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Western-Dyer Productions

Touring with multiple shows allowed Western-Dyer Productions to meet the unique needs of the regional communities they visited.

What

arTour managed the Western-Dyer Productions tour of four productions to 19 regional and remote communities. All four shows were produced and performed by Melissa Western and Tnee Dyer with a live band for The Roaring Twenties. The selection of shows included: 

  • The Roaring Twenties - a jazzy speakeasy loaded with familiar classics; 
  • Lissa and Nee Nee's Space Adventure - an interactive musical experience for young children; 
  • Sweet, Sour & Saucy - a quirky, fun, vintage talkback radio love show; and 
  • Barbara and Barry’s Christmas Special - a customisable community Christmas concert.

Taking four shows on the one tour allowed the performers to be flexible and meet the needs of each individual community.

The touring company also spent time in towns prior to performances, delivering workshops and learning about the town’s history to add surprising local references to the Roaring Twenties production.

Photo of Melissa Western in costume

When

September to October 2016; and November to December 2016

Where

Barcaldine, Blackall, Charters Towers, Childers, Cloncurry, Emerald, Gympie, Hughenden, Injune, Julia Creek, Longreach, Maleny, Miles, Mount Isa, Proserpine, Springsure, Tambo, Townsville, Yeppoon

Key stats

  • 32 performances with 4739 attendees
  • 30 community engagement activities with 436 participants
  • 5 full-time artists/arts and cultural workers and 2 other full time workers
  • 50 volunteers

Arts Queensland contribution

$52,350 – Playing Queensland Fund   

Outcomes

  • The flexible and collaborative approach of Melissa and Tnee meant event organisers were able to best meet the needs of their unique communities. 

‘The quality of the production and performers is very good. The option to offer two different genres of performance meets our programing needs’ – The World Theatre, Charters Towers

  • Melissa and Tnee invested time to strengthen their connections with local presenters and audiences. This commitment increased recognition of the artists in communities and built local capacity through workshops, mentoring and advice.

The performers worked ‘collaboratively with the local school to include the performance as part of their under 8's day. Most children who attended had never seen a live show’ – The Maranoa Regional Council

  • The performers’ engagement with the community in the lead up, combined with the participatory nature of the performances, increased the community atmosphere at the shows.

'The Mount Isa community really connected with Melissa and Tnee and they really connected with the community to bring a witty, fun, dynamic and unbelievable performance to the 2016 Carols by Candlelight' – Mount Isa City Council

 

Feedback

‘I have never seen my kids so captivated by a live show before. They loved it!! It was SO entertaining for adults as well - something for everyone’ – Parent

‘It is wonderful to have an act like this visiting our rural community. Thank you!!’ – Audience Member

‘The Roaring Twenties could not have been better - their professionalism, flexibility and co-operation were exemplary’ – Heartland Festival, Blackall

Photograph of Melissa Western and Tnee Dyer

Tips for others

arTour and Western-Dyer Productions share their insights on touring to and working with regional communities:

Word of mouth cannot be underestimated – and it is best achieved while the performers are personally in town. Being in a town for a couple of days or more prior to a performance is invaluable. It gives the performers capacity to work with the community and greatly increases audience engagement. It also enables the performers to tailor the show to the community (e.g. add local references and/or local history into the story).

In the future, we will consider touring in two phases. The first stage would include touring around towns hosting workshops and engaging the community. The second phase of the tour would include the full touring personnel and performances.

 

Find out more

Email: hello@artour.com.au 

Website: http://www.artour.com.au 

Roaring 20s Testimonials

Space Adventure Testimonials  

Sweet Sour Saucy in Yeppoon

 

A pdf version (PDF) (358.78 KB) of the case study is available.

Feature image: Sweet, Sour & Saucy. Image supplied by arTour.

 

 

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