Critical Conversation is a free event that encourages critical discussion about work being made and presented in Perth.
Every second month, a panel of artists, arts workers, producers and critics engage in a facilitated conversation in front of an audience about work that has been presented in Perth in the preceding weeks. Following on from this, the facilitator leads a Q&A with the audience and panelist. The aim of Critical Conversation is to encourage dialogue, provoke thought and increase the level of critical discussion and quality of response to work in Perth.
The Blue Room Theatre bar will be open before and after each session for the conversations to continue.
Critical Conversation Mailing List
Want to be kept in the loop about future panels? Email samantha[at]blueroom.org.au to be added to the mailing list.
Image by Tasha Faye.
Critical Conversation #7
This Critical Conversation discussed Hir, presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company, and The Second Woman, by Nat Randall and Anna Breckton, presented in Perth by Perth Festival 2018. The session was facilitated by Humphrey Bower (actor, writer, director) in conversation with Alexa Taylor (theatre maker, dramaturg, teacher) as the guest artist for the evening.
Critical Conversation #1
The series began with a panel titled What We Talk About, When We Talk About Work. Unlike other sessions, the first panel did not look at any specific works, but rather how we are responding to work in different settings (foyers, online, feedback sessions, media). This session was facilitated by Humphrey Bower (actor, writer, director), with Shona Erskine (choreographer), Emily McLean (director) and Chris Donnelly (lighting designer) as the panel of artists for the evening.
Critical Conversation #2
The second session of Critical Conversation focused on two recently presented works in Perth; Complicite’s The Encounter, presented as part of Perth International Arts Festival, and Once In Royal David’s City presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre. The session was facilitated by Humphrey Bower, with Will O’Mahony (writer, director, and performer) and Sam Chester (theatre maker and academic) as the guest panel for the evening.
Critical Conversation #3
CO3’s dance theatre work Frank Enstein and Emma Mary Hall’s Ode to Man were looked at in the third session of Critical Conversation. Facilitated by Humphrey Bower, the panel included Sally Richardson (director, writer & dramaturg), Joe Lui (writer, director & designer) and Lizzie Schebesta (actor & director). Lizzie Schebesta appeared courtesy of Professional Development Partner the Minderoo Foundation.
Critical Conversation #4
The fourth session looked at two new West Australian plays that premiered in Perth in the month prior: The Lighthouse Girl, presented by Black Swan State Theatre Company and Maiden Voyage Theatre Company’s TOAST. Humphrey Bower facilitated the evening, with guest panellists Melissa Cantwell (writer & director), Julian Hobba (writer & Executive Director of The Blue Room Theatre) and Clare Testoni (writer & performer) joining the discussion.
Critical Conversation #5
The Side Pony Productions and The Last Great Hunt collaboration The Irresistible and Will O’Mahony’s Coma Land (co-produced by Black Swan State Theatre Company and Performing Lines WA) were discussed in the fifth gathering of Critical Conversation. The discussion was facilitated by Julian Hobba, with Finn O’Branagain (playwright and director) and Jo Pollitt (choreographer, dance artist and academic) joining the discussion.
Critical Conversation #5.5 – Australian Theatre Forum Special Edition
On Monday 9 October, delegates from the 2017 Australian Theatre Forum (ATF) gathered to share their experiences and insights from the Forum. ATF is an opportunity for the national theatre sector and those present to feel connected, rally, identify, feel heard, impart knowledge, guidance and much more. Delegates who shared their experience were Humphrey Bower, Barb Hostalek, Jay Emmanuel, Mararo Wangai, Julian Hobba, Zainab Syed, Fiona de Garis, Mitchell Whelan, Eva Mullaley and Riley Spadaro. The Blue Room Theatre’s Producer Jenna Mathie facilitated the evening.
Critical Conversation #6
The October 2017 session of Critical Conversation focused on work made for young audiences. Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories from Barking Gecko Theatre Company and Polar Bears Go Up, a co-production between UK companies Unicorn, and Fish and Game Theatre were the two works discussed. James Berlyn (theatre maker, director and Executive Producer WAYTCO) facilitated the evening, with Alex Desebrock (maybe ( ) together) and Fiona de Garis (Performing Lines) joining the panel.
Visiting panelists appear with thanks to the Minderoo Foundation.