Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Seasons Greetings MATters

On behalf of Museums Australia (Tasmania) (MAT), I’d like to wish all our members, partners and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

2016 has been a busy one for MAT with site visits, professional development workshops, and the national conference which moved to New Zealand for the first time!  

We begin the New Year with another of our collaborations with Arts Tasmania a half-day workshop on Saturday 21 January, hosted by QVMAG, featuring Michael Mills of HeapsGood Productions. Only $20 for MAT members, and another good reason to be a member.

Have a great break and we’ll see you in 2017!

Janet Carding 

President Museums Australia (Tasmania)

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Theatre in Museums Workshop

Museum theatre is a tool for interpreting, entertaining and educating audiences in cultural institutions. This workshop is an opportunity to learn from a primo storyteller about ways to develop these tools for your museum and visitors. The workshop is part of the Making Museums Work series of professional development workshops and presented by Arts Tasmania, Museums Australia (Tasmania) and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery 


Saturday, 21 January 2017
9:30 am - 12:30 pm


$20 Museums Australia (Tasmania) members
$40 others
Morning tea will be provided. 

The presenter

Michael Mills through HeapsGood Productions, has been writing, producing and performing in shows for many years. HeapsGood Productions have become particularly well known for creating stories within cultural institutions and of finding ways to help bring the collections to life.  

Michael has written, directed, produced and appeared in over forty shows as a variety of characters, as well as himself. These have been performed at a variety of venues including at Adelaide Fringe Festival, the S.A. Museum, the SA Maritime Museum, the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens, and at hundreds of schools and kindergartens. Michael has increasingly utilised the talents of performers selected via the Australian Classical Youth Ballet, and Adelaide Youth Theatre. These shows include:
Dinosaurs Down Under: An exploration of the unique nature of Australia’s pre-history, featuring singing paleontologist Prof Flint.
Wonggayerlo: Footprints in the Sand: A journey between two people of different cultures and understanding, sharing stories of their ancestors and ways of understanding science and knowledge. This show is co-written and performed with local Adelaide Kaurna custodian, Karl Telfer.Gory Stories from the Putrid Past: a foul and filthy fable story about medicine in the age of sail. Due to popular demand, it was performed at the SA Maritime Museum across 3 consecutive school holiday seasons.

Michael is an Adjunct Research Associate at the University of South Australia. He has presented his insights into the role of performance in science communication, and the topic of museum theatre at a number of symposiums and conferences. He recently spoke at the 2016 Adelaide Festival of Ideas on the subject of the role that storytellers have to play in helping to understand the concept of home.  


9.30am Registration & introductions
9.45am Introduction to museum characters, Peron and Professor Flint             
10.15am Unpacking the stories
10.45am Morning tea
11.00am Exhibition walkthrough - Permian Monsters
11.30am Group activity: Developing a narrative
12.30pm      End of workshop


Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Meeting Room, Inveresk

To register

Registration due by Monday, 16 January 2017 
By phone: 03 6165 6666
By email: arts.tasmania@arts.tas.gov.au
By post: Arts Tasmania, 146 Elizabeth Street
Hobart TAS 7000 

There is a maximum of 20 participants for the workshop so please register promptly if you wish to participate. 

About museum theatre

Museum theatre refers to the performance of theatre such as a play in or by a museum and also the use of any of a variety of theatrical techniques by museums. It can be a live interpretive presentation with skilled performers who engage museum visitors (including field trips and outreach) by portraying characters and conveying a story or dramatic narrative. Theatrical museum programs can take the form of a scripted play, dramatic demonstration, living history and first-person interpretation, puppetry, role play, music, movement, creative drama and simulation, gallery characters and enactors interacting with visitors, among others.Best practice in museum theatre means that theatrical programs are integrated into the institution, serve the institution’s audience whilst adhering to the highest standards of excellence. Yes museum theatre is fun but its not fluff. It can be as meaningful, thoughtful and engaging for visitors as any curated exhibition.