Embodying a Posthuman Dramaturgy of Place: Distance, Sound and Silence in Australian Contemporary Performance

Rea Dennis* and Kate Hunter**

Abstract

Being a theatre-maker in Australia attunes us to making meaning by listening to the land, travelling long distances and feeling our way. These conditions predispose us to ask questions of affect, of our experience of being part of a vast continent and of the way the ancient insinuates itself into the everyday present. Our consideration of dramaturgy in this article invites engagement with how sense is made beyond imported, otherwise colonial lenses, through the different sounds—of cities, of suburban backyards, of the bush—within Australia. The article considers what long distance sounds like and asks: How might a practice of listening create a posthuman dramaturgy of place? We investigate examples of contemporary performance and consider the way sound and silence—industrial, natural, environmental, musical, bodily—are foregrounded, disrupted and juxtaposed, and we discuss how forms cohere to embody a posthuman dramaturgy of place.

Keywords: posthuman dramaturgy, embodied listening, sound dramaturgy, sensory dramaturgy, theatre-making, mediated kinaesthetic experience, listening, Earshot, Field Trip to the Future

Our practices of making theatre in Australia attune us to meaning-making by listening to the land, travelling long distances and feeling our way. These conditions predispose us to ask questions of affect, of our experience of being part of a vast continent and of the way the ancient insinuates itself into the everyday present. Our consideration of dramaturgy in this article invites engagement with how sense is made beyond imported, otherwise colonial lenses, through the different sounds—of cities, of suburban backyards, of the bush—within Australia. We investigate how practices of listening might enact a posthuman dramaturgy of place and, in doing so, report on two practice research projects undertaken by the authors that engage with Barad’s question: How did language become more trustworthy than matter? (132).

In the first, Rea Dennis’ series of works trouble the hegemony of linguistic meaning through events in which encounter with nature and felt experience are possible. In the second, Kate Hunter discusses Earshot, a carefully constructed polyvocal composition with overheard conversation at the centre. Through a consideration of these examples of contemporary performance, we consider the way sound, silence and felt experience can be foregrounded, disrupted and juxtaposed to discuss how forms cohere to embody a posthuman dramaturgy of place.

Our article teases out practices of listening, feeling and sensing more broadly, as avenues to elicit a very specific kind of engagement with place: for makers and for audiences. Works staged outdoors, or with a focus on listening, attend to space with the sensibility of dramaturgical concepts such as distance, expanse, scale and so on. This aligns with geographer Yi-Fan Tuan’s proposition, that “a place achieves concrete reality when our experience of it is total, that is, through all the senses as well as with the reflective mind” (qtd. in Pink 15). Framed through a new materialist approach, we privilege sentient and sensory considerations as dramaturgy and speak to the ways in which our environment affects our processes as makers, and the ways in which our embodied processes might affect environment. Karen Barad recognises the importance of recognising this reciprocity. She argues for agential realism where material and discursive practices are valued. The research reported here adopts what she terms “a performative understanding of discursive practices” (133) so that we might be challenged in any default privileging of representation. Barad’s performative approach enables a shift in the consideration of meaning away from verifying what is real, toward “matters of practices, doings, and actions” (133).

We set out to better understand how, as performance-makers, we think about the audience engagement as a sensory experience. We do this by discussing a selection of Australian performance projects, as well as two specific practice research outcomes: Earshot and Field Trip.

We consider how sentient and sensory considerations which attune us to the ways we listen to and feel different environments—built, industrial, remote, endangered, plastic, interior, natural, more-than-human—coalesce into a dramaturgy of place. We propose that this place-focused dramaturgy both extends and critiques traditional understandings of production-led processes, such that “concepts of rhythmic spaces, resonant dramaturgies, audiophonic scenographies, vibrational theatres and collective bodies—multisensory atmospheres in performance” are cohered as sound dramaturgies, “within the area of the non-verbal and beyond alignment with signs, narrative threads” (Birringer).

