By Mark Svendsen | Posted on June 5th, 2020
Dedicated followers of Arts Central will remember the success of our 2019 mainstage production, Rockpocalypse. This original, locally responsive work emerged from a community-centred process developed by playwright (and management committee member) Jess Lamb. Recently, Jess has contributed a chapter to Drama Queensland’s latest publication, Dramatic Encounters, in which she details the nature of her process. Through the chapter, Rockpocalypse: shaping new work in regional Australia, Jess reflects on the importance of community in creative practice, the unique theatrical proclivities of the Rockhampton region, and the value of framing experience to amplify new and disengaged voices through the arts. This chapter accompanies writing from industry, educators and academics on the latest innovative drama practice occurring in schools, communities and beyond.
Below is a short excerpt on her own experiences with Rockhampton and the ‘T’ word:
Having moved to the region myself as an early career teacher in 2012, I felt at odds with the cultural landscape. A tone-deaf, contemporary theatre geek with two left feet, I struggled to appreciate the large-scale, pro-am productions of Les Miserables, Wicked and Evita that seemed to be shown on recurring rotation at the well-appointed Pilbeam Theatre… Where was the new stuff? The intimate, intellectually stimulating, spiritually rejuvenating stuff? The stuff that smacks of place and time and us?
From its earliest days, the Rockpocalypse practice-led research project was a search for the source of this ‘stuff’.
Lamb, J 2020, ‘Rockpocalypse: shaping new work in regional Australia’, in M Stinson (ed.), Dramatic Encounters: Artistry, Community and Scholarship in Drama Teaching, Drama Queensland, Brisbane.
Dramatic Encounters: Artistry, Community And Scholarship In Drama Teaching is now available for purchase at www.dramaqueensland.org.au.
Image Credit:Anna Straker