A watershed moment in Australian theatre

The Australian Theatre Forum, held this week in Canberra, showcases an industry on the upswing despite the new competition.
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Canberra in May is generally a foggy place, sprinkled with grey mornings and public servants in long dark coats. But in 2013, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the national capital, there’s been a welcome burst of cultural energy in Canberra – and not just Patricia Piccinini’s pendulous Skywhale. Also gracing Canberra this week is a constellation of arts industry events, most notably the Australian Theatre Forum.

Like the National Dance Forum, ATF occurs every two years and has gathered steam in recent years, building a reputation as the go-to event for an often fragmented Australian theatre scene. One of the signposts of that growing significance is the presence of at least two well-credentialled theatre bloggers covering the event – Augusta Supple and Jane Howard. ‘It may appear to be a little strange that an industry which is largely foyer-dwelling and highly present in social media AND practiced in conversation needs such an event,’ Supple notes. ‘But it does.’ 

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Ben Eltham
About the Author
Ben Eltham is ArtsHub's industry columnist.