Image: Cath Leo for DreamBIG Children's Festival.

Wire #10: Performance work for Multigenerational Audiences

Wed 16 Sept 2020

What does a ‘multigenerational audience’ mean in the context of live performance? If we move away from the idea of an individualistic consumption of art, and instead think about it as a shared experience for family and community, what does this mean for the way the work is made and presented?

APAM invites this panel of artists, curators and programmers to share their experiences in making and presenting work with broad appeal to diverse age groups. Panellists will explore different creative and cultural approaches, practical considerations, and current experiences in creating rich shared experiences for multigenerational audiences.

Our panel is Jacob Boehme, Larissa FastHorse, Nitya Iyer, Wendy Martin and Nadine McDonald-Dowd, hosted by Sue Giles.

This session will be live captioned. AUSLAN interpreting can be available upon request. Please email us for details.


Jacob Boehme
Jacob is a Melbourne-born and -raised artist of the Narangga and Kaurna Nations, South Australia. Alumnus of the Victorian College of the Arts, (MA in Arts – Playwriting, MA in Arts – Puppetry), Jacob has led the artistic direction of Tanderrum (Melbourne Festival), Boon Wurrung Ngargee (Yalukit Willam Festival), Thuwathu (Cairns Indigenous Arts Fair), Geelong After Dark and is the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI Festival, recipient of the 2018 Green Room Award for Curatorial Contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Arts. As a choreographer, Jacob has created work for the opening ceremonies of FINA World Swimming Championships, Dreaming Festival, Dreamtime at the G and the Cricket World Cup. Jacob is the writer and performer of the critically acclaimed solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, recipient of the 2017 Green Room Award Best Independent Production. Jacob is an Australia Council for the Arts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellow and currently the Artistic Director of The Wild Dog Project, connecting dingo songlines between South Australia, Northern Territory and Far North Queensland.

Larissa FastHorse
Larissa (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is an award winning writer and co-founder of Indigenous Direction.  The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse), is one of the top ten produced plays in America. She is the first Native American playwright to achieve that.  Additional produced plays: What Would Crazy Horse Do? (KCRep), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), Vanishing Point (Eagle Project), and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater). Larissa created a trilogy of Indigenous community engaged plays with Cornerstone Theater Company, Urban Rez in Los Angeles and Native Nation with over 400 Native artists in association with ASU Gammage.  The third project, The L/D/Nakota Project, is set in South Dakota.  Her radical inclusion process with Indigenous tribes was honored with prestigious funding from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, NEFA, First People’s Fund, the NEA Our Town Grant, Mellon Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and others.

Sue Giles AM (Panel Host)
Artistic Director/co-CEO Polyglot Theatre
Sue has been the Artistic Director of Polyglot Theatre since 2000, introducing participatory, immersive works and the interrogation of play in the company’s theatrical offerings for children. Sue has created and co-created over 40 works for the company during this time and her distinct child-centred creative processes have been the subject of forums and discussions nationally and internationally. Her award-winning works have been performed in 18 countries on five continents. She is an advocate for Theatre for Young Audiences in Australia and internationally as Vice President of ASSITEJ International, the global association of theatre for young audiences. In 2018, Sue received the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award and authored a Platform Paper titled Young People And The Arts: An agenda for change. In 2019, she was appointed Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the performing arts as an artistic director, and to theatre for children.

Nitya Iyer
Nitya is an arts manager with a career spanning over 12 years. She began her journey as a dancer with Shiamak Davar Dance Company. Her career as a practitioner in the arts helped her to become an astute programming manager for art institutions. She is presently the Senior Programming Manager at Serendipity Arts Foundation. She produces varied projects across disciplines ranging from Sound, Theatre, Visual and Culinary Arts. Her role involves researching, programming, and producing projects for the Serendipity Arts Festival. Apart from this, she is also involved in the organisation’s policy making, which sets parameters for the festival’s curatorial framework. Her understanding of the technical aspects and project implementation challenges draws on her on-stage experience, and has contributed towards seamless production and operations for the festival. Apart from Serendipity Arts Festival, Nitya was also involved with other festivals including Jaipur Literature Festival (2014), Melbourne International Comedy Festival (India edition, 2014), India by the Nile (2015) and Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (2015).

Wendy Martin
Wendy is a cultural industries consultant and producer. In March 2019 she completed a four-year tenure as Artistic Director of Perth Festival where she delivered programs praised for their ‘passionate sense of social and moral purpose, high quality and deep connections.’
Between 2000 and 2015 Wendy was Head of Performance and Dance at the Southbank Centre, London and the Sydney Opera House creating distinctive international programs and festivals. At Sydney Opera House she founded Spring Dance (2009) and Message Sticks Indigenous Arts Festival (2001). Wendy is a Board member of Chunky Move and DADAA, Western Australia’s arts and health organisation that creates access to cultural activities for people living with disability. She is also a member of the Artistic Reference Panel for Black Swan State Theatre Company. In the UK she was an artistic adviser to Fuel Theatre and served on the Board of the Australian & NZ Festival of Literature and Arts, London.

Nadine McDonald-Dowd
Nadine (yuwibera) is currently Executive Producer at Queensland Performing Arts Centre. She was the Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra Indigenous Performing Arts Company from 2001 to 2004. She first joined Kooemba in 1996 facilitating workshops in youth detention centres and schools on theatre, music, reconciliation and performance. Nadine was a Senior Producer with Major Brisbane Festivals in 2010, Manager of the kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland, and Creative Producer for Festival 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast.