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dc.contributor.authorPender, A.-
dc.identifier.citationAustralasian Drama Studies, 2021; (78):195-223-
dc.description.abstractIn 2012 Australia’s first ambassador to China, Stephen Fitzgerald, argued that Australians need a stretch of the imagination ‘to be able to imagine a different kind of relationship’ with China, one that is not merely transactional and commercial. Fitzgerald encouraged Australians to invest in the relationship in a way that we have with other important nations such as the UK and the US. He stressed the need for an ‘intensity of sustained personal contact’. The making of theatre is one of the ways in which sustained personal contact occurs, and a genuine cultural exchange. Between 2012 and 2020 at least a dozen Australian theatre companies have taken their work to China. Companies offering opera, ballet, spoken word drama, physical theatre, puppetry and children’s theatre have all toured or appeared at festivals, some of them offering productions over multiple years. This article draws on extensive first-hand accounts by participants interviewed by the author to explore the recent experiences of actors, directors and producers involved in three touring productions and their reception by Chinese audiences, against a backdrop of expanding access to, and increasing interest in Australian performance in the People’s Republic. Using a case study approach, the article examines the development and production of three diverse works and the extent of their adaptation for audiences in China. The case study productions include Saltbush, an immersive children’s theatre production from Insite Arts, Baba Yaga, a children’s play and co-production between Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre and Scotland’s Imaginate, and desert, 6.29pm, a play produced by the Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, who were invited to perform at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in 2018. The article considers the spaces of aesthetic transformation and intercultural connection afforded by the productions, the long-term investment in children’s theatre in South Australia that has enabled the international reach of several companies, the finely balanced economics of touring to China, and the sustained personal relationships between the touring companies and the individuals who operate the highly successful Shanghai-based presenting company, A.S.K (Art Space for Kids). It speculates about performance futures and collaborative opportunities between China and Australia at a time of strained relations.-
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityAnne Pender-
dc.publisherAustralasian Drama Studies-
dc.rights© Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA), 2021-
dc.titleSustained personal contact: Recent Australian productions on tour in China-
dc.typeJournal article-
dc.identifier.orcidPender, A. [0000-0002-7435-0308]-
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