The Living Stage, Castlemaine, 2013

In 2013, The Living Stage set out to test a novel concept of sustainability for the Performing Arts using the platform of the 2013 Castlemaine State Festival. Part theatre and part garden; it featured vertical garden walls, suspended pots and portable garden beds each culturing edible plants. The structure was created by the rural community of Castlemaine under the guidance of stage designer Tanja Beer and permaculturalist’s Hamish MacCallum and Sas Allardice. The Living Stage acted as both a venue and inspiration for a number of local performance groups whose brief was to create experimental works that drew on the concept of regeneration, and interacted with the unique design that surrounded them. At the end of the Festival, The Living Stage was consumed by the community; its physical structures became their garden beds, its plants became their food, and its waste became their compost.

For more information about the project, please check out the following links for film and press.


Producers: Castlemaine State Festival

Performances: Produce (Born in a Taxi & CreateAbility), The Long Table Feast and

Garden Chef

Design: Tanja Beer with community

Assistant Artist: Melinda Rodnight

Production Assistant: Milton Perks

Growing: Hamish MacCallum, Sas Allardice and the Castlemaine Community

Documentary filmmakers: Sam Hoffman and Jim Coad

Publicity: Sassy Red Publicity

Photos: Gisela Beer

Thank you to all those who’ve kindly given their time, ideas and resources to the project: Geoff Heard, Jika MacCallum, Allie Hanly, Sam Downing, Grace McCaughey, Rohan Souter, Lucy Souter, John Willis, Judy & Philip Hopley, Margaret Griffin, Lena Mitchell, Dorothy Wright, Elizabeth Telford, Daniel Williams, Jack Telford, Henri Hamlin, Ruben Evens, Francis Hamlin, Vanessa Case, Sequani MacCallum Telford, Arwen MacCallum, Arion MacCallum and Oliver Harris

Thank you to Pozible supporters and grant-funders:

Regional Arts Victoria, Castlemaine State Festival and Growing Abundance.

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