In-Space: the interactive audience

RealTime

Of late we’ve seen a number of interesting projects bringing audiences into closer interaction with artists and at the same time attempt to solve the problem of inadequate support for meaningful development of new work. Australian Dance Theatre’s 2002 IGNITION project was a good example. And in another innovative SA venture, the Adelaide Festival Centre (AFCT) has launched In-Space, a project involving new audiences even more directly in the developing work of contemporary artists.

Unlike current programming structures where audiences only see finished products (and often not so well-finished), In-Space provides opportunities for audiences to communicate with artists through stages of the works in progress. The engagement between artists and audiences is a primary function of the program, not simply an auxiliary ‘value add’ activity. As well as participating in forums and interacting with artists during work in development, participants will also be involved in ongoing dialogue with artists and the AFCT through a website (www.inspace.com.au), interactive online workshops and regular e-newsletters.

The aim is for audiences to share in and contribute to the artistic process. Armed with detailed information on artists’ goals for developing or completing a work, the hope is that a deeper level of understanding of artistic processes, a greater appreciation and connection with the works and with the artists, as well as with the AFCT as a venue will be realised.

The AFCT will provide the structure (through venues, administrative, production and artistic support) for artists to present their work at different stages of its development cycle.

The first In-Space project of the year was Ingrid Voorendt’s Time She Stopped in January performed over 2 nights by the multi-skilled Astrid Pill. In the interview above, Ingrid Voorendt talks about the work whose further development was jointly supported by Arts SA and the AFCT program. Voorendt says, “The In-Space program has given us a rare opportunity to rework, develop and refine Time She Stopped. While retaining the original essence of the work and its raw appeal, the impact of having Zoë Barry on board creating a live and recorded score [was] huge.”

February 8 sees Brink Theatre’s The Rope Project in its first airing in the form of a theatrical seminar. The project takes as its starting point the text of Rope, written as a play by Patrick Hamilton in 1929, and adapted into a screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s film in 1948. The original play tells the story of 2 Manhattan socialites who set themselves the intellectual challenge of committing the perfect murder.

Brink Director, Sam Haren says: “We will splice and juxtapose Adelaide’s dark history with the story of Rope, creating a metaphorically ‘forensic reconstruction’ of those real and fictional events in order to examine the connections, similarities and differences between them. At the same time we will develop a unique performance style for the work, investigating dance and contemporary performance techniques as well as fusing the language of cinema, that has editing and camera movement, with live performance”.

The forum will examine the ideas behind The Rope Project, its themes of masculinity, sexuality and violence as well as the thriller medium and Brink’s ongoing interest in the interconnection between filmed and live performance and the translation from one to the other. RT

Forthcoming In-Space projects include Gorge, 3 nights, 3 new writers, 6 performance companies and a fish tank; a physical theatre event on May 13-17; and Kate Champion’s Face to Face. Read more about In-Space activities in RealTime 54.

RealTime issue #53 Feb-March 2003 pg. 40

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 February 2003