A Romantic Weekend for Two: Solving a Crime – The New York Times

I’d like a job that consisted purely of travelling around the world and participating in these kinds of events. Does it exist? “Professional Audiencing” perhaps?

‘Amenities include a convertible, a night’s stay at a cozy seaside hotel and a tablet for communicating with “suspects” and keeping track of clues; certain details — the driving playlist, the contents of a picnic lunch — are customized according to a pre-trip questionnaire.’

via A Romantic Weekend for Two: Solving a Crime – The New York Times.


How One Author Used Twitter To Write A Thrilling Choose Your Own Adventure Story

I really enjoyed participating in this. However, my vote often seemed to lead to a tie and I had to remind myself that that wasn’t something I needed to feel guilty about…

‘Although Berry wasn’t sure where the story was going (“that was kind of the point,” he said), what emerged was “Untine,” a tale about a talking owl and a labyrinthine forest, told in rich, earthy language.’

via How One Author Used Twitter To Write A Thrilling Choose Your Own Adventure Story.

Reflections on four decades

The Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne recently hosted an Alumni Symposium celebrating ‘Four Decades of Theatre Studies 1975-2015‘.

The main focus of the symposium was on Theatre Studies as it existed in and around the University of Melbourne specifically but, in doing so, it also considered Theatre Studies as an academic discipline more broadly.

In her introduction to the symposium Prof Rachel Fensham (Head, School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne) noted that the history being told was not always (or not only) linear but might instead be seen as a series of episodes.

Nonetheless, the Symposium program itself was presented as linear and included a series of panels each focused on a particular episode or moment in that history.

The panels:

  • 1975 From Comparative Drama to Theatre as a Practice
  • 1985 The Theory Moment
  • 1995 The Creative Arts
  • 2005 The Research Enterprise

I was an undergraduate student during the ‘Creative Arts’ moment when Theatre Studies was taught under the banner of the Victorian College of the Arts  on the University of Melbourne campus. Although many of the other alumni participating in the symposium had continued on with Honours and Higher Degrees by Research within the Creative Arts program (or what it later became), I had not. In addition, many were still based in and around Melbourne (or seemed to have been for some time after graduation) and I was not. What I was, I thought, was an informed outsider at this event. Or, less kindly perhaps, a failed insider.

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Mystery Show

I’m late to the podcast party. Just last week I binge-listened to Season One of Serial. I’d been intrigued when it was all happening last year but knew, just knew, that if I so much as peaked into that rabbit-hole as it was happening that I would be sucked up for days, weeks, months into reading all of the blogs, all of the reddit, all of the everything. Time and attention I couldn’t afford then (or now). So, as it stands to date, I’ve only “lost” one afternoon to trawling the net for more tidbits, more story, more speculation because I joined late. I think I got off lightly.

However, although I managed not to get too sucked into Serial itself I am now facing a bigger podcast habit: I’m subscribing to shows and downloading episodes faster than I can listen to them. It’s books all over again.

One of the episodes I’ve enjoyed most so far is S1 Ep 1 of Mystery Show: ‘Case #1: Video Store’.  The initial case appeals to me (a store that’s there and then not there) because it reminds me of something that happens in The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (a favourite childhood book of mine). But, beyond that, I enjoy the way that Kine tracks down leads using a mixture of deduction, intuition and imagination. It’s a little bit Special Agent Cooper and unexpectedly moving. I’m hoping the rest of the season, although perhaps a little more mundane on the surface, will prove just as interesting.