Intimate Spectacle is an independent performing arts producing company based in Sydney, Australia, founded by Harley Stumm. We work across genres, from contemporary theatre and dance theatre to live art, interactive performance, and events in between “the arts” and popular culture.
We’re interested in work that’s engaging, surprising, perhaps playful, but with substance, and full of heart. We see “contemporary” arts practice not as intimidating or difficult, but simply as art that speaks for and to the times we live in. Great performance connects artists and audiences through memorable, transformative shared experiences. For us this usually involves inviting the audience into some kind of relationship beyond passive spectatorship – perhaps animating the spaces, physical or virtual, in which we live, work or play.
We are building a producing model that’s flexible, responsive yet proactive, and artist-focused. And that works reciprocally, that’s about exchange and sharing as much as gigs and touring, whether it’s working internationally, regionally or anywhere in between.
What We Do
We work with a number of small companies and independent artists, in different capacities tailored to the needs of the artist. Services we offer include:
- Producing new work, either on a consulting basis for artists with their own company infrastructure, through to full service producing where we provide financial management, payroll, project administration and contracting;
- Tour producing, including all aspects of delivery such as budget & financial management, pre-production, contracting, freight travel and production management, venue liaison, marketing negotiations, and tour management, nationally and internationally;
- Tour development on a consulting basis, for companies who wish to seek outside expertise to set up the tour, but prefer to manage their own touring, nationally and internationally;
- Specific arts management consulting, for example for strategic planning, project planning, funding applications, and partnership development.
Our extensive network of relationships with a wide range of artists across artforms and throughout Australia, also equips us to assist presenters with programming, from conventional touring presentation through to new work projects.
We can work with you to broker and design partnership projects as residencies, commissions, and other collaborations with artists, including those featured on this site and others suited to your context.
Intimate Spectacle is an independent performing arts producer established by Harley Stumm in 2012. It works across genres, from contemporary theatre, dance and dance theatre, to live art and music.
In its first eleven years, Intimate Spectacle has worked with some of Australia’s most exciting contemporary performance makers, including Latai Taumoepeau, Brian Fuata, Jack Prest, Nick Power, Branch Nebula, post, Vicki Van Hout, Sam Routledge, Cambodian Space Project, Erth, Team MESS and Lenine Bourke. We’ve produced 20 new works, and well over 100 seasons, in every Australian state and territory, as well as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Finland, and Chile.
Most recent highlights include MONUMENTAL (working title), curated by Latai Taumoepeau & Brian Fuata, initiated by Intimate Spectacle, and co-produced with Art Gallery of NSW, a four hour program of 15 performance works taking over the Gallery’s Entrance Court and other spaces (April 2022, revised and re-presented in partnership with Sydney Festival, January 2023). In December 2021 we premiered Jack Prest’s music-led interdisciplinary work, commissioned by Phoenix Cultural Centre.
Pre-pandemic highlights include Nick Power’s French/Australian collaboration featuring hip hop dance crews in Sydney and Paris, commissioned through the Major Festivals Initiative by Sydney, Adelaide & Brisbane Festivals, Two Crews (2020). Nick’s Between Tiny Cities opened in Sadlers Wells London on 30 April 2022, the first Australian work touring as part of the UK/Australia Season, after with over 20 seasons to date, including Tanz im August (Berlin) to imPulsTanz (Vienna), Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), as well as to Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne, Adelaide Festival, Bleach Festival (Gold Coast) and throughout remote Northern Territory communities.
Branch Nebula’s High Performance Packing Tape was commissioned by Performance Space for Liveworks 2018, and since toured to Homo Novus Festival (Riga, Latvia), Arts House with Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, and Sydney Opera House. Other international highlights include post’s Oedipus Schmoedipus bilingual presentation in Santiago Chile (2017), and adaptation into Cantonese with Hong Kong Repertory Theatre & West Kowloon for the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival (2018).
In 2014-15, we produced The Cambodian Space Project’s Cosmic Cambodia, in Kampot, Cambodia, in collaboration with Khmer Cultural Development Institute, and in residency at Casula Powerhouse, later touring to Sydney Festival, World Theatre Festival Brisbane, and OzAsia Festival Adelaide.
Lenine Bourke’s The Walking Neighbourhood, a live art project featuring guided tours of neighbourhoods by children under 12, we presented in Redfern and Kings Cross with Art & About, and in Kuopio Finland with ANTI Festival.
We’ve also commissioned, produced and presented three series of short works events, Out of Iso (2020), with four programs over four weekends at our home base, 107, curated by Nick Power, Latai Taumoepeau, PACT and Branch Nebula; Out of Iso Again! (2021, curated by Latai Taumoepeau, Malcolm Whittaker & Phil Downing; and Near and Now (2017), curated by Moogahlin Performing Arts (the inaugural Koori Gras), Martin del Amo, post and Theatre Kantanka.
Harley Stumm has worked in performing arts producing and management for over 25 years. Prior to founding Intimate Spectacle, he undertook the National Touring Framework consultancy with Rick Heath for the Australia Council in 2011-12, leading to major and continuing reform of the touring sector. He was Producer at Performing Lines 2005-11, managing the Mobile States contemporary initiative, more than a dozen major national tours, and numerous premieres including MFI commissions and international collaborations. He was Executive Producer and joint CEO at Urban Theatre Projects 1995-2003, producing a body of more than 20 new works honoured with the 2003 Sidney Myer Award.