Image: Ashley Ball

Born in a Taxi

The Waiting Room

Born in a Taxi is one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded, award-winning physical theatre ensembles and creators of contemporary performance. Recognised for producing original, visual and participatory works in theatres, site-specific and outdoor contexts that focus on real-time co-creation.

Renowned for their inventiveness and interaction with their audience, they mix dance with humour, the profound with the profane, and the familiar with the unlikely. Born in a Taxi’s co-artistic directors Carolyn Hanna and Penny Baron share a deep investigation into the relationship between performer and audience through the mediums of dance, theatre, live art, visual art, improvisation and sound.

Awards include 2010 Winner of Brisbane Powerhouse Performance Award, The Waiting Room; 2008 Best Production, Best Independent Theatre Ensemble & Best Female Actress (Penny Baron) 6 Hours Later, Short and Sweet, Melbourne Fringe; 2005 Best Production, Not Dead Yet with Rawcus, Melbourne Fringe.

Born in a Taxi has performed at Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre, Pittsburgh Children’s Festival (USA), WOMAD and Cuba Duba Festival NZ, Commonwealth Games, GLOW Festival HOTA, Flint Children’s Festival (USA), Ann Arbour Festival (USA), New Taipei Children’s Festival Taiwan, The Goyang Lake Park Arts Festival (South Korea), ASSITEJ Summer Festival (South Korea), Capital E Festival, Wellington (NZ), Gwacheon Hanmadang Festival (South Korea), Perth International Festival; Adelaide Fringe, Umeda Festival (Japan), Oerol Festival (Netherlands), Sziget Festival (Hungary), and Gent Festival (Belgium). They have had works commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Museum, Commonwealth Games, White Night Festival, Melbourne International Festival, Monash University, Melbourne & Werribee Zoo, and many more.


The Waiting Room places collective human behaviour under the microscope, from the comical to the disturbingly surreal, in a participatory co-creation with the audience.

The Waiting Room is cutting-edge experimental theatre: a profound exploration of how we choreograph ourselves from chaos. What makes this piece radically beautiful is that it interrogates and embodies the random processes intrinsic to human behaviour.” – Cameron Woodhead, The Age

Melbourne’s masters of improvisation and contemporary performance bring you a unique, unrepeatable performance unifying an audience of strangers in the spirit of play.

Enter The Waiting Room and you immediately ask: where’s the stage? The entire space is filled with rows of chairs. Sit where you will; from the outset, the audience is complicit in the show’s creation. The Waiting Room is rich with physical, metaphysical, and psychological resonances. A familiar place where we all find ourselves at some point. Waiting. Waiting on the phone, at the train station, in the elevator, for a diagnosis, better times, love, a verdict or death.

Free to sit and watch or join in as the audience is seduced in collective play and scrutiny. Interactions occur, events take place and meaning accrues. These interactions are the engine of The Waiting Room, where the audience as both spectator and participant bring their individual histories and imaginations to bear. The line between audience and performer fades as genuine in-the-moment exchanges shape each moment that follows. The stakes keep getting higher, till finally one person’s wait is over, in an unexpected twist: a grand solo is performed by an audience member.

Empowering and unpredictable, each night’s show is driven by a soundscape created live each night. All verbal material is pre-recorded and can be recorded in any language making this show tourable anywhere and accessible to all ages and cultures. A site-responsive work adapted to each venue.