2020 forced our beloved theatre industry to shut down – but where there is darkness, there is light.
With this extra time for introspection, a shift has appeared within the industry, one favoring a more inclusive, diverse, progressive, and creative future. While calls for change have been heard for years, we are seeing more active response from the industry, and a seemingly new willingness to change. However, it is understandable that some may not know how to begin this shift, or not be resourced enough with information in order to do so. As a result of this, Music Theatre Futures was established, aiming to be a source of inspiration and a place for innovative thinking, to inspire increased diversity, inclusion and creative rigour in Australian Music Theatre.
MTF is a brand new, free biennial event for leaders in Australian Music Theatre, and anyone passionate about the future of the industry, with the inaugural event taking place online from 7-11 December 2020. Registrations are now open for conversations, workshops and panel discussions from local and international leaders in Music Theatre, such as Broadway Director Daniel Fish (U.S.), Producer Michael Cassel, Artistic Director and Playwright Wesley Enoch, Choreographer Leah Howard, Intimacy Coordinator Michala Banas, Director Tyran Parke, Performer and Writer Candy Bowers, Artistic Director Matt Lutton, Director Sherrill Gow (U.K.) and many more. They will be discussing practical ways we can make music theatre more inclusive, to help make our industry and workplaces more productive, professionally safe, innovative and creatively satisfying.
Event organiser and project lead Jayde Kirchert said:
After such a tumultuous year with social justice issues coming to mainstream attention and the world being forced into lock down, I felt this was a unique and important moment for the industry to come together, before we re-emerge post COVID. When else do we get so much time to reflect and think about what kind of world we want to live in?
There have been ups and downs in our industry this year and the world has undoubtedly changed. I believe if music theatre is to remain relevant, socially engaged and empowering for audiences and artists alike, leaders must come together to discuss, learn from each other and become more socially and culturally literate. That is how we will continue to change people’s lives for the better – and that’s what inclusive music theatre can do.
Music Theatre Futures has been created to ensure the artform stays socially relevant and transformative for audiences and industry practitioners alike. Post-COVID, opportunities for meaningful social events will be more important than ever, so music theatre leaders and makers must recognise how the world has changed and respond accordingly to ensure the artform can innovate, adapt and thrive.
Music Theatre Futures aims to:
- Present an overview or sample of innovative practices that have emerged over the last 5 years, relevant to Music Theatre practice in Australia
- Provide a safe, inclusive space for learning and professional development for leaders and makers in the industry at no cost to the attendee
- Encourage discussion and collaboration across the industry
- Be a source of inspiration and rigorous thinking around issues of best practice to cultivate increased diversity, inclusion and creative rigour in Australian Music Theatre
The event program is as follows:
Monday 7 December
Tuesday 8 December
Wednesday 9 December
Thursday 10 December
Friday 11 December
Registration for events is ESSENTIAL.
For information on each event and to register for sessions, please visit the MTF website.