Fermenting Change

Making the ordinary extraordinary


Black Hole Theatre’s groundbreaking cross-disciplinary sector development program for puppetry and allied arts practitioners  Fermenting Change  ran from May 2014 to May 2015.


Fermenting Change was a skill and innovation focused response to the recent curtailing of Puppetry training in Australia, and the isolation of Australian practitioners from the international Puppetry community. Over one year, Black Hole Theatre in association with Puppet Animation (Edinburgh) and Melbourne Polytechnic implemented a series of programs to address these issues. Fermenting Change brought greater skills, broader networks, a wider audience base, and the introduction of a creative, supportive feedback process.

Fermenting Change encompassed four different but complimentary development streams: Collaborative Bridges, Your Work in Focus, Puppet Slams, and Skills Laboratories. In 12 months we delivered 13 individual activities in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, and the ACT. The Skills Laboratories attracted a wide wide variety of puppetry artists and artists from diverse disciplines. Artists from every state and territory in Australia attended, including artists from regional and remote areas. Fermenting Change engaged 132 professional and emerging artists as performers and participants across all programs, and over 680 members of the public and arts sector as responders, and audience members.

In 2016 Black Hole Theatre will continue to deliver Skills Laboratories, Your Work in Focus Sessions and Puppet Slams.

For more information contact Artistic Director Nancy Black info@blackholetheatre.com.au 


Skills Laboratories

Cross-disciplinary training to expand, enrich and inspire

Black Hole Theatre offered masterclasses with renowned international artists Neville Tranter and Duda Paiva as well as nationally recognised artists Michelle HeavenRod PrimroseTim Denton and Lynne Kent to whet the appetite and help emerging and established artists from diverse backgrounds realise their vision, and integrate puppetry into their practice.


Collaborative Bridges

Innovative international networking for the digital age

In collaboration with Puppet Animation (Edinburgh) Black Hole Theatre paired artists and companies from Australia and Scotland in facilitated online discussions of ideas and work-in-development.


Your Work In Focus

Implementing a critical feedback framework

A series of free feedback sessions for artists to present excerpts of work in various forms. Following each showing, the work was discussed using Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process, a dynamic, non-judgmental approach that supports the artist’s quest to realise their vision.


Puppet Slams

Showcasing short and experimental puppetry works

Since 2011 Black Hole Theatre has been producing Puppet Slams featuring emerging and established artists. The evenings are fun, informal and engaged. Presented in cafes, pubs, galleries and other non-traditional spaces, these performances give artists a platform to trial new work, encourage the development of new skills, lift their profiles, and widen the audience for adult puppetry.




Fermenting Change was proudly supported by the Australia Council.