The Mill Community Theatre Project embraced the civic and cultural expansiveness of the 1970s and early 1980s to re-imagine the relationship between theatre audiences and performers. National and international movements of the era saw art as generative of social change, and art and artists as agents of cultural transformation. The project’s Artistic Director, James McCaughey, envisaged a program of work in which formal innovation, artistic excellence and community engagement could go hand in hand.
The Mill Theatre’s life was short, but its legacy—and that of Deakin University’s Performing Arts course, simultaneously founded by McCaughey—has been substantial. This book brings to light the work of a company largely ignored in broad-brush histories, and the profound impact it had on theatre workers and students who were touched by it.
‘Time after time … one is struck by the boldness of imagination, the blue-sky dreaming of great skills in practice, the exploration of form and content, the sheer innovation and brilliance of the artists.’