<p>Tastings, the biennial showcase of original works by University of Melbourne students, will be held 22–25 August in the Guild Theatre. With over a decade of history, Tastings is developed and run by the University of Melbourne Student Union’s (UMSU) creative arts department.</p>
Tastings, the biennial showcase of original works by University of Melbourne students, will be held 22–25 August in the Guild Theatre. With over a decade of history, Tastings is developed and run by the University of Melbourne Student Union’s (UMSU) creative arts department. This year, the showcase comprises 11 original short works including dance works, short film, devised theatre and scripts for performance.
Freya McGrath, an UMSU creative arts officer, described this year’s program as “quite eclectic in style and content”.
“There are explorations of love, gender, race, climate change, gambling, pop culture and chronic illness. This program is comprised of works that are wholly unique—works that show great potential, vitality and daring.”
Tastings is an important development opportunity for young artists at the University. For many, this will be the first time their work has been performed for an audience. The student artists are also given an opportunity to work with mentors, whom the creative arts officers provide.
“This year we have gathered a phenomenal group of industry professionals, matching them with artists based on mutual areas of interest and style. Each mentorship is … tailored to ensure that the students get the most out of this unique opportunity.”
Luke Macaronas, whose short work about gay desire, Aponea, will be featured in Tastings this year, said he and co-writer Sarah Bostock “pitched more of a process than a performance” to Tastings.
“It’s about developing artistic practice and giving artists a space to experiment and explore. The chance to really play, but also to challenge, is the big appeal for me. I’m looking to take some big steps—to explore my own body and practice—and not all of it will end up in the piece, but I’m really grateful for the space and the chance to let that imagination loose.”
Tastings’ production has dramatically changed since its debut. In 2006, only four works were presented and the number of applications received by the creative arts department has also risen, which McGrath attributes to increased interest in student-written and -devised work in the performance community.
In addition to the program, this year’s showcase will also feature a one-off event, the Tastings Takeover, on the opening night. This event will take place in the Guild foyer and will involve visual artworks, projections, live art and performance art pieces.