The Waiting Room

Producer: Born in a Taxi
Writer: Carolyn Hanna, Penny Baron, Nick Papas, Michael Havir, Kate Hunter, Tamara Saulwick, Andrew Gray
Directed By: Penny Baron

Collective human behaviour under the microscope

Synopsis

The idea of a The Waiting Room is rich with physical, metaphysical and psychological resonances. It may evoke an airport lounge, doctor’s surgery, dole office, job interview, or purgatory. Waiting. Waiting for a change, for a break, a diagnosis, for better times, for the paint to dry, for love, for a verdict, for death. In the waiting interactions occur, events take place, and meaning accrues.

Enter The Waiting Room and you immediately ask: where’s the stage? The entire space is filled with rows of chairs. Sit where you will; from the outset, the audience is complicit in the show’s creation. The Waiting Room is a space for possibilities, for unforeseen interactions and events. These interactions are the engine of The Waiting Room and the audience as both spectators and participants bring their individual histories and imaginations to bear. The line between audience and performers fade as genuine in-the-moment exchanges shape each moment that follows.

The Waiting Room places collective human behaviour under the microscope from the banal to the absurd as increasingly ridiculous scenarios unfold. Free to sit and watch or join in, while Melbourne’s masters of improvisation seduce the audience in collective play and scrutiny. The stakes keep getting higher, till finally one person’s wait is over, in an unexpected twist: a grand solo is performed by an audience member. Empowering and unpredictable, each night’s show has its own unique, unrepeatable moments. Non-verbal and accessible it is a performance for everyone across culture and age. A site specific work responsive to each venue.

Short Reviews

What makes this piece radically beautiful is that it interrogates and embodies the random processes intrinsic to human behaviour. Informed by physical theatre, social psychology and neuroscience, The Waiting Room is a living incarnation of fractal art….cutting-edge experimental theatre: a profound exploration of how we choreograph ourselves from chaos
Cameron Woodhead, The Age
Sheer, playful joy
Tim Richards, Issimo Magazine
The ability of the performers to almost telepathically fragment and re-cohere always followed a mysterious boundary line between order and chaos… One room, one door, rows of chairs and ourselves as co-performers
Douglas Leonard, Real Time
A COMPLETE night at the theatre; surprising, eloquent, strange, funny, exhilarating, ridiculous, intimate, awkward, original.

Video

Technical Information

Touring Party: 6-8
Bump-in Time: This work requires a site visit prior to the show, bump in can vary depending on the complexity of the space and what is required to stage the work to be safe. Minimum one day bump in hrs
Bump-out Time: Largely just packing chairs hrs
Interval: No

Lighting

We can work to the site.

Audio

We can work to the site.

Staging

We can work to the site. Requires enough floor space for 60-100 chairs set out in rows.

Audience & Marketing Notes

1) Theatre goers who are curious and playful, wanting experiences that go beyond sitting passively in a dark room.
2) Parents who already know Born in a Taxi from their diverse works for children over 30 years such as The CUBE, Whale’s Tale, Curious Game and Velveteen Rabbit which will be touring extensively through 2024/25.
3) Performers and actors keen to experience a work that is co-created with the audience.

Selling Points

  • Participatory and inclusive, a unique, compelling and engaging work that your audiences will never have experienced before. A work that unifies a room full of strangers leaving people feeling liberated and connected.
  • Experienced cast of master improvisers with decades of experience understanding how to connect with diverse audiences and seduce them into play.
  • So far every season of this work has sold out! During our last season we had audiences drive 4 hrs from Melbourne to Lakes Entrance to experience this work. We have had farmers, young children, 96 year olds, people with disabilities, mothers, fathers, teenagers, artists, accountants, doctors, musicians and lawyers all enjoy this work.

Community Engagement

  • Workshops for all abilities; Primary-Secondary School
  • Workshops for mixed ability groups
  • Masterclasses for experienced performers

Details

Contact

Carolyn

Hanna

0402 087 449

Audience

Venue Format

Art space, gallery, garage, gaol, old bank, community hall? This work is site specific so speak to us about the spaces you have

Duration

60 Minutes

Available Until (from - to)

01/05/2025

31/05/2025

Budget & Fees

What are these? Find out more.

In Development - work which will be produced and premiered in time for touring during 2025/2026. Please contact the Producer directly for Budgets and Fees.

Remount: $8500

Weekly Sell Off: $16,000

Per Performance: $7,000

Royalties: N/A%

Resources

Technical Specifications

Related Performances

Beautiful, tender and heartwarming storytelling by acclaimed Gunditjmara/Kokatha songman David Arden

Beautiful, tender and heartwarming storytelling by acclaimed Gunditjmara/Kokatha songman David Arden

"We are not the first – nor will we be the last – to walk on this land."

"We are not the first – nor will we be the last – to walk on this land."

Part-rave and part-ritual: a smoking ceremony for our nation.

Part-rave and part-ritual: a smoking ceremony for our nation.

You don’t know Far North Queensland if you haven’t experienced THE WET.

You don’t know Far North Queensland if you haven’t experienced THE WET.

A cabaret and party celebrating Blak excellence - EVERYONE is welcome at AUNTY'S house.

A cabaret and party celebrating Blak excellence - EVERYONE is welcome at AUNTY'S house.