The practices, operations and activities outlined are forms of custodianship that are distinctively Australian. In the performance works we detail below, we argue for a shared investment in a place-discourse that is not worded but felt: an Australian posthuman dramaturgy that recognises sentient bodies, materiality and agential realism. When we engage with or attend to place and distance as performance makers, we are re-imagining Birringer’s “stage environment” as all environments—indoor and outdoor, personal, and public, small and large, industrial, rural and remote. This article chronicles the ways in which Australian theatre-makers investigate the nature of space and place within a posthuman Australia, in search of the quintessential and decentring references to the antipodean.

Rea Dennis in the field, 2020. Photo: Courtesy of the authors

In this next section of the article, we consider what a field of practice might constitute when scoping a posthuman dramaturgy of space or distance that is embedded in the geographical location from which it emerged. When performance is staged or presented in non-traditional theatre spaces, disused buildings, gallery foyers and outdoors, the maker must examine the potentiality of the meaning imbued by the material and historical dimensions of the place. This might start with asking, “Where does the encounter between performance and spectator happen? Who is the audience? What is the space for the audience?” (Trencsényi 173).

Moving work out of traditional theatre spaces to be performed in nature shifts the perceptions and expectations of the audience. Capturing places through sound recordings and moving these inside acts to transform the experience of place and space as interior to the body and to tap into remembered places and spatiality. Reflecting on works by dancer Rosalind Crisp, performance artist Jill Orr and theatre collective Gold Satino, we consider what a post-millennial Australian approach might entail. These works extend twentieth-century practices and understandings of an Australian place-based dramaturgy (McAuley). While these artists and the three specific works described vary in form, location and scope, they embody key aspects of the nature of the listening and feeling Australian artist.

Rosalind Crisp, Jill Orr and Gold Satino

The works of Crisp, Orr and Gold Satino evoke a space for material and discursive sense-making for the audience. There are possibilities to feel into a work, to listen beyond hearing, to engage in perceptual dramaturgy at the intersection of perception and memory, where dramaturgy encompasses “some of the implicit dynamics of experience that precede both artistic choice-making in the developmental process and the spectator’s arrival at interpretation in performance” (Hansen 107).

DIRt (Dance in Regional Disaster Zones), Rosalind Crisp, Omeo Dance, date unknown. Photo: Vic McEwan

Dancer Rosalind Crisp grew up in the remote Australian bush and makes performances for local audiences. In DIRt, Crisp responds to specific locations which have been ravaged by natural disasters, what she terms “raw and damaged sites” (DIRt). Crisp lives in far East Gippsland, a formerly deeply forested area of Victoria which encompasses high country, scrub, open plains and deep bush, and with less than three percent of original pre-colonial forest remaining.

DIRt stands for Dance in Regional Disaster Zones and is an ongoing collaborative project which brings dance and movement artists to various regional sites in order to dance or otherwise engage with the site with an “ecological awareness” (Fraser 107, cited by Rosalind Crisp DIRt). The sites have included Cape Conran, Point Ricardo and three in the local area around Orbost on Gunaikurnai country “where rare flora and fauna are being destroyed: a logging field, a burnt forest and a road-widening construction” (Crisp, “Reflections” 2). The artist makes work for local audiences and collaborates very deliberately with photographer Lisa Roberts who documents some of the performance and with her partner as videographer to capture what she refers to as “traces” (DIRt). The work invites a listening-through the body into the devastated landscape such that the artistic experience becomes the percept through which that place might be understood or re-considered. For Crisp, DIRt also proffers a challenge by situating her dancing body in a white settler context in order to question what dance/dancers might do (DIRt).

