Theatre as Memory Work panel @ CTP

Monash University Centre for Theatre and Performance, with support from City of Monash,
brings an accomplished panel of researchers and theatre makers to the Drama Theatre at
Monash Clayton on Thursday 21st September at 7pm, to talk about incredible work that has been and continues to be, undertaken on the use of theatre as memory work.

An upcoming ‘Theatre as Memory Work’ discussion panel is an opportunity for healthcare
providers, aged care professionals, caregivers, seniors and their families and theatre makers across Melbourne, to hear four exceptional panelists discuss their own approach of doing memory work, the potential that storytelling and theatre has to respond to the needs of a growing ageing population, to promote their preservation of identity and physical, mental and emotional well being.

The panelists include researchers and theatre and performance makers who are exploring
memory and ageing through storytelling or performance and have made performance with and for ageing populations experiencing cognitive decline with Alzheimers and Dementia.

Taking to the stage as part of the panel are:

Penelope Bartlau, Artistic Director of Barking Spider Visual Theatre;

Dr. Joanne Mihelic, researcher in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University;

Peta Murray, writer-performer, dramaturge and teacher

Alison Richards, director, writer, dramaturg and performer.

They will be supported by panel convenors:
Dr Misha Myers and Professor Stacy Holman-Jones from Monash University

According to Alzheimer’s Australia there are almost half a million people with dementia in
Australia and every day, 244 new people join the population with dementia. While it is a disease with no real prevention, treatment or cure, ongoing research has shown that storytelling and theatre as memory work can help slow down the progress of this degenerative disease.*

Due to this research, storytelling for those with dementia has become a more widely used
therapeutic tool and has shown to have a positive impact on seniors with middle to late stages of dementia, including initiation of conversation and other social interactions and an increased expressiveness.

This research prompted Monash University Centre for Theatre and Performance students to work with residents of the Corpus Christi Retirement Village and create a personal performance piece, ‘In a Heartbeat’, which is directed by panel member Penelope Bartlau. This performance will be held prior to the panel discussion for residents and their families, however Penelope will talk about the process, the revelations, the outcomes as part of the ‘Theatre as Memory Work’ discussion panel from 7pm.


DATE: Thurs 21 Sept
TIME: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
VENUE: Drama Theatre, Performance Arts Centre, 55 Scenic Blvd, Monash Uni Clayton
TICKETS: This is a free event. No booking required.

The Memorandium: Is Memory more Imagination or fact? Theatre Works, 2014 – Image: Sarah Walker

This project has been supported by City of Monash through Monash Community Grants