Aeon (Concept & Artistic Lead: Lz Dunn) 2017. Image credit: Bryony Jackson

Wire #6: Programming Performance, Post-Pandemic

Wed 20 May 2020

We don’t yet know when the doors to venues will re-open, but presenters are thinking about what and how to program when eventually COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

For works in development or imminent delivery in 2020 which have been subject to postponement or cancellation, is it as simple as deferring them to 2021? Will they even be relevant next year, to either artists or audiences?  Will there be an appetite for stories about the global upheaval we’ve experienced together; or for escapism and uplifting distraction?

Hosted by Zohar Spatz (La Boite Theatre Company, Australia), with panellists Kristy Edmunds (UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, USA), Wesley Enoch (Sydney Festival, Australia), and Yvonne Tham (Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore).

This APAM Wire conversation aims to combine perspective formed through lived experience with imagination, critical thinking and foresight for the future.

This session will be live captioned.

AUSLAN interpreting can be available upon request. Please email us for details.


KRISTY EDMUNDS is an artist, curator, frequent keynote speaker and currently the Executive and Artistic Director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), a leading presenter of contemporary performance on the West Coast.  In recognition of her contribution to the arts, Edmunds was named a Chevalier (Knight) de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2016 and was the inaugural recipient of the Berresford Prize by United States Artists (USA) in 2018. Edmunds’ previous positions include Founding Executive and Artistic Director of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) and Time Based Art Festival (1995–2005);  Artistic Director for the Melbourne International Arts Festival (2005–2008), Head of the School of Performing Arts at Victorian College of the Arts/University of Melbourne, and Deputy Dean for the College; and Consulting Artistic Director for the now critically heralded Park Avenue Armory in New York (2009–2012).

WESLEY ENOCH AM is a writer and director and the current Artistic Director at Sydney Festival. He hails from Stradbroke Island (Minjeribah) and is a proud Noonuccal Nuugi man. Previously Wesley has been Artistic Director at Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts; Artistic Director at Ilbijerri Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-operative and the Associate Artistic Director at Belvoir Street Theatre. He was creative consultant, segment director and indigenous consultant for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.  Wesley has written and directed iconic Indigenous theatre productions. The 7 Stages of Grieving which Wesley directed and co-wrote with Deborah Mailman was first produced in 1995 and continues to tour both nationally and internationally.  Others include The Sunshine Club for Queensland Theatre Company and a new adaptation of Medea by Euripides: Black Medea. His play The Story of the Miracles at Cookie’s Table won the 2005 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award. In 2004 Wesley directed the original stage production of The Sapphires which won the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Play. His most recent production is Black Cockatoo, which premiered at the 2020 Sydney Festival.

ZOHAR SPATZ is the Executive Director of La Boite Theatre Company, Australia’s oldest continuously running theatre company, which turns 95 years old in 2020. She is passionate about developing artists and audiences as well as pushing the boundaries of creative and community arts by diversifying the narratives, practices and voices on our stages. Zohar has an extensive background in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector including project management and cross-cultural development. She sits on the board of All The Queen’s Men and is an inaugural leader of the Obama Foundation: Asia Pacific program, a growing global network of emerging international leaders from private, public and non-profit sectors.

YVONNE THAM is the Chief Executive Officer of  The Esplanade Co Ltd, where she is responsible for the overall management and programming direction of Esplanade, as a performing arts centre for everyone. Prior to Esplanade, Yvonne was the Deputy CEO at Singapore’s National Arts Council and the Director of Arts and Heritage Division at the then-Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.  From 2002–2009, she was involved in the development of policies such as the Renaissance City plans, as well as the setting up of the pre-tertiary School of the Arts, the Design Singapore Council, and the National Gallery.  Yvonne had brief stints at the Ministry of Manpower in the area of labour relations and welfare, and taught literature in a Junior College. She has a BA and MPhil in literature from the University of Cambridge, and an Art Business degree with the Sotheby’s Institute.