Untamed Desires, Captivating Wonders: A Provocative Circus Inspired by the Animal Kingdom!

Untamed Desires, Captivating Wonders: A Provocative Circus Inspired by the Animal Kingdom!

Puppets for the People

Puppets for the People

A joyful reminder that you don’t know sh*t about age.

A joyful reminder that you don’t know sh*t about age.

What will this magicians rabbit pull of their hat that can somehow save the day and the show?

What will this magicians rabbit pull of their hat that can somehow save the day and the show?

Virtuosic juggling, innovative lighting and live music collide in this pioneering new show

Virtuosic juggling, innovative lighting and live music collide in this pioneering new show

A comedic celebration of the life of halls in Australian country life.

A comedic celebration of the life of halls in Australian country life.

Join Turtle and Sugar Rush; a pop duo making music concerts and dance parties for children and their (chosen) families.

Join Turtle and Sugar Rush; a pop duo making music concerts and dance parties for children and their (chosen) families.

Comedy, Chaos, Participation, Delight

Humorous, witty and moving, it sparks conversation where conversation can be difficult!

Humorous, witty and moving, it sparks conversation where conversation can be difficult!

Robots and magic and slapstick… oh my!

Robots and magic and slapstick… oh my!

A dynamite time travel comedy

Boundaries blur as one woman navigates the delicate line between observation and intervention.

Boundaries blur as one woman navigates the delicate line between observation and intervention.

A public ‘conversation circle’ of empowered children anonymously speaking their mind to strangers!

A public ‘conversation circle’ of empowered children anonymously speaking their mind to strangers!

A fun filled extravaganza performed by a multi-generational ensemble for a multi-generational audience.

A fun filled extravaganza performed by a multi-generational ensemble for a multi-generational audience.

An absurdly ferocious comedy about tackling capitalism from within...a crocodile.

An absurdly ferocious comedy about tackling capitalism from within...a crocodile.

A truly unique audience experience of collective joy

A truly unique audience experience of collective joy

A new comedy, laced with Aussie humour, featuring a soundtrack of Paul Kelly hits!

A new comedy, laced with Aussie humour, featuring a soundtrack of Paul Kelly hits!

Little Blue Dot. For anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered.

Little Blue Dot. For anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered.

Cirque, theatre, death, and drag come together in this exquisite macabre production.

Cirque, theatre, death, and drag come together in this exquisite macabre production.

Succession meets Barbie. Political, feminist and laugh-out-loud.

Succession meets Barbie. Political, feminist and laugh-out-loud.

One Hour. One Idiot. Every Penguin Classic Novel.

One Hour. One Idiot. Every Penguin Classic Novel.

A dreamlike experience inside a gently undulating inflatable with two dancers.

A dreamlike experience inside a gently undulating inflatable with two dancers.

How do you honour the legacy of a woman you hardly knew?...and didn’t really like?

How do you honour the legacy of a woman you hardly knew?...and didn’t really like?

Where Ballet and Bharathanatyam converge

Where Ballet and Bharathanatyam converge

Leaving the house on time? Impossible! No, a MIRACLE!

Leaving the house on time? Impossible! No, a MIRACLE!

Life, Love, and making money, as things heat up.

Life, Love, and making money, as things heat up.

A fusion of circus and sculpture, In Common is a thrilling exploration of tension and community.

A fusion of circus and sculpture, In Common is a thrilling exploration of tension and community.

An immersive, sensory theatre performance for babies 0-12 months and their carers.

An immersive, sensory theatre performance for babies 0-12 months and their carers.

A magical, musical science experiment that turns people into instruments!

A magical, musical science experiment that turns people into instruments!

A breathtaking evening of music and story recounting one woman’s three close encounters with lightning

A breathtaking evening of music and story recounting one woman’s three close encounters with lightning

COMEDY! CHAOS! CONFETTI!

COMEDY! CHAOS! CONFETTI!

A musical comedy about identity and finding the right language.

A musical comedy about identity and finding the right language.

This place is enchanted, but this time, it’s not about fairies!

This place is enchanted, but this time, it’s not about fairies!

Choose your own adventure in the real world!

Choose your own adventure in the real world!

A provoking and riotous cabaret filled with delightfully chaotic stories, brilliant music and a message of radical self-acceptance.

A provoking and riotous cabaret filled with delightfully chaotic stories, brilliant music and a message of radical self-acceptance.

A hilarious physical comedy about the neighbours you know and love to hate.

A hilarious physical comedy about the neighbours you know and love to hate.

Unreal musical instruments that you can really play!

Unreal musical instruments that you can really play!

Lough out loud with the funniest women in the land as we present the Women of Wit.

Lough out loud with the funniest women in the land as we present the Women of Wit.

A spatialized concert performed by twelve independent bell ringers.

A spatialized concert performed by twelve independent bell ringers.

SWING is simply a giant, yellow... swing! A joyful exhilarating public event. As fun to watch as to do.

SWING is simply a giant, yellow... swing! A joyful exhilarating public event. As fun to watch as to do.

The World's Most Dangerous Uke Group

The World's Most Dangerous Uke Group

Totally wild music and comedy for young humans and their grown ups.

Totally wild music and comedy for young humans and their grown ups.