CIRCUIT: Mapping Theatre in Australia

Theatre in Australia happens in many parts of the country, with many productions touring widely. CIRCUIT is a mapping tool that traces the circulation of recent shows and performances from 1965 to the present.

Spanning this sixty-year period, CIRCUIT builds on the AusStage database to provide additional information about the diversity of venues used by mainstage, community and education shows as well as workshops and residencies, presented by theatre companies in Australia. It also includes important demographic data about population density, youth, economic and diversity indicators and any production can be plotted along a timeline. With its interactive design and downloadable data and graphs, CIRCUIT can assist the theatre industry, schools and local, state and the federal government to better understand the theatre ecologies that shape regional and urban Australia.

CIRCUIT was created for Creative Convergence, an ARC-funded Linkage research project, LP160100047 investigating the impact of theatre in regional Victoria on young people. Data from the project partners – ArenaMelbourne Theatre Company Bell ShakespeareHothouseGeelong Arts CentreRegional Arts Victoria and Arthur Productions – has been comprehensively updated in AusStage, and their ideas incorporated into CIRCUIT’s design.

The development of CIRCUIT by Prof Rachel Fensham from the Digital Studio has been supported by Dr Trent Ryan from the Sociocultural Informatics Platform (SCIP), and Dr Usha Nattala from the Melbourne Data Analytics Platform (MDAP) at the University of Melbourne, with contributions from student interns Septi Rito Tombe (Masters of Information Technology), Navaneeth Rajagopalan (Masters of Data Science) and Hai Ho Dac (Masters of Information Technology).

This research was funded (partially or fully) by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council.