Theatre - November 2009 closing date

New Work, Skills and Artform Development, Fellowships - closing date 3 November 2009

This report provides context for the assessment of applications submitted to the Theatre Board on 3 November 2009. It gives some statistical analysis of grant round results.

The assessment meeting was held on 10-12 March 2010, and applications were assessed in the new work, skills and arts development, and fellowship categories.

Chair’s comments

The November 2009 round was the most competitive I have experienced in my time as Chair of the Theatre Board. I want to assure the sector that the assessment process was as robust and rigorous as these outstanding artists and their ideas demanded. Whilst the success rate in our new work creative development and production categories was relatively low, this is balanced by the many excellent projects that are being supported through our eleven Program Presenter entities. The current annual investment of $550,000 is helping to seed many diverse projects within the nurturing environments of these organisations. 

As an outcome of the Australian Theatre Forum in 2009, we are developing a much stronger dialogue with the Major Performing Arts Board (MPAB). This has resulted in us joining forces in 2010 to tackle some core cross-sector issues. Our Director will be working closely with MPAB to deliver an action-planning forum to develop greater opportunities for women theatre directors in Australia. We are also collaborating with the MPAB to research existing practises around cultural diversity on our main stages. This combined focus on core issues is vital, if we are to build a genuinely interconnected sector that is able to consistently replenish itself. 

With some fifteen strategic initiatives operating across the country it is difficult to make reference to them all. Of particular note is our partnership with Arts Queensland to deliver the Queensland Indigenous Theatre Fund.  We received 14 excellent applications, and will soon see some concrete outcomes that directly support Indigenous theatre artists in the making and presenting of some wonderful new work.

At this March meeting, the Board finalised the redevelopment of its Skills and Artform development categories. Rebuilt with a Cultural Leadership focus, these categories will now provide vital support for the leadership development of individual artists and the sector as a whole.  Information will soon be available for the first round in November.

Congratulations to all those applicants who will be receiving funding from this round. Please remember that the Theatre Board remains vitally interested in the efforts and creations of our whole sector, even if we have been unable to support you financially in the immediate context.  The very best from all of us to you.

Rosalba Clemente

Successful applicants

New Work - Production

Clare Bartholomew (Viv) - $15,000
Production of ‘Die Rotten Punkte – Kunst Rock’, punk rock comedy, presented by Full Tilt.

Darwin Festival Association (NT) - $53,715
Production of ‘Head Full of Love’, written by Alana Valentine, presented by Browns Mart Theatre.

Jenny Kemp (Vic) - $41,419
Production of ‘Madeleine’, by Black Sequin exploring mental illness, presented by Artshouse

Joanne Stone (SA) - $32,780
Production of ‘Superheroes’, devised contemporary work, presented by Adelaide Festival Centre.

Megan Sarmardin (Qld) - $46,217
Production of ‘Blackbird’, music theatre work, presented by JUTE.

Real TV (Vic) - $52,811
Production of ‘War Crimes’, a new work for young audiences, presented by arts2go.

Lee Wilson (NSW) - $58,500
Production of ‘Sweat’, a physical theatre production by Branch Nebula and presented by Performance Space.

New Work: Creative Development

Big h’ART (Tas) - $52,509
Development of a new work about the life of Indigenous watercolour artist Albert Namatjira.

La Boite Theatre Inc (Qld) - $33,730
Development of a new work with The Kransky Sisters inspired by Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’.

Legs On The Wall Inc (NSW) - $46,410
‘The Corrick Project’, a circus and vaudeville work using performance films from the early 20th century.

Gaelle Mellis (SA) - $13,780
 ‘Take Up Thy Bed and Walk’, a new work created from a deaf and disability perspective.

Roslyn Oades (NSW) - $12,980
 ‘I’m Your Man’, a verbatim theatre work using boxing to explore issues of masculinity.

Penrith Performing and Visual Arts Ltd (NSW) - $30,000
Development of ‘Truck Stop’, a new work by Lachlan Philpott.

Ride On Theatre (NSW) - $19,042
Development of ‘The Story of Mary MacLane - By Herself’, a new music theatre work.

