Let’s go for a walk: Tech Degustation Tour

Let’s go for a walk: Tech Degustation Tour

Monique Boucher

From across regional WA, 23 community presenters came to Perth and joined us for the first Tech Degustation Tour. It was the opening event in a week of professional development funded by Country Arts WA.

We ventured out on a walking tour with a difference alongside Karen Cook, who has a wealth of touring, technical and production history and acted as our venue tour guide for the day. Visiting three performing arts venues in central Perth gave presenters the chance to learn more about the technical aspects of touring and presenting productions in a variety of venues.

Commencing at His Majesty’s Theatre, presenters were afforded the opportunity to explore Downstairs at His Maj to discuss the tech specifications of the venue. Karen explained how important it is to have a simple venue tech spec which shows the limitations and requirements of a venue. It is also a great tool to provide to producers before they arrive in a community. Presenters were provided a tech spec template to use.

Presenters at His Maj Downstairs figure out how their venues measure up. Picture by Monique Boucher.

On returning to her community, Laura Adams from Frankland River CRC has already started to create a tech spec for their main buildings.

“It has informed our discussions with producers and we are in a much better position to be able to articulate what resources we have. It’s shown that we can explore the possibilities of a space.”

A real highlight of the afternoon was a special backstage tour of the venue including the opportunity to stand on the main stage at His Majesty’s Theatre. And yes – there were some jazz hands and a desire to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare when caught in the moment!

Presenters listen in for some tips on risk management at the Yagan Square outdoor stage. Picture by Matt Tomich.

It wouldn’t have been a degustation tour without indulging in a cheeky ice-cream whilst presenters completed an activity in the Yagan Square Amphitheatre. Outdoor spaces have their own challenges, so a risk assessment was created keeping in mind the weather, security and safety of patrons and performers.

Whilst strolling from venue to venue great connections and conversations were had as presenters from as far as Derby to Frankland River were able to chat and discuss their similarities and differences.

Concluding at the Perth Town Hall, Colleen Dixon – Facilities Coordinator, explained the challenges involved with running the historic, heritage listed venue – which many regional presenters felt mirrored their own. Presenters were provided with various production tech specs and asked to determine if the hall was an appropriate venue to present each show. It was a great opportunity for questions to be asked about tech terms that may have be unfamiliar.

Many presenters found the challenges faced by the historic Perth Hall to be similar to their own venues back home. Picture by Matt Tomich.

Following on from the Tech Degustation Tour, presenters attended WA Showcase, hosted by CircuitWest. The conference included international keynote speakers covering community engagement and creative leadership. They also saw pitches by WA producers for work in production and available to tour.

The Tech Degustation Tour armed presenters attending WA Showcase with the technical knowledge to determine if a venue was suitable for a show.

Janelle Duncan from the Shire of Cue and Kaytlyn Brownley from Bruce Rock CRC said they felt more confident to talk to producers about the technical aspects of the show and to see if the show could be scaled down to suit their venue and community.

Everyone enjoyed a moment in the spotlight on stage at His Majesty’s. Picture by Matt Tomich.

Overall presenters were able to share and learn with each other, and from the venues on the walking tour. Now equipped with even more knowledge we can’t wait to see the great results in their communities!

“In the Mukinbudin CRC I am pretty much a one woman show in presenting so for me to have this knowledge from a technical perspective is beneficial to the company and making shows successful.”

Alcye Ventris – Mukinbudin CRC


A couple of great tools were created for the Tech Degustation Tour!

We invite presenters to use the activity booklet and tech resource booklet with your venue to support your own professional development.

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