Meet ISPA's 2015 Regional (Australian) Fellowship Program participant Rachael Whitworth!
Producer, Performing Lines
Rachael joined Performing Lines in 2011 from Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, where she was Associate Producer in the lead up to the 20th UNIMA Congress and World Puppetry Festival. Trained at Victorian College of the Arts, Rachael began her professional career in 1992 as a classical dancer with West Australian Ballet before working as a contemporary dancer, teacher and choreographer with Buzz Dance Theatre and many independent choreographers. She then diversified her practice, performing with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre for nearly a decade and completed a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Entertainment Management at Deakin University in 2000.
Most recently, Rachael produced and toured a Pilot tour of dance work, Shiver, to 7 regional WA communities with an audience engagement strategy connecting over 700 artists and community members with the work; a 3 month National tour of The Magic Hour to 23 venues across Australia; a major new dance theatre work, Overexposed, performed in two rooms and producing theatre for young people with disabilities for Sensorium Theatre.
Rachael, tell us more about what you do currently.
I am now a Producer with Performing Lines WA helping theatre and dance artists to create, present and tour work as well as contributing to the development of the independent theatre and dance sector more broadly. Working as a producer really brings together all my experiences; Performance, Artistic, Creation and Management.
Right now, I am excited to be working with Sensorium Theatre who are creating sensory theatre for children with disabilities. The company is a national leader in this area and I am touring their new work Oddysea to the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne in August this year which is very exciting!
You have attended ISPA Congress twice so far. How was your Congress experience?
It is a fantastic opportunity to get an understanding of the kind of performance being made in America and around the world and what is resonating with different audiences. This informs my work as a producer and gives me a sense of the bigger picture when working with Australian artists.
From many of the panels and key notes I have attended, I have learnt that those producers and presenters who are working on international collaborations and tours are those that have developed relationships over the long term. I am encouraged to pursue opportunities that build relationships outside Australia as a way to enrich the work being made right here in my home state.
Already I have met a few presenters who will be able to give me a deeper understanding of particular areas I am working in. I have realised that you don’t need to meet lots and lots of people. Rather, you need one or two key connections who can directly introduce you to the people you really need to speak to.
After being at ISPA, I have a new energy for working on projects that really have something to say; a strong, clear point of view and creative vision. Observing different case studies and performances from around the world reminds me that projects that truly resonate with an audience are the ones that can transcend a normal understanding of a subject which is important to a community.
ISPA’s Regional Fellowship Program sponsor Australia Council for the Arts interviewed Rachael about her ISPA Congress and Fellowship Program experience as well as her thoughts on leadership. Click here to read the full interview on Australia Council for the Arts’ website.