Mapping the Lake: Tantrum Youth Arts / by Kian West

 “Having grown up by the lake, I have a personal connection to it. I think that our stories and experiences need to be communicated.” Meghan Mills, who is one of the 80 young people collaborating with emerging and professional artists in Tantrum Youth Art’s first major production of the year, Mapping the Lake “There is a lot that goes unnoticed in Lake Macquarie and a lot that we have to tell in this performance”.

Mapping the lake Tantrum Youth Arts

Mapping the Lake, Tantrum Youth Arts delivers an outdoor, multi-arts, site-specific performance that tells the diverse stories of young people in Lake Macquarie through storytelling, physical theatre, song, visual theatre and multimedia installations. “It’s about mapping community and making connections between people and place,” says Tantrum’s Artistic Director, Lucy Shepherd, who emphasizes the importance of creating new work that is culturally and geographically relevant to the community. 

The significance of this opportunity is not underestimated by the young people involved, with Mills asserting, “Our opinions and views can get easily drowned out by the traffic of other generation’s views. I think it's important for young people to be seeing theatre - particularly new devised work that is performed, written and produced by other young people.”

The project, presented in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, was developed in consultation with Lake Macquarie’s Youth Advisory Council (LMYAC), who identified the need for cultural activities to combat feelings of social isolation experienced by young people in the Lake Macquarie area. LMYAC highlighted the lake as being key to informing their identity but described it as both a beauty and a burden. In response to this, Tantrum Youth Arts worked collaboratively with Toronto High, Valentine Public School, Ngarrama Productions and Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery to explore concepts of community, identity and environment through generative theatre-making.

The performance will take the audience on a journey through multiple locations, culminating in an interactive experience allowing them to map their own connections to Lake Macquarie. Mapping the Lake will activate six outdoor sites in the garden and foreshore of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery from 28 – 30 April, with twilight and evening shows.

Limited Tickets still available from

Tantrum Youth Arts is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.