Entering the regional scene with a contemporary Lysistrata

McKenzie, V. (2016). Entering the regional scene with a contemporary Lysistrata. In Rebecca Scollen and Michael Smalley (eds.) Resilience: revive, restore, reconnect: Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies 2016 Conference Proceedings, Volume 1 (pp. 57-69). University of Southern Queensland, Artsworx, Toowoomba, Australia.

How does an independent contemporary theatre maker enter a regional milieu dominated by repertory clubs, large-scale touring shows, and light opera? I found my answer in the form of a community production of Lysistrata grounded in a rigorous process that values collaboration and egalitarianism, embodied knowledge and improvisation. These qualities exemplify an everyday notion of ‘resilience’, the ability to rebound and recover. This paper will address the application of my ongoing research enquiry into collaborative creative practice, which I call Underscore Alchemy, to a performance outcome. I will discuss resilience in the methodology employed, and of the people who participated in the work’s creation.