Posted on: January 12th, 2015

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED                                                                                              

In 2012, Performance Space re-activated a bequest left by filmmaker Stephen Cummins to establish a residency program focused on mentoring and developing queer performance artists.

This residency seeks to establish new models for the development of queer performance; to draw it out of the club scene and into a more discursive context, and build the profile of this dynamic and important performance culture in Sydney and beyond. Performance Space has a long history of supporting queer practice, and we’re committed to building a community of performers and fostering an intergenerational approach to queer work. This year we’re also pleased to announce a new partnership with PACT Centre for Emerging Artists as our host venue.

The Stephen Cummins Bequest: Queer Performance Residency provides the opportunity for emerging artists to develop work in a critically rigorous context and expand the conceptual underpinnings of their practice. The residency may also provide opportunity for more established artists to move their work in a new direction and draw it into a contemporary performance framework. The development process is overseen and facilitated by experienced mentors; including an international producer, which will bring the works into dialogue with queer culture locally and globally. .

Performance Space is seeking proposals for three, one-week intensive residencies, to enable artists working in the realm of queer performance to develop an aspect of their practice. The residency will be supported by an artist fee, residency space, technical support, and one-on-one mentorship with an established creative practitioner.



  • A one-week-long residency at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville
  • An artist fee of $1,000 (total) per residency.
  • Curatorial support and feedback from Performance Space and PACT staff.
  • Up to 2-days of technical support.
  • Mentorship sessions with an experienced queer creative practitioner.
  • A facilitated showing and feedback session (Friday afternoons).



Candy Royalle shares confronting, political, human and heart wrenching narratives delivered in her own inimitable style to audiences all over Australia and the world. She seeks to explore the relationship between performance and poetry by delivering her work in both traditional and non-traditional spaces whilst still maintaining those nuances that make poetry what it is. Recently awarded the much sought after 2014  Marten Bequest Traveling Scholarship for Poetry, she has also won the largest prize for performance poetry in Australia, the World Performance Poetry Cup. She has performed her work at some of Australiaʼ s greatest arts, music and literary festivals and is considered a trail blazer in the field of performance poetry.

James Andrews is an Australian dancer and dance maker with a broader practice spanning sound, costume and visual design. He is a VCA Dance graduate (2009) and winner of the Lionel Gell Foundation Scholarship. James is an Artistic Associate of 2NDTOE presenting collaborative work, as well as his own solo work, in various forms around Australia. Recent performance credits include “I Can Disappear” (Melbourne Fringe 2014), Lee Serle “P.O.V.”, Jo Lloyd “24 Hours NOISE”, 2NDTOE “FAMILY” and “TheLostDanceProject”, James Welsby “HEX” and Adam Wheeler for Chunky Move “It Sounds Silly”. James regularly works as a W club performer at various events including MONA’s “Dark Faux Mo”, “Winter Feast” and “Motel Dreaming“ (Dark MOFO).

Matt Format, a glamorous club kid and aspiring drag Mother travels his glittered beard and constantly evolving prom dress ups from the floordrobe to venues all around town and interstate. His well-lit performances range from the avant-garde to the art world’s MONA Dark Faux Mo and MONA FOMA in Hobart. Last year he did a spot of Drag MC at Secret Garden Festival. Then towards the shoreline, Bondi Beach, Dine en Blanc and made a fabulous mess at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar 10 CHEFS 10 DINNERS. Golden Age Cinema and Bar saw Format do a spot of chaotic talcum powdering all over the David Lynch inspired space for Halloween and he is resident host on a Thursday night at Newtown’s all night underground bar Tokyo Sing Song. He appreciates a ‘little bit of effort’, is keen on attention to detail and is the first to ”take one thing off”, in the words of Coco Chanel, when asked “how do you get the glitter out of your beard”, she says, “I don’t, I just reapply babes.”

STEPHEN CUMMINS                                                                                                                    

Stephen Cummins (1960-1994) was an Australian filmmaker, photographer and curator. After studying Sculpture and Photography at Sydney College of the Arts, Stephen’s early work included several solo and group photographic backdrop exhibitions, and collaborative work in the theatre with several dance and performance groups, often at The Performance Space. Moving into film, Stephen went on to win several international awards in the late 80’s for his short films “Elevation” and “Le Corps Image”. He curated several programs of Australian Super-8 films and toured them throughout Europe. He was a founding member and co-convenor of the filmmaker’s organisation Queer Screen, and served as a board member of Metro Television and the Sydney Super 8 Film Group. His work often demonstrated a fascination with the subcultural signification of the male body. In 1991, he won the Best Short Film Award at Sydney Film Festival with the film “Resonance”, a collaborative work with Simon Hunt that examined anti-gay violence in Sydney from the perspective of dance. The film went on to great success at over one hundred international film festivals, and is still in international distribution some twenty years later.



Victoria Hunt is an Australian-born artist working across the spheres of dance, choreography, culture, performance art and education. Her tribal affiliations are to Te Arawa, Rongowhaakata, Kahungunu Maori, English and Irish. She has a BA in Visual Arts (Maj. Photo-media) from Griffith University. She is a founding ensemble member of the bodyweather dance company De Quincey Co. since 1999 and is a co-curator of The Weather Exchange since 2007. Her most-recent solo work, Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka, was presented at Performance Space in 2012 and Victoria was nominated for a 2013 Helpman Award for Best Female Dancer in this work.

Chris Ryan was a founding member of The Sydney Front and has also worked with One Extra Dance Company, Sidetrack Performance Group, Kicking & Screaming Theatre and collaborated extensively with filmmaker/photographer Stephen Cummins (1960-1994). Chris was Artistic Director of PACT Theatre from 1997-1999. With Version 1.0 he has performed in and devised The Second Last Supper, CMI (A Certain Maritime Incident) and From A Distance and was also dramaturg on Deeply Offensive and Utterly Untrue and This Kind of Ruckus. Chris is currently directing and lecturing in Theatre & Performance at the University of Wollongong.

Zvonimir Dobrovic is the Zagreb-based founder and curator of the Queer Zagreb and Queer New York International Arts Festivals; he also organises Perforacije (Perforations) a contemporary performance festival for emerging artists from the Balkans that takes place in three Croatian cities. Through these programs Zvonimir aims to trace, reexamine and explode the genre of queer performance as artists tease out their definitions of the social and aesthetic other.