Heading due west from the environment in which Crisp is creating, we encounter the landscape of performance artist Jill Orr. Orr’s work Antipodean Epic was a series of site-specific images and videos filmed on a remote wheat farm in Mildura, a regional town on the border of far Western Victoria and New South Wales, which concluded with a live performance at the Mildura Palimpsest Biennale in 2015. Multiple iterations followed including a work at Lorne Sculpture Biennale and a third version presented at Belo Horizonte Biennale, Brazil. Antipodean Epic focuses on the value of seed—as a bringer of life and as a valuable resource under threat.

Antipodean Epic, Interloper, Jill Orr, Palimpsest Biennale 10#, performer: Jill Orr, 2015. Photo: Christina Simons

Orr created feathered, masked creature characters, wildly strange, which hung from branches or dug into the dried soil, to assemble a series of stark images that evoked “a poetic journey that incorporates seed both in abundance and scarcity” (Orr). These works were viewed live by an audience within the environment/landscape in which the work was developed. They extended Orr’s substantial body of environmental work which examines the ways in which bodies, identities and landscapes might shape each other.

Turning south-east, we now travel around five hundred kilometres away from the regional landscape in which Orr’s Antipodean Epic, Interloper is presented and arrive in Naarm / Melbourne. Situated about halfway between the practice sites of Crisp and Orr, this urban context is the place of listening from where Gold Satino’s aesthetic has emerged. Their 2019 work, Seduction, is “a drive-in/drive-by performance of excruciating intimacy set in a landscape of bleak urban grandeur” (Gold Satino).

Seduction was set in and around Melbourne’s Docklands area at night. The event began in an empty ballroom at the yet-to-be-activated waterside suburb of Newquay, and then it snaked its way through the city’s Western Waterfront: a semi-industrial and urban precinct dotted with half-finished luxury apartment builds, windswept harbourside walkways, dilapidated pier buildings and the dynamic and colourful Appleton Dock with its mega-cranes, containers and lights. From the ballroom, audience members were led in groups of three to small cars, which were driven in convoy, pausing at various locations along the way to view performance moment—sometimes epic, sometimes pedestrian. In this urban take on a promenade theatre work, the in-car audio was soundscape for the piece and the small confines of the vehicle enabled a precise kind of listening experience into which the audience—a random group of strangers in each car—was enfolded.

Seduction, Gold Satino, Docklands West Melbourne, performers: (left to right) Glynn Urquhart, Claudia Nugent, Cazz Bainbridge, Shelley O’Meara and Xavier O’Shannessy, 2019. Photo: Pier Carthew

The works of Crisp, Orr and Gold Satino evoke a space for material and discursive sense-making for the audience. There are possibilities to feel into a work, to listen beyond hearing, to engage in perceptual dramaturgy at the intersection of perception and memory, where dramaturgy encompasses “some of the implicit dynamics of experience that precede both artistic choice-making in the developmental process and the spectator’s arrival at interpretation in performance” (Hansen 107).

A Posthuman Dramaturgical Inquiry

We now turn to consider the practice inquiry by Rea Dennis that engenders engagement with the outdoors, with nature, where the performing body is conceived as natureRiver + Stones (2016), Field Trip to the Future (2021 and 2022) and Feeling Nature (2021). Troubling the principles of biophilia, the works interrogate humanist assumptions through performative and participatory actions outdoors.

Biophilia is from the Greek, meaning a love of nature, and is a central architectural principle in greening cities’ initiatives to bring nature into urban contexts. The works in this section set out to examine how the sensory play afforded by outdoor practices in nature reveals this innate connectivity through nondiscursive forms of meaning and are framed by an interest scored into every cell of Dennis’ being from a childhood lived outdoors.

Field Trip to The Future, Rea Dennis, Lake Modewarre, Wathaurong Country, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of the authors
Field Trip to the Future[1]

Performed on Wathaurong country and informed by earlier work In our Backyard,[2] Field Trip to the Future sought to decentre the construct that performance is positioned within a defined and specific space. A practitioner and maker, Rea Dennis’s works troubles human and linguistic-centered meaning. She draws on embodied, material, digital and participatory processes to disrupt narrative forms and produce experiences that intersect with nature and the outdoors.

