Jude Anderson’s childhood in regional Victoria served as a fabulous, if unofficial, apprenticeship for her career as an experimental theatre producer.
‘We were in a small regional town and didn't have ready access to entertainment, so it was a place of imaginative freedom. Through play, you test things: you test boundaries; you test the system; you're testing parental authority; you're testing your relationship with the herd out in the paddock and who's going to do a dare and run through the paddock when the bull is there.
‘I guess it drives you to inform what your understanding of the world might be, how that can be shaped by that interaction with others by playing together.’
Jude became an arts and sports teacher but was dogged by a ‘disquiet’ that she need to know and do more to be a better teacher, leading her to leave teaching to travel and create works that are a ‘celebration of curiosity’ and invite the audience into an adventure.
‘I’m trusting that curiosity leads you to something that's very enlarging, enriching, extraordinary, or dumbfounding,’
Jude has co-directed and produced more than 50 contemporary performance and Live Art productions in Australia and overseas, including a politically challenging piece in Chile during the Pinochet era that saw her followed by secret police. She founded experimental arts company Punctum in 2004 and her outstanding contribution to experimental and contemporary performance has been recognised with a Green Room Award. Currently her focus is on a work that looks at the status and future of the Murray Darling basin.
Of her participation in the Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined, Jude says, ‘It’s extraordinary to be given a chance to share in other people's wisdom and share a tiny drop of your own. It's very humbling to be involved in it.’
Watch Jude's Seniors Festival Reimagined interview and performance