A tremendous opportunity to showcase WA talents to the world

Perth will be hosting the 2024 International Society for the Performing Arts mid-year Congress, with performance showcases for delegates and the public.
Members of First Nations music duo, Gina Williams (left) and Guy Ghouse (right). Williams is a woman with long brown and blonde hair, light brown skin, a big smile and wearing a red dress with the same coloured scarf. Ghouse is a tall man with light brown skin, wearing a newsboy hat and holding a black electronic guitar, wearing a black shirt and smiling.

The International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) mid-year Congress will be held in Perth from 30 April to 3 May this year, welcoming performing arts leaders from around the world to experience the breadth of talent on offer in WA.

This is a major opportunity for WA artists, with a key part of the program offering them a stage to perform for both ISPA delegates and the Perth public.

The ISPA Out on the Town program opens with a free concert featuring WA musicians Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse, followed by leading theatre-makers Midwinter Productions’ I’M WITH HER, Mark Haslam and kdmindustries’ pertinent production, Fake, and Sensorium Theatre’s family-friendly work, Wonderbox.

Williams and Ghouse’s performance spotlights Noongar language with contemporary music, stunning vocals and guitar, on 30 April at Yagan Square Amphitheatre.

After a sell-out season at Perth Festival, I’M WITH HER will provide audiences with another opportunity to experience the must-see production from 2-3 May at the State Theatre Centre of WA. The show reveals the stories of eight extraordinary Australian women, including former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and pro surfer Pam Burridge. Together, these stories fight the beast of sexism and demonstrate female empowerment.

Also thought-provoking is Fake, a joyously chaotic deep-dive into alternative truths, fact-checkers, AI, scams, conspiracy theories – you name it. Fake investigates polarisation within society, and the distortions of reality that have become the hallmark of contemporary life, and will be performed as a one-night show at The Rechabite, Goodwill Club on 2 May.

ISPA Producer Eva Mullaley says the program spotlights boundary-pushing artistic talent. ‘When programming WA works, I wanted to focus on the extraordinary work from our small and/or independent performance makers – exciting artistic excellence that pushes boundaries and productions that are ready to break through to an international audience.’

These will be complemented by Sensorium Theatre’s immersive experience, Wonderbox, which invites children on a journey into a wonderland of illusions, projections and live music. Each child will be invited to discover a magical version of themselves at the State Theatre Centre of WA from 29-30 April and 2-3 May.

A group of children lead by a facilitator in the middle standing beneath a large orange sheet with green projections. A couple of adults are holding up the sheet, while the kids have their hands raised in the air.
‘Wonderbox’ by Sensorium Theatre. Photo: Supplied.

Mullaley adds: ‘These ground-breaking shows will captivate ISPA delegates, but we are also pleased to make them available to the people of Perth. I encourage audiences to come along and see some of these great Western Australian companies shine on the world stage as part of the prestigious ISPA Congress.’

The Perth 2024 ISPA Congress is one of two held each year, with the January Congress hosted in New York. It brings together leaders from more than 50 locations across the world, including presenters, festival directors, producing companies, artist managers, consultants, governments and cultural leaders.

The Congress is presented by PAC Australia and supported by the Government of Western Australia – Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Arts and Culture Trust, Business Events Perth, Business Events Australia and Creative Australia. The ISPA Out on the Town program is supported by City of Perth.

Learn more.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.