Meet Noemie Huttner-Koros, Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) student at the University of Melbourne

The Lion Never Sleeps, The Blue Room Theatre Winter Nights 2019 & The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights 2020. Photo by Georgia Ivers.
The Lion Never Sleeps, The Blue Room Theatre Winter Nights 2019 and The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights 2020. Photo by Georgia Ivers.

"Whether it’s chatting with a playwright or a set designer, it’s wonderful listening to people’s ideas and perspectives and dream up new projects together." Meet Noemie Huttner-Koros, Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) student at the Victorian College of the Arts.

As told to Mireille Stahle

I came to the Master of Dramaturgy after working as a freelance independent artist. I wanted to have the opportunity to delve deeper into my artistic practice, meet new collaborators, do some research on areas I am passionate about and work on skills that I wanted to incorporate into my practice.

I did my undergraduate degree at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University, and worked across the performing arts as a theatre  and performance-maker, writer, producer, teacher and dramaturg.

My course coordinator, Dr. Alyson Campbell, is hugely influential on my creative practice. She has really paved the way for LGBTQIA+ artists and the thinking around queer theatre and queer dramaturgies. She is always asking hard but important questions and works to create safe, curious and deeply interesting spaces for others to have discussions, collaborate and ask their own questions too.

Borders, Spectrum Gallery, Perth. 2018. Photo by Zal Kanga-Parabia.

Someone who has been both a mentor and a collaborator is Karla Conway, currently artistic director of HotHouse Theatre in Albury-Wodonga. When I first got involved in theatre during high school, she was the artistic director of Canberra Youth Theatre, and really supported the voices of young and emerging artists. She is such a legend!

I enjoy being able to have really stimulating conversations with people from all different disciplines. Whether it’s chatting with a playwright, or a set designer, it’s wonderful listening to people’s ideas and perspectives and dream up new projects together.

We are really lucky to have a lot of guest lecturers come into the Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) course and provide their expertise. I think nearly every week we have a guest teacher who is able to provide a window into their practice and process. We are currently working with playwrights from TheatreWorks’ She Writes program, as they develop new plays which is super exciting.

My practice is driven by a deep belief in the social and political impact of theatre and art; in creating spaces and encounters that challenge and move audiences to reimagine social norms, histories and culture. I am passionate about creating, supporting and facilitating various forms of collaborative, interdisciplinary and experimental performance practices.

My practice is informed and inspired by previous work in community and protest organizing, as well as community-based artistic regeneration and youth work. At the moment in my practice, I feel inspired by an array of influences all considering how performance, storytelling and collaboration can occur in moments of ecological, cultural and social crisis and its connection to the places and ecologies we inhabit.

Noemie Huttner-Koros. Supplied.

At the moment I am grieving for all the things that are being lost right now, as I’m sure a lot of other artists are. Especially the independent artists, venues and small companies facing closure. But also trying to see what possibilities this moment might open up for artists, organisers, how we might fight for a more just and compassionate world.

I am taking part in the Arctic Circle next year, a project that brings together artists, scientists and activists working at the intersections of art and climate science. In the next few years, I would also like to start a theatre company, where accessibility and inclusion are prioritised, experimentation is always happening and artists are paid a living wage (the dream!). I’d like to start new collaborations and deepen existing ones.

My advice is to practice your craft. Whatever it is, music or theatre-making or visual art. Work at it, learn from people who are more experienced than you, take risks in your practice. Ask to be paid for your time and push the boundaries of your form.