Conducted across five distinctive sites from waterway locations on Lake Modewarre and Point Addis, along the shoreline at Ocean Grove, within the forest adjacent to Airey’s Inlet, and in the urban cultivated site of Geelong Botanic Gardens, Field Trip references a kind of nomadic wandering, where each performance engaged with the geological, material and cultural sediment of the site within a distinct post-human, exploratory aesthetic. In a work that might be considered socially engaged, Field Trip to the Future disrupted the notion that human performers would lead and paid attention to the affordances of the material agency of boulders (You Yangs), wetlands (Lake Modewarre) and rivers (Point Addis).

As a work which considered contemporary performance practice in collaboration with the natural world, Field Trip engaged in an intentional troubling of the human-centred and a challenge to our “rational, knowing, [as the] controlling subject as a basis for . . . the performing arts” (Stalpaert et al.), where meaning is made through sensory and affective experiences.

The encounter with perspective and scale afforded by moving out of door disrupts conventions. Tasks included rolling your body eastward along a ridge and noticing the gradient and texture of the earth, walking toward the horizon and then pausing and turning back to notice scale change, and standing upright and facing into and out of the path of the wind. We find ourselves collaborating with weather—with sky, wind, rain, dirt, bird, bugs, seaweed, trees, mosquitoes and more—troubling assumptions about art and performance, critiquing human-centric practices of collaboration and shaping energy and attention toward the performance arising from the geologic and the natural environment. The works generated unexpected, serendipitous interactions, fresh collaborations, activations of space/s, place/s and site/s, and a deep reach into what community might mean within our intrinsic being-ness and practices that might be considered of nature in a more than human dramaturgical strategy. Field Trip investigates the degree to which scale can be optimised within this approach within an urban site.

Feeling Nature[3]

Feeling Nature was also performed on Wathaurong country, in Southwest Victoria, and was set inside an urban green space that was named for a local benefactor. Audience connectivity was explored through sensory experience and movement. Using the lens of biophilia to generate scores, participants were directed to move from one designated area to another. Within each designated area, participants were instructed to focus on a pre-determined activity through a single sense. While each activity offered some form of immersion, the focus remained on the transition from one designated area to another, the distance moved, whether the participant was moving east to west, or west to east, south to north or reverse, uphill, around a cultivated garden bed, across a walking path, or diagonally.

Feeling Nature disrupts the notion of a divide “between the natural world and the social or cultural world” (Latour 254)[[4]] through the simple invitation to sense (or feel) nature. When an audience member picks up a stone, for example, there is a moment in which they may recognise the way they are the same: the sensation of the stone’s texture against their skin, the weight of the small mass and the incidental pressure that can be felt as they roll it around in their hand. The possibilities of experiencing phenomena are enhanced; the awareness of being here, now—of attunement to a form of vibrational reciprocity from stone to human and back to stone, and then the potential for a shift to the nostalgia of memory, or the grief of loss.

The aesthetic of this work engendered kindness and care, revealing layers of connectivity among the nuances of human-nonhuman interplay, of how we interact, consider, respect and behave on this country (Dennis). The imperative within the posthuman dramaturgical strategy is not to reduce life to a series of isolated fragments but to open genuine encounters for audiences which unfolded new understandings of  connection following the isolation and constraints brought on by COVID-19.

In Our Back Yard, Rea Dennis, You Yangs, Wathaurong country, 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Amber Smith

Dennis’ works have interrogated, among other things, the ways in which the participatory outdoor encounter evokes and reveals connectivity to the landscape with the audience and enables a particular kind of embodied engagement through the senses. Moderating shifts in sensory attention reveals inter-energy and points of engagement with other sentient beings as vibrant (Bennett) and agential (Barad). It is within this context that the dramaturgy engages with the multiplicity of what is real. What we experience is phenomena, where, in Barad’s terms:

phenomena are differential patterns of mattering . . . produced through complex agential inter-actions of multiple material-discursive practices or apparatuses of bodily production, where apparatuses are not mere observing instruments but boundary drawing practices—specific material (re)configurings of the world—which come into matter. These causal inter-actions need not involve humans.

