Company / Producer: Name Barking Gecko Theatre Company
Contact Person: Sean Walsh
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Website: www.barkinggecko.com.au
Having secured 2 years of touring funding, we would like to present to presenters and interested parties the shows that Barking Gecko is working on now. The company has been creating large scale works that have not been overly suitable for smaller regional venues, however, we have several exciting new projects that could have substantially more touring and presenting opportunities. These works could fit into smaller venues and perhaps even non-traditional presenting spaces. Coupled with this is our ensembles programme, which sees local teaching artists working with children in a creative learning environment. Having secured RISE funding, we are working on a project in the regions which will be half completed by the time Showcase is upon us.
As always, Barking Gecko’s driving force is creating work for young people. We want to create high quality theatre experiences for children from all backgrounds. To this end, we have a particular focus on children who might not otherwise be able to attend theatre, including those from lower socio-economic backgrounds or from regional and remote areas. A Get Together will allow us to talk directly to those interested parties and give the sector an update on Western Australia’s oldest established professional theatre company. We have been very pro-active in engaging with regions over the past 12 months and would love the opportunity to reach out to those venues that we either haven’t met or haven’t had the chance to visit in person.
Ideally working with venues to arrange touring well in advance, so that we all have time to get collateral and other marketing materials together. We want to facilitate an open dialogue with venue managers about what they need in order to support their West Australian companies and have quality theatre for families that is accessible for all audiences. So far we have discussed the time of year to tour, but this is just the beginning. There are further steps needed in working with regional artists to assist in bringing creative learning and quality theatre experiences to children everywhere. This is not only fundamental in a Childs development, well-being, confidence and mental health, but also in introducing young people to theatre at an early age. In engaging young people in the the theatre at an early age, they are much more likely to attend theatre as an adult. So while the short-term gain might not seem obvious straight away, in the long-term, we will see more confident, empathetic children that have an interest in returning to venues. Ultimately, we would love for these children to grow up having a wonderful memory and experience in their local Arts venue, and make these places as important and integrated in the community as the local footy club.
We see this as a slow build and something that will take time. The long term strategy of Barking Gecko is to build relationships with regional venues and help build their relationship with families and schools in the area. Recognising that transience is a major issue in the regions, we hope that in the long term, venues, along with schools will have a three way relationship (BGT, Venue and school), so that if one member of the triangle leaves, then the other two can pick up the conversation. Having a stable time of year for touring that is suitable for the venue and not competing with Eastern States producers is paramount in this strategy and while there will always be problems associated with this, we sincerely hope that we can get schools (and to a certain extent GP) into the habit of booking with the local venue each year, knowing that Barking Gecko will be in town and will deliver a quality engagement program, followed by a world-class theatre experience in their own backyard.