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A magazine for the creative and curious

Story is for the creative and curious. For people who believe stories matter. The ideas, people, musings and moments assembled are an invitation to use art as a lens to know yourself; see others and imagine possible futures.

QPAC Story Act 1, 2020

This edition of Story draws from the first four months of our annual program for 2020, marking the beginning of a new year and a new decade. There is something in the rhythm and ritual of the change from one year to the next that makes us pause and reflect on what has passed and of course look to the future. A time for new resolutions, plans and hope.

For us, as construction work begins on our fifth theatre – a project that when complete will make QPAC the largest performing arts complex under one roof in Australia – this is also a time of significant change and an opportunity to extend our place, both physical and metaphorical, as a twenty-first century cultural institution.

QPAC is constructed from more than concrete and glass, it is a place of connections and partnerships with communities, other organisations, artists and audiences. As we look to the possibilities of the future, we are anchored by these connections which provide the deep roots that will support continued growth. Connections with our communities and the world around us inform and drive our program, ensuring that the diversity of our audience is represented on our stages and that the stories told here are relevant in local, national and global contexts.

Story allows us to explore the big ideas that are threaded through our programs and invites a deep connection with our audience as readers.

It is fitting that the theme for this first issue for the new decade is paradise – an idea that makes us think about ideals – be they people, places, spaces or times. I hope that as you explore these pages, you find a sliver of paradise that speaks to you.

John Kotzas
Chief Executive QPAC

Pick up a FREE printed copy of Story at QPAC or view online:

Previous Editions


QPAC Story Act 2, 2019

Art is integral in our society. Often the focus is on how art makes us feel: inspired, uncomfortable, excited, challenged, relaxed. More than that, the arts help us to make sense of the world around us, to make sense of each other, to find meaning and help create harmonious communities. Learning through the arts enables students to discover and develop empathy, to be problem solvers able to think creatively and to be resilient.

Inside these pages, and beyond through The Creatory, we bring together ideas, people, musings and moments so that we may know ourselves better, see others and imagine possible futures.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Story.

John Kotzas
Chief Executive QPAC

Pick up a FREE printed copy of Story at QPAC or view online:

QPAC Story Act 1, 2019

This edition of Story is heavy with ideas of faith and beliefs.

What or who do we have faith in at a time in history when democracy is failing to live up to its promise, our environment is in grave danger, the media doesn’t fulfil its fourth estate role, organised religion is in decline and we mistrust our politicians and systems?

This edition takes a deep dive into the idea of Faith and has proven to be one that didn’t just have malleable edges but was fluid to its core, often spoken about with an ironic tinge. What is faith? Is it desirable, a kind of madness, an illusion?

Featuring articles by Brisbane novelist and journalist Kristina Olsson, Brookings Institute Professor Carol Graham, author and educator Malcolm Gillies, Brisbane author and editor Bri Lee as well as Professor Judith McLean, this edition also includes really wonderful, in-depth conversations with Yazmany Arboleda, Maggie Nguyen and Kerrie Dougherty. Find out the different approach and perspective each individual has taken in response to the concept of faith.

QPAC Story Act 2, 2018

This edition of Story is heavy with ideas of tales from other times, fairy tales, magic and madness.

Madness is real and imagined. Everything and nothing. Light and heavy. Fleeting and eternal. Individual and collective.

Inspired by QPAC’s program that is rich with folly, joy, eccentricity, delusion and in some cases psychosis, this edition set the team on a quest to consider madness from multiple directions, led by the most delusional figure in literary history, the knight errant Don Quixote.

Lead article by Lisa Appignanesi was an excerpt from her book Mad, Bad & Sad with a new introduction written specifically for QPAC’s Story. It maps how we have viewed mental disorders and other states of mind over two centuries. Australian legend Noni Hazlehurst has written beautifully and directly about chaos and sanity, the central role of art and creativity in the lives of children and about the magnificent one woman show Mother written especially for her. We have also commissioned Melbourne based illustrator Maeve Baker to create a contemporary take on the traditional Giselle story arc of betrayal, heartbreak, unravelling and forgiveness.

Read on to learn so much more about this edition.

QPAC Story Act 1, 2018

Inside these pages, and beyond through The Creatory, we bring together ideas, people, musings and moments so that we may know ourselves better, see others and imagine possible futures.

QPAC Story Act 2, 2017

This edition of Story pulls the idea of resistance apart and looked at it from multiple perspectives. Certainly in this moment and political environment, resistance is most frequently thought of in the context of large-scale public protest. Think the Occupy movement, Arab Spring, Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Women’s March, bombings, and street riots. But the more you ponder resistance, the more complex and slippery it gets.

QPAC Story Act 1, 2017

Change or metamorphosis is the driving idea behind this edition of Story. It began as an observation of how many elements of the upcoming program started life in another art form – novels transformed to musical theatre and dance, television transformed to live performance, rock album to rock opera. In addition to changing form, many of the works address deeper issues of transformation.

QPAC Story Act 2, 2016

In this edition of Story, one of the most enduring kinds of story looms large – fairy tale – inspired in large part by our presentation of Ballet Preljocaj’s Snow White.
As well as fairy tales, across our program over the second half of 2016 are productions that explore religion, spirituality, ritual, symbol and morality.

QPAC Story Act 1, 2016

This edition of Story is inspired by QPAC’s January to June 2016 program. Many of the contributors touch on the idea of place and what it means to belong somewhere.

We have articles from acclaimed actor and writer William McInnes and author John Birmingham, words from award winning Indigenous poet Samuel Wagan Watson, a piece from Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz, special interviews with American opera, theatre and festival director Peter Sellars and actor Max Gillies, our ongoing column from QPAC’s Scholar in Residence Professor Judith McLean and are honoured to publish a piece written by one of the world’s most extraordinary minds Dr Oliver Sacks.

QPAC Story Act 2, 2015

In this issue of Story we feature a piece from Australian writer David Malouf whose recent book Being There, dives into this space between artist and audience and the things that happen to us as a consequence.

In his piece Questions on the way to an exhibition, Malouf leaps the divide between the creation of art and the human compulsion to seek it out. He asks: “What is it in us – what urge to lose ourselves in the otherness of things – that leads us so insistently to seek out encounters with paintings, plays, poems, novels, works of sculpture, dance and music?”

QPAC Story Act 1, 2015

2015 sees QPAC celebrate its 30 year anniversary in Queensland. In this issue of Story, the Centre’s three chief executives – founding CE Tony Gould, previous CE Craig McGovern and current CE John Kotzas – reflect on the evolution of QPAC over its past three decades.

The issue also publishes discussions with key industry leaders including Founding Principal of AMS Planning & Research Corp Steven Wolff, Queensland Ballet principal Clare Morehen and Queensland Theatre Company director in residence Andrea Moor, on their personal arts practice and on the wider international, national and state wide arts industry. Readers can also gain unique insight into the happenings backstage at QPAC with interviews, photo galleries and more.



Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors – our First Nations Peoples – gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland.