Arts House opens its doors to disrupt how art is experienced

Attracting an international reputation for ground breaking contemporary performance, Melbourne’s Arts House continues to draw attention to extraordinary artists who create life-changing art and are driven by cultural transformation.

Arts House Artistic Director, Emily Sexton explains that Arts House plays a pivotal role with the national and international contemporary arts sector – it’s alive with purpose and renewal.

What is Chinese?

“2020 sees us launch remarkable new works by artists from China, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and across Australia. Our next season explores the connections between culture, identity, technology, art, politics and philosophy,” said Sexton.

Valuing diverse engagement across the creative sector, the Arts House 2020 Season 1 program is underpinned by distinct partnerships and co-commissions with a pool of long-standing and high profile festival partners, including Asia TOPA and Next Wave; as well as introducing a new biennial live event in the everyday digital: BLEED.

Conceived and presented with Campbelltown Arts Centre in western Sydney, BLEED is a new six-year exploration into the interplay between the live and the digital. BLEED tracks the digital creep and hyper-connectivity between bodies and devices; the real and the virtual; as well as private and public experiences. Announcing the full program in March 2020, BLEED will be presented online, in the flesh and on devices.

For Asia TOPA, Arts House will showcase What is Chinese? by Shanghai artists: Xiao Ke and Zi Han, who have travelled the globe speaking to over 140 people from the Chinese diaspora, including local Melbournians; and Are You Ready To Take The Law Into Your Own Hands by Philippines theatre ensemble: Sipat Lawin, who have created an action thriller set to 40 years of Filipino pop.

In May 2020 and in partnership with Next Wave, Arts House present a new dance work, In Perpetuity, by choreographer Ivey Wawn and also the premiere of Possession, an electronic opera for one devised by Marcus Whale.

Following its sell-out success in 2019, Spectral will return to expose a series of installations and performances that dive into the spaces between sound and light. Next year, Spectral will feature a collection of incredible sound and audio artists: Shohei Fujimoto, Del Lumanta, Robert Curgenven, Kat McDowall, House of Vnholy and Howie Lee with Amrita Hepi.


Arts House’s trajectory into 2020 will continue with the popular Makeshift program that offers three-day artist-led professional development intensive for artists. Critically acclaimed theatre company, Rawcus will share their approaches into inclusive practice when working with diverse teams of performers and designers; and sound artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey will lead workshops that look at sound and listening in public, shared and unusual spaces.

As the national producing house for new Australian contemporary performance, the Arts House CultureLAB program continues and will host creative development residencies for possible new works and ideas created by Australian artists: Emily Parsons-Lord, Sara Morawetz, Mike Bianco and Keg de Souza.

“In 2020, I cannot wait to open our doors at Arts House and share our new season with everyone. The energy from all these amazing artists is infectious – they’re sustaining the wonderful creative city that is Melbourne. If you need a hit of creative stamina, then come and feel it at Arts House in 2020,” explained Sexton.

Tickets and more information are available at the Arts House Melbourne website.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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