South Australian Country Arts Trust (SA) - $33,070
Development of ‘If there was a Colour Darker than Black I’d Wear It’, a new site specific work.

Theatre Kantanka (NSW) - $37,540
Development of ‘Bargain Garden’, a new multi-media work exploring the world of two dollar shops.

New Work: Young Artists Initiative

ActNow Theatre for Social Change (SA) - $15,000
Production of Ibsen’s ‘Enemy of the People’ presented by Sean Riley.

Zoe Coombs-Marr (NSW) - $15,000
Production of ‘And that was the Summer that Changed my Life’, a solo show presented by Next Wave.

Zoe Pepper (WA) - $15,000
Production of ‘The Pride’, based on the social behaviours of lions, presented by The Blue Room.

Georgina Read (NSW) - $14,600
Creative development of ‘No Escape’ a new solo work exploring mundane actions and tasks.

Red Moon Rising (Vic) - $10,000
Production of ‘The Oak’s Bride’ drawing on the performance style of Butoh,  presented by Next Wave.


Francesca Smith (NSW) - $90,000
Professional development program that includes: writing, attending festivals, and creating new work.

Anna Tregloan (Vic) - $90,000
Professional development program that includes: research and development in Prague and Belgium, and creating new works. 

William Yang (NSW) - $90,000
Professional development program that includes: digitising and transforming seven performance works.

Skills Development

Gita Bezard (WA) - $6,600
Participation in performance skills development workshop with Dah Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia

Kate Denborough (Vic) - $7,000
Directing mentorship with MTC Associate Director Peter Evans over 3 MTC productions in 2010

Dave Kelman (Vic) - $6,330
Attendance at International Drama and Theatre in Education Congress in Brazil

Sarah McCusker (Vic) - $6,140
Directing mentorship with Bruce Gladwin at Back to Back Theatre

Artform development

Crack Theatre Festival (ACT) - $18,703
A national festival and forum for emerging artists during “This is not Art” festival in Newcastle.

ACAPTA (Vic) - $28,000
2010 national biennial forum for circus and physical theatre.


Arts Tasmania (Tas) - $5,000
A contribution to Arts Tasmania’s review of the Tasmanian theatre sector.

Theatre Network Victoria (Vic) - $10,000
Scoping options for the next Australian Theatre Forum.

PlayWriting Australia (NSW) - $149,600
Program to develop Indigenous playwriting in Broome

Roanna Gonsalves (NSW) - $10,000
Research of culturally diverse theatre work in Australia and overseas.


Funding statistics

New Work - Creative Development

Applications received: 83
Applications funded: 9
Amount approved: $279,061

New Work - Production

Applications received: 56
Applications funded: 7
Amount approved: $300,442

New Work - Young Artist Initiative

Applications received: 11
Applications funded: 5
Amount approved:  $69,600


Applications received: 13
Applications funded: 3
Amount approved:  $270,000 (2 year amounts)

Skills and Artform Development- Skills

Applications received: 23
Applications funded: 4
Amount approved:  $26,070

Skills and Artform Development- Artform

Applications received: 4
Applications funded:  2
Amount approved:  $46,703

Total grants: 30
Total amount approved:  $856,876


Theatre Board Initiatives since August 2009

Projects funded: 4
Amount approved: $174,600


Panel members

Board members
Rosalba Clemente Chair (SA), freelance theatre director, writer and performer, and lecturer at Flinders University Drama Centre and at Adelaide Institute of TAFE Arts
Sue Broadway (Vic), freelance director
Matt Lutton (WA) freelance theatre director and artistic director of Thin Ice
Chris Puplick AM (NSW), professor, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Science, University of Wollongong
Fraser Corfield (NSW) artistic director of ATYP.
Fiona Winning (NSW) Independent producer/ facilitator.

Participating advisor was Joseph Mitchell, youth and education manager at QTC.

Australia Council staff
Lyn Wallis, director theatre
Atul Joshi, director arts organisations
Fenn Gorden, director market development
Antonietta Morgillo, program manager theatre
Michelle Hall, client manager key organisations
Bel Evans, program officer theatre
Hannah Durack, program officer theatre
Ann Petrou, section coordinator theatre
Tanya Gallagher, administration officer theatre

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