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The works sit as critique to social norms that serve the agenda of neoliberal arts agendas. They critique human-centric myopia and activate the kind of conditions in which relationship to place, to each other and to the ways the more-than-human can be experienced.

In the next section of the article, we open up the discussion to foreground sound, silence and distance in indoor settings. We focus on a sound work which takes place in a more traditional performative space (a black box theatre), even as it disrupts conventional theatrical dramaturgies to privilege the audible world as a tool for enabling a creative process and facilitating a sensorial audience experience.

Listening as Process and Performance
Earshot, Kate Hunter and Collaborators, fortyfivedownstairs, performer: Kate Hunter, 2017. Photo: Leo Dale

Interdisciplinary artist Kate Hunter’s practice is grounded in physical theatre training, verbatim theatre and improvisation. An Associate Artist with the award-winning physical theatre company Born in a Taxi for fifteen years, Kate has more recently shifted her focus from theatre-making to a more expansive practice which encompasses visual art practices to create immersive, sound-driven experiences for the audience that examine scale and perspective and in which everyday voices are foregrounded. Her 2017–19 work Earshot was the precursor to this shift in form and experimentation.

Billed as “part live performance, part undercover surveillance operation, part operatic recital” (program for Earshot at fortyfivedownstairs Melbourne), Earshot was a verbatim theatre performance which used eavesdropped conversations of complete strangers to create the performance text. Earshot celebrated marginalia, leftovers, accidental utterances, the half-said, unsaid or misheard. Half-begun sentences, errors, and filler words like “um,” “er,” “ah,” “hmm,” “ha!” were given the same weight as door slams, cricket tweets or car sounds. The work had a refined musical flavour, reflected by its orchestral mise-en-scène, reminiscent of a classical music recital with formally dressed actors working from scores on music stands, moving from station to station, and a number of “instruments” in place. The audience responded by listening to it as a piece of music rather than a theatre work.

Created and performed in Naarm / Melbourne, Australia, Earshot was initially developed at Theatre Works as part of the Festival of Live Art (FoLA) and premiered at the inner-city venue fortyfivedownstairs, before being remounted at Footscray Community Arts Centre as part of the Big West Festival. Critic Alison Croggon described her experience of the work thus:

It’s a show that’s dense with text, both visual and aural; but, like the human voice, it’s full of air. The text is constructed from a myriad of overheard conversations, which are written down verbatim and then turned into poems that are performed by Hunter and Josephine Lange, two extremely skilled vocal artists, in a series of inventive soundscapes designed by Jem Savage. It’s often hilarious, and always sheerly enjoyable.

Earshot disrupted conventional verbatim theatre methods in its embodied and perceptive approaches to reflective listening and the positioning of the practitioner and the audience as engaged rather than impartial witnesses. The work used props, objects and contraptions that were derived from or playful disruptions of “listening devices,” including tin cans, funnels and long lengths of PVC piping, and it employed a layered, poetic, multi-voiced approach to live storytelling with voice-activated text projection, enabling a process in which the actors’ made music from everyday speech (Croggon). The sonic world of the piece was prioritised in its dramaturgical structure such that sound was the unifying motif, words were sung or unisonned or otherwise read as music, and the use of “close mics” in performance created an intimate, conspiratorial auditory space.

