Red cap

Balodis, Janis Maris & Mee, Sean (2007) Red cap. [Performance]


The field of research is contemporary theatre practice with a community focus. In 2007, La Boite Theatre Company partnered with the Queensland Music Festival to produce an operatic representation of the 1964 Mt Isa industrial dispute, focussed on the charismatic figure of Pat Mackie. “Community theatre” is often criticised on grounds that the work aims only to satisfy community outcomes. This work explored whether a story from a specific location, which is very much an embedded story in the culture of the Mt Isa community, could be told in such a way as to appeal to, resonate with, and have relevance for, broader national and international audiences. To address this question required rigorous interrogation of both content and form. The play was researched through interviews with members of the Mt Isa community, political leadership at the time of the dispute, and participants of the dispute, including Pat Mackie himself. The production was then framed as an oratorio. Uniquely, the play had two back-to-back seasons; the first in Mount Isa (3 shows: 1500 people including a significant number of school children) and a 4-week season at the Roundhouse Theatre, Brisbane (over 5,000 attendances). In each location, a chorale was formed of community participants who, alongside the professional cast, performed the work. The production and its complementary exhibition had a significant local and national profile. The project was featured in The Australian newspaper’s Queensland Music Festival wrap-up as an exemplar of successful community engagement and creative adventure. Playlab Press has since published the script.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 48967
Item Type: Creative Work (Performance)
Refereed: No
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 24 Sep 2014 22:34
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2014 22:34

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