Title

Lysistrata

Document Type

Original Creative Work

School

Arts and Humanities

RAS ID

19532

Comments

This play was originally performed: 31 July 2015. Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.

Abstract

Lysistrata is a contemporary adaptation of Aristophanes’ Old Comedy presented at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre’s Cube Theatre (July 2015). I directed and choreographed the live performance and worked closely with emerging artists and community to develop an original script, stage design and music. The work further tested my original creative methodology Underscore Alchemy; attracted media attention; built skills; created new audiences for locally produced contemporary performing arts; fostered engagement between ECU, arts organisations and the community.

The work is the first application of my ongoing research enquiry Underscore Alchemy (see RAS 18188, 18236, 20429) to a public creative outcome. UA is an original methodology that supports creative practice through mind-body awareness in line with research that shows the value of contemplative practice for relational and academic outcomes. My contribution extends knowledge by successfully applying these principles to a collaborative community artwork through a focus on somatic awareness and play. Findings were presented at Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies 2016 and published in peer-reviewed conference proceedings (RAS 21428). New research projects apply UA to a writing group (The Other Writing Group) and self-care for social workers (Embodying Practice).

Gained BREC funding to produce work and established professional standing, leading to commission for a new co-production. Twice performed to full houses (audience of 500) and critically acclaimed in local press. Gained support of Ausdance WA to mentor student arts worker and attest to positive participant experience. Both organisations conducted audience response surveys providing me with data for further work. The work generated teaching and learning outcomes: 1 undergraduate research project, 1 professional placement, 1 Honours research project.

Background: Lysistrata is a contemporary adaptation of Aristophanes’ Old Comedy presented at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre’s Cube Theatre. I directed and choreographed the live performance and worked closely with emerging artists to develop an original script, stage design and music. I was able to further test my Underscore Alchemy research findings; attract media attention; build skills for creating and new audiences for appreciating locally produced contemporary performing arts; foster engagement between ECU, arts organisations and the general community.

Contribution: It extends my ongoing research project Underscore Alchemy’s collaborative creative methods into a public creative outcome. Findings will be presented at Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies 2016. The work links to my teaching and learning and research supervision: see supporting documents. It generated 1 undergraduate research project, 1 professional placement, 1 Honours research project, 25 participants, 500 audience, 7 articles in local press.

Significance: Twice performed at BREC to full houses and critically acclaimed in local press. Gained funding to produce work (BREC’s Community Access Grant $4000); established professional standing with BREC (made theatre $2544 profit). Marketing Manager writes, ‘Lysistrata ran for two shows on Friday 31 July, both of which reached full capacity … close to 500 people attended the show. This is an excellent result for a community production’. Gained support of the Australia Dance Council (Ausdance) who viewed the work and conducted an audience response survey, providing me with data for further work. Regional Contemporary Dance Facilitator writes, ‘Vahri is a highly attuned artist with great integrity … a determination to achieve excellence … always delivers to or beyond our expectations.’

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