Bron Batten is a Melbourne based theatre- maker, choreographer producer and performer. She is influenced by pop culture and its deeply ingrained role in the way we communicate with each other. Her work contains ironic pastiche and parody, but this belies a tender underbelly and a search for human connection. Bron is inspired by the active exchange of energy that occurs between performer and audience and is also exploring hybrid theatrical forms- particularly those which incorporate the conventions of comedic performance into traditional theatre contexts.
She has trained at tertiary institutions such as Deakin University and most recently at The Victorian College of the Arts, graduating with Post Graduate Diploma in Theatre Making (Animateuring).
Bron has been the co-curator and producer of the performance event The Last Tuesday Society since 2008, which has been presented at several inner city venues and festival clubs, including hosting Tuesday nights at the HiFi Bar and Ballroom for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
The Last Tuesday Society presented Comfort Zones at Witches in Britches Theatre Restaurant as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival and staged events at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland, This Is Not Art Festival (TINA) in Newcastle, NSW and as part of The Village at The Falls Music Festival in Lorne.
In 2011 The Last Tuesday premiered their new project Pimp My Play, presenting Nick Enright’s Black Rock in an abstract vaudeville format with collaborating artists such as Declan Greene and the Sisters Grimm, Poet Laureate Telia Nevile and The List Operators.
Since then, Pimp My Play has been presented at The North Melbourne Town Hall as part of The Melbourne Fringe Festival and was presented at The Malthouse Theatre in July 2013. It was also the special closing event of the 2015 NEON Festival of Independent Theatre at The Melbourne Theatre Company in July 2015.
The Last Tuesday Society also presented The YouTube Comment Orchestra as part of The Malthouse’s 2014 Helium season, a project whose short works were all created from YouTube comments, with collaborating artists such as Mish Grigor, Lara Thoms, Liz Dunn and Grit Theatre.
Bron was a long time performer and collaborator with the performance project Penny Machinations, staged at the 2008 Chookahs Children’s Festival at The Victorian Arts Centre; 2006 & 2007 Falls Festivals; 2006 & 2007 The Village; 2005 & 2006 Melbourne Fringe – Winner- Outstanding Special Event award 2005.
Bron was a collaborator and performer in Interior Theatre’s Last Drinks for the 2008 Short and Sweet Independent Companies season at The Victorian Arts Centre, winning the award for Best Comedy Writing.
Bron was the Production Manager and Artist Liaison for The Village Festival at the 2008/9 Marion Bay Falls Festival in Tasmania and currently co-curates the annual Lorne Falls Festival program with artistic director Ian Pidd.
Bron also premiered her long awaited solo work Welcome to the Jungle at the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival to critical acclaim, a mixture of stand up, storytelling, dance and visual theatre.
Bron devised the work You don’t stand a chance if you don’t move now for the 2010 Next Wave Festival’s keynote piece The Sports Club Project, in collaboration with St Martin’s Youth Theatre. She was also a performer in the national premiere of The Sister’s Grimm play The Rimming Club, staged at the 2010 TINA Festival.
In 2010 Bron was awarded funding through the Ian Potter Foundation to attend the Twenty Second International Society of Humour Studies Conference at the City University of Hong Kong and The Tenth International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. She also received a 2010 Artstart grant from the Australia Council for recent arts graduates.
She choreographed and performed in film clip for singer/songwriter Darren Hanlon’s All These Things, selected as one of Rage’s top 50 film clips of 2010.
In 2011 she presented a paper entitled ‘Entertainment is Not a Dirty Word: The Amalgamation of Comedy and Theatre in Contemporary Australian Performance’ at The Australasian Humour Studies Network’s annual meeting in Hobart, which attempted to investigate the murky middle ground between comedy and art.
She also produced and performed in Zoe Coombs Marr’s ‘And That Was The Summer That Changed My Life’ at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival where it was nominated for the Best Newcomer award.
She was the co-producer of the vocal ensemble Choir Straits with composer Edward Gould. They have performed at the 2010 Next Wave Festival, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, as part of the Arts House performance event Hot August Night at The Meat Market and at The Northcote Social Club supporting The Bedroom Philosopher.
In 2011 Bron developed the performance work Sweet Child of Mine in collaboration with her parents for the Melbourne Fringe Festival where it won the award for Best Experimental Performance.
Sweet Child of Mine was presented in Sydney in 2012 as part of PACT’s Tiny Stadiums Festival and has since toured to The Adelaide Fringe Festival where it received a Special Commendation for Best Theatre and Perth Fringe World Festival where it was nominated for Best Theatre Production.
Sweet Child of Mine enjoyed a return season at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, before an international tour to Chicago in September 2013 in collaboration with Chicago company The Neo-Futurists. It was also presented at The Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre in Sydney in December 2013 as part of The Horse’s Mouth Festival.
Bron recently received funding from The Australia Council for the Arts and The Ian Potter Cultural Trust to undertake professional development residencies and improvisation training in New York and Chicago and is a performer with renowned children’s theatre company Polyglot.
In 2014 Bron premiered her new performance work Use Your Illusion as part of the Field Theory collectives Site is Set series. The performance investigated notions of truth and illusion and was performed in collaboration with a qualified hypnotist.
She also presented the interactive performance work Psychic Hairdressers Anonymous in collaboration with artist Beth Sometimes at the 2014 White Night Festival in Melbourne and at Dark MOFO in Hobart.
She was a collaborator on Mish Grigor’s project Man O Man at the inaugural Festival of Live Art at North Melbourne’s Arts House, along with artists such as Willoh S Weiland, Diana Smith and Halcyon Macleod.
Bron was commissioned by Punctum Inc live art company to produce The Dad Show, a performance project in which artists create and perform short live works with their fathers. Versions of this project have been presented at The Melbourne Fringe Festival and at Midsumma in January 2016.
Bron has reviewed theatre and performance for Australian Stage and Arts Hub and has taught improvisation at St Martin’s Youth Theatre as well as dance and drama at John Marsden’s Candlebark school in the Macedon Ranges.
She was an artist in residence at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris until April 2015, undertaking a creative development and studying at the renowned Gaulier School.