Earshot resonated hugely with the public because of its highly relatable content that experience that everyone has had of overhearing a conversation that no one should be privy to. Both seasons of the show were critically acclaimed and warmly reviewed. The Age described Earshot as a “unique and novel theatrical experiment” (Woodhead), and it was named in The Saturday Paper as one of the best live shows of 2019. The five-star reviews were complemented by audience feedback that emphasised the resonance of the material, with punters describing the work as a musical interpretation of Australian language and a unique listening experience, in which they “really enjoyed the voice of the everyday person, because we’ve all been in that room when people are having that conversation and we’re hearing far too much about what they’re doing” (Hunter, Artist Notes).

The overhearing experience in Earshot is one way in which we might understand how we make felt sense of a place through listening. The process of eavesdropping, after all, creates an aural snapshot of where we are, or where our bodies are, at any one time: a sonic place-focussed dramaturgy which makes meaning of our location and ourselves in it.

James Parker and Joel Stern characterise the practice of eavesdropping as a very particular kind of listening which is enabled for us by the specific conditions of the place that we are in the spatial, architectural and embodied considerations which place provides us (22). Space and distance were enfolded into the making of Earshot through the process of gathering the eavesdropped material, in which snippets of conversation were written down, usually using a laptop, whilst sitting in a public space. The eavesdropping, recording and writing took place over three years and occurred in Australia, New York, Thailand and India, as Kate travelled through these places and tuned in to what was occurring around her. The utterances ranged from small, intimate moments of private sharings in noisy cafes, through derogatory drunken putdowns in beachside bars, to shouted instructions to wayward dogs in open parklands. Main streets, ashrams, trains and buses were also prime locations in which Kate located herself. Quite apart from the pragmatics of distance that this process engendered, Kate had to be positioned closely enough to the speaker—the laptop created a kind of conceptual distance as it was difficult to type quickly enough to capture everything, so that the overheard material became poetic fragments which captured the idiosyncrasies of that place in that moment.  

The eavesdropping experience became what Parker and Stern indicate is a breach of the audibility threshold (11): a stepping-away-from meaning and a way of thinking about the sounds of a place as vibrant and interconnected (Bennett 23). Here, we understand Earshot as a work which locates eavesdropping as a practice of listening to everything all at the same time, and which positions the role of the sonic in the theatre space beyond soundtrack or mood-setting device, re-casting it as agential partner with its own vibrant characteristics. We return to Trencsényi’s question about the site of the encounter between performer and audience and propose an expanded, environmental eavesdropping as a spectrum of experience in which “noise” as well as “words” across human speech, environmental, industrial and found sounds are encompassed.

Earshot, Kate Hunter and Collaborators, fortyfivedownstairs, performer: Josephine Lange, 2017. Photo: Leo Dale

Making this work was an extension of Holger Schulze’s discussion of the materiality of sonic practice to foreground listening as an entirely embodied experience in which the whole body becomes the object/percept that is perceived (Schulze 138). Composer Pauline Oliveros describes “deep listening” as “learning to expand the perceptions of sounds to include the whole space/time continuum of sound” (xxiii). In Earshot, this expansive practice of listening occurred during the making and performing of the work. The unique characteristics of the locations of the original recordings a beachside bar, a bustling city street and a dog park were implicit in the field recordings that were gathered. Earshot also manifested a deep listening experience for the actors and the audience in the live work itself. A sense of distance was evoked rather than literal. Although there were sophisticated technological processes that enabled smooth integration across multiple sound worlds in the work, it was the embodied, perceptive practices in particular, the shift of attention to a “deep listening” approach adopted by the artistic team that made way for a feeling experience for the spectator/listener. The audience experienced the work as an aural snapshot of place, even as they were tacitly complicit witnesses to the overheard conversations that were meditated through the actors’ bodies. As Croggon described: “(Earshot) rinsed my perceptions, opening me up to the world around me…I was in the world, listening to the infinite poetry of the everyday.’” Through this performance, the capacity of the body beyond linguistic meaning is activated, molecules vibrating and interacting with noise, vocal production and utterances, breath and materials as a live posthuman dramaturgy.

