Samantha is a creative producer who facilitates, curates and produces performing arts and participatory experiences across a range of scales and formats.

For Samantha, the arts are an important mechanism for connection, supporting social change and challenging beliefs, and through her practice, she aims to create opportunities for artists and facilitate genuine engagement with communities. Her experience includes coordinating performing arts marketplace Showcase Victoria and co-programming Poppy Seed Festival, and she is currently the creative producer of multi-award winning Elbow Room, one of Australia’s leading contemporary ensembles.

With the support of a Cultural Trust grant, Samantha will travel to the United Kingdom to research inclusive theatre practice and, more specifically, theatre created with and for community. She will take part in a three-week residency at Quarantine in Manchester, which will involve creative collaborations with two other arts organisations, Contact and HOME. Quarantine is highly regarded across the globe for creating theatre, performances and other public events about the here and now, and engaging in lengthy and intimate research with its performers, often working with people who are rarely seen on stage.

During her residency, Samantha will work alongside Quarantine’s executive director, Ali Dunican, on an international project with partners in France, Netherlands, Morocco and Poland. The project’s two elements, Tenancy (based in Manchester) and Meet the Neighbours (the framework for each international partner to deliver a project in their home country), will both explore the relationships between people and artists in urban spaces. In Tenancy, Quarantine will invite artists to take up lease in a city centre apartment, engaging with their neighbours and other community members, leaving behind a trace of their stay in the form of an artwork, exhibition, performance, or similar. Tenancy will premiere in the second half of 2018.

Samantha will also spend two weeks with companies across London and Edinburgh, and undertake secondments with two of London’s leading performing arts centres: The Battersea Arts Centre and The Young Vic Theatre.

These invaluable opportunities will allow Samantha to gain a unique insight into participatory theatre that welcomes community and fosters reciprocity and inclusivity in the arts. The experience will expose Samantha to a type of practice that is rarely embarked upon in Australia and provide her with the skills and knowledge to develop inclusive, community-oriented theatre projects back home.