"Community Theatre is an ancient form of art produced by, for, and about its community. Community Theatre is the product of a collaboration of a community resulting in the generation of a geographically local culture".

I wrote that in 2006 as part of my masters thesis. In 2014, eight years later, I quoted one of my favourite researchers, Doreen Mattingly, in a proposal that would shape the future of my career:

“Art is a powerful means of representation. Creating community theatre is a deliberate means of representing a place and the people who live in it. Representation plays an important part in shaping social identities….narrative authority is the power to shape the way that identities are represented”.

I've hardly changed at all.

That was written in my proposal to National Theatre Wales' to become their new Development Associate - and it worked! I was successful and I will soon be joining the team in Cardiff. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

I thought I would use the Community to say hello to you all and introduce myself. I hope to connect with you all here online prior to my arrival in Wales and get to know you all.

I'm an arts manager from Melbourne, Australia and have a background in theatre, circus and dance. I'm passionate and experienced in arts funding and arts policy and have previously worked at many arts organisations including the Victorian College of the Arts, the National Institute of Circus Arts and Regional Arts Victoria.

I have been passionate about the arts my entire life. When young I performed, and in my teens directed a theatre production that had unintended but lasting social change outcomes. From this day forward I have been passionate about high quality, experimental theatre and its intrinsic benefits. I am particularly drawn to interdisciplinary, participatory theatre and am passionate about site-specific, place-making, regional and community projects that unite people whilst providing theatre experiences of exceptional quality.

I am currently working on putting together the Regional Arts Victoria Performing Arts Touring program for 2015, which currently includes a one-man contemporary dance show about first experiences, a circus production set to 80's glam rock and a dark one-woman play about homelessness and failing at motherhood. All of these productions are touring to small communities across regional Victoria and I am so proud that I have been involved in creating these wonderful opportunities for remote communities to access cultural experiences.

But on to new things! I will be joining NTW on October 20. and will be in Cardiff from October 13. So if you know of any arts gatherings or events happening that week that I can tag along to, or any rooms for rent with friendly people, or if you just want to say hello, please comment here. I can't wait to meet you all in person!

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Comment by Bethan Marlow on September 22, 2014 at 20:03

Hi Michaela.

Really great quote! I am about to embark on a new community theatre piece as my Waleslab project and our first day will be October 15th with 40 young Polish people so you're welcome to come join in the day's workshop! Here's a bit more about the project- http://community.nationaltheatrewales.org/profiles/blogs/llaneski-c... 

You're very welcome to come along. (I'll be driving from Cardiff so happy to give you a lift)

Bethan

Comment by Theatr Iolo on September 16, 2014 at 21:18

Hi Michaela. Theatr Iolo has a show on that week at Chapter Arts Centre. It's called Adventures in the Skin Trade, and is actually touring to Melbourne next year. It'd be great to meet you while you're here.

http://www.chapter.org/adventures-skin-trade-dylan-thomas

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