Lead Artists: Sarah Austin, Mallika Macleod, Maddie Little and Kath Duncan

Introduction to Perth Workshop

Listen to audio description of Introduction to Perth Workshop

‘The workshop was specifically designed to create a toolbox of additional expertise in the participants, and to foster the notion that they could lead performance workshops in future, using these offers and the other sets of creative and embodied knowledges they possess.’

– Sarah Austin

Workshop Plan

Workshop Videos

Watch audio description of Perth Workshop Video 1

Watch audio description of Perth Workshop Video 2

Watch audio description of Perth Workshop Video 3

Watch audio description of Perth Workshop Video 4

Workshop stills

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Workshop Intentions

To provide participants with practical, inclusive workshop skills and exercises that develop their capacity to lead and facilitate performance workshops. This intention was a specific response to the sector in Perth, and a perception that whilst there was an active Disability Arts Community, it was difficult to identify a potential disabled workshop leader from the area.


Day 1

12 noon – 1.30

  • Welcome and Introductions ( Kath and Sarah)
  • Spectrum Exercise – WHO IS IN THE ROOM?
  • Partner Exercise – WHAT ARE YOU AN EXPERT IN?
  • Vocal Warm-up exercise – Vocal pie and sound orchestra. Argument in a made-up language.
  • Movement Exercise – Seven ways to exit a chair

Creative Task

1.30 – 2pm – Lunch


  • Impossible Task Exercise; a movement exercise based on developing a choreographic sequence from a provocation that joins with others to create small group works

(includes solo and group work, showings)


  • Everyone in the room writes down or records an ‘impossible task’ – something like eat the walls in the room, or swallow the whole ocean
  • Each participant is given one of the impossible tasks (not their own) and instructed to create a series of actions that demonstrates attempting this task. The actions are broken down into a sequence of four or five moments
  • Each participant presents a performance lasting 30 seconds
  • Then each participant is paired with another participant and combining both sequences of actions, the pair is to create a performance that lasts 3 minutes (it can be a performance that repeats a number of times to last up to 3 minutes)
  • These performance pairs present their work
  • Time contingent, the pairs become fours, and the performance is developed to extend to 7 minutes incorporating all actions and sequences.


Day 2

12 noon – 1.30 – Mallika MacLeod



Who Wants to Be a Boss? Workshop + discussions about our present-day careers and our dreams. The focus is – how do we make more Deaf and disabled directors, producers, managers, creative leaders?

1.30 – 2pm – lunch

2-330 –  Generative Task

What Does This Mean To You?

Participants watch a (captioned) three-minute piece of film footage with music where both the audio and visuals are part of the overall aesthetic and experience of the piece.


  • Participants are asked to write down to things that this clip meant for them, or made them think about, remember or reflect upon
  • Working in groups of three or four, participants have one hour to create a short performance work that is inspired or provoked by their reactions to the film clip. This short performance piece can be storytelling, movement, spoken word, narrative based, musical, comedy or anything.
  • At the end of the hour, we do a big show and tell with feedback for 30 minutes.




DEBRIEF, Final thoughts etc.

Reflections On The Process

The Perth community of artists are super keen and connected, and absolutely arrived at the workshops ready to work and absorb learning. The tasks seem well designed to keep everyone engaged and connected, and some of the outcomes of the tasks were particularly exciting (Josh Pether and Julia Hale come to mind).


The workshop was set up from the beginning as specifically designed to create a tool box of additional expertise in the participants, and to foster the notion that they could lead performance workshops in future, using these offers and the other sets of creative and embodied knowledges they possess. This was warmly received, and it was clear amongst participants that there are absolutely future and current creative leaders in Perth ready to take the reins.


The impossible task exercise was more successful than the task using film footage, largely due to the room not really supporting watching moving clips. The impossible task exercise created a series of beautiful movement and gesture, and had capacity to be developed even further.


Photographers: icolee Fox, Tom Linden-Wood
Videographer: Sam Hodgson-Bertram