,” he said.

“Or it could be a piece that’s been designed for one particular place, for example if we chose the Brig Amity ship, we might create a piece of theatre around that site, drawing on its history and stories.”

Dr Hancock said the opportunity to create theatre in a new place opens up all kinds of possibilities you wouldn’t come across in a traditional theatre space.

“You’re creating theatre away from the theatre space in a way that they haven’t done before, so it’s something very novel, I find most people get very inspired by it,” he said.

“I find the audience start looking at the place in a different way, they keep expecting art to happen around them.

“I think art is very good at making you look at the world in a different way.”

There’s still a chance to register for the Making Theatre Every- where Masterclass, which will be running from January 18 – 22.

Those who prefer to act as the audience should keep their eyes peeled when walking around town this coming week.