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October 25, 2019

National Performing Arts Heritage Conference comes to Geelong

From 6–8 November, Deakin University is hosting the 2019 Performing Arts Heritage Network (PAHN) Conference in the Western Beach Room on the Waterfront Campus. Two days of presentations from historians, archivists, researchers and arts practitioners will culminate in a walking tour of Geelong’s arts and heritage institutions on the third and final day. Venues include Back to Back Theatre, Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) and the Geelong Heritage Centre.

Our University Librarian, Craig Anderson, will open the conference, which is also supported by Deakin University Library.

PAHN – a National Network affiliated with the Australian Museums and Galleries Association – is dedicated to the collection, preservation and continued accessibility of Australia’s performance histories. This year’s conference begins with a strong focus on Geelong, with presentations on local travelling shows and showmen, Deakin’s own Mill Theatre Company (1978-1987), Back to Back Theatre and theatre memorabilia from the Geelong Heritage Centre collections.

Ladies of Fortune performance

From there, the offerings billow out geographically to include papers on Melbourne theatres and theatre companies, Sydney dance, touring companies as tools of soft diplomacy in the Asia Pacific region, and New York’s The Wooster Group. There will also be round table discussions to accommodate lightning talks and last-minute contributions.

The University’s Geelong campus is the ideal venue for PAHN. Drama, theatre and performance studies have been on the curriculum at Deakin since its beginnings in the late 1970s. Many graduates have gone on to successful careers in the arts and entertainment industries, including Rachel Griffiths and comedian Tommy Little (The Project). Deakin’s professional theatre companies, The Mill Theatre and The Woolly Jumpers, helped to redefine community theatre in Melbourne, and in the process spawned a generation of influential local and international performers and companies.

Deakin has also been heavily involved with GPAC from its inception until the present day. The University is the major sponsor of GPAC’s theatre season, and Deakin’s Costa Hall is well-frequented venue for GPAC events.

There’s still time to register to attend this year’s conference. You can choose the full conference ticket or pay for one day only. For more information, please visit the Australian Museums and Galleries Association website.

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