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The Backspace: its role in the emerging culture of performance in Tasmania

  • Legacy Function Rooms 159 Macquarie Street Hobart, TAS, 7000 Australia (map)

Christine Goodacre and Barbara Lypka

The Backspace behind the Theatre Royal main stage was a theatre venue for over thirty years. Throughout this time it was a low cost alternative theatre space, away from the strictures of the proscenium stage and patterns of traditional theatre.  The Backspace was used for experimentation, risk taking, social comment, entertainment, technical/theatre skill development and was a career stepping stone for many talented Tasmanians.

The Friends of the Theatre Royal (FOTR) sponsored this oral history of the Backspace through the recollections of individuals, giving a voice to 'theatre' development in Hobart at this time that is not readily found in documented sources.  It describes the Backspace theatre story through the voices of those who worked in it, exploring related issues of financial viability, theatre company management and a time when rules were more flexible.

The project was undertaken by Christine Goodacre, Barb Lypka and John McCormick.  They are oral history novices, who collaborated on this project after careers in public and university policy and management.