RAF Case Study | The Echo in Our Walls

The Echo in Our Walls created a promenade theatre work generated from the relationship the rural NSW town of Hay has with its history. The promenade work was created by young people, working with professional artists and arts workers and centred and staged around Bishop’s Lodge, built in 1888. The project explored stories and artefacts from the house and the community, and the interaction between historic and contemporary Hay including an integration of Aboriginal living history and language into the existing historical stories. The presentation format comprised multiple art forms including theatre, digital projection, spoken word and puppetry.

The Echo in our Walls, cast and crew outside Bishops Lodge

“The show we made was honest, brave and unflinching. Often, young people and especially teenagers can mask their true feelings, thinking they won’t be understood or properly listened to… This show gave them the ability to share themselves and their perspectives, without irony or shame. To connect to their history, their family, their traditional country, their townspeople and each other.

I was so happy with the creative outcome of the show – a sprawling, huge, ambitious production – but I was happier with the personal achievements we witnessed. A young woman processing her grief. A young man learning his identity can be a source of strength and pride. A young boy learning to speak to a crowd without tears running down his cheeks. A young girl learning to speak the language of her ancestors” – Jessica Bellamy, Artistic Director

Cultural and Economic Impacts:

  • Artistic Excellence
  • Capacity building through mentoring of young people
  • Living Aboriginal history exposed to a wider audience, including young people who worked on the project and their families
  • Partnership with the historic Bishop’s Lodge
  • Increased cultural participation
  • Capacity building through employment of an intern by Outback Theatre for Young People

Social Impacts:

  • Increased cross-cultural understanding
  • Social issues, including generational divide, were addressed
  • Increased community capacity through the young participants’ exposure to artistic excellence and artistic process.

For more information, visit Outback Theatre for Young People

Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia and pays its respect to their Elders past and present.