Kate Hunter in the field, 2015. Photo: Courtesy of the author
Posthuman Dramaturgy: A Quintessentially Australian Perspective

In this paper, we have considered dramaturgical practices of listening, feeling and sensing more broadly as constitutive of very specific kinds of phenomena of place in Australian theatre-making. In reflecting on being a theatre-maker in Australia, we have described those activities that enable forms of listening to and through land and across distances. Through selected case studies, we have teased out practices of listening, feeling and sensing, and considered the ways these pathways elicit a specific kind of engagement with place. We have traversed from Orbost deep within the forests on Gunaikurna country, to far-flung North-Western Victoria on the outskirts of Mildura on Lajti Latji country, to the Southern lands lapping Port Philip and Corio bays in Wurundjeri country, and across the expanse of the Wauthaurong lands.

The article has unfolded the practices of feeling our way, of sensing and noticing, within dramaturgical practices and shaping strategies that focus on a more than human collaboration, recognising and valuing the importance of this reciprocity and drawing together a posthuman dramaturgy of place.

In discussing the case studies, we have sought to claim how, as Australian practitioners and researchers, we do things distinctly. This is partly because of the Australian continent’s distance from the global north. Perhaps more importantly though, it is because we are theatre-makers. We pay attention not just to the ways in which our environment affects “matters of practices, doings, and actions” (Barad 133) we experience but also the ways in which embodied listening affects and interacts with environments. Thinking about practice research in this way contributes to a critical diversification of understandings of dramaturgy in relation to place.

Acknowledgement of Country

The authors acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land from where they work and live—the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations—and pay our respects to elders past and present. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded, and a treaty was never signed.


Endnotes

[1] Concept and direction: Rea Dennis, Performance Series, 1 December 2021–1 June 2022; contributors: Rea Dennis, Amber Smith, Vicky Hallett, Jane Bartier, Kate Gorringe-Smith, Helen Demetriou, Miranda Jarvis, Phoebe Thompson and Lucy Allinson. Produced by Deakin University and Platform Arts Geelong. Funded by Geelong City Council Cultural Grant.

[2] In our Backyard is an intergenerational participatory performance project across various sites. Through a nomadic approach to place and space, moving people out of doors, out of traditional theatre space and beyond the built environment and troubling expectations around age and highlighting elements of play, collaboration and improvisation. Concept and curator: Rea Dennis; contributors: Rea Dennis, Amber Smith, Jane Bartier, Mary Jane Walker. Produced by Deakin University and Platform Arts. Funded by Geelong City Council Cultural Grant.

[3] Feeling Nature 2021; concept and performer: Rea Dennis, Geelong Design Week, Johnstone Park, Gerringhap St, Geelong as part of The Journey of Extraordinary Encounters exhibition. Curated by Mary-Jane Walker, 18–28 March 2021. Funded by City of Greater Geelong.

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*Rea Dennis lives on Wurundjeri country and is an Associate Professor of Art and Performance at Deakin University in Australia. Her research spans perception training for actors, theatre making and sensory dramaturgy, and it seeks to decentre logo-centric and western knowledge forms. She is President of the Australasian Drama Theatre and Performance Studies Association and on the editorial board of Dance and Somatic Practices journal. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and her performance work has toured to Europe, South America, Asia and New Zealand. 

**Dr. Kate Hunter (PhD) is an artist, theatre-maker, writer and researcher who makes cross-disciplinary work that is stimulated by investigations into biomedical science, the body, the senses, diseases and dying, autobiography, talking to herself, sadness and the strange territory of memory. Current works draw on Kate’s developing interest and expertise in juxtaposing technologies, storytelling and the live body with installation, sound and carboard cutouts. Kate is currently Lecturer in Art and Performance at Deakin University, Naarm/Melbourne, Australia.

Copyright © 2023 Rea Dennis and Kate Hunter
Critical Stages/Scènes critiques e-ISSN:2409-7411

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