Does one size fit all? Bridging the urban/rural taste divide

For artists focussed on inner-city audiences, the idea of touring regionally can be confronting. But are audiences any different outside the capitals?

A scene frome the Dirty Pretty Theatre & Critical Stages co-production, Thérèse Raquin. Photo by Jeff Busby.

In some states, touring regionally is built into a company’s KPIs and factored into a season’s offerings from the word go. Elsewhere, small-to-medium companies may be keen to take their work on the road in order to provide employment opportunities for their performers, but anxious about the reception their adventurous productions might receive at a regional performing arts centre.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts