Our work with you in 2020

Over the last few months we have been doing two important things. Like everyone, we’ve been dealing with the circumstances brought about by COVID-19. We know that people and organisations are hurting, and we’ve been working on the best way to help. At the same time, we’ve been looking to 2021 and well beyond. 

By some good grace, we’re better placed than most arts organisations to adapt to these testing times. We’re not reliant on box office, and our programs lend themselves to online delivery relatively naturally. And because we don’t carry many costs in buildings or management, we can more easily deliver funds directly to the pockets of playwrights and other freelance artists in ways that are structured, sustaining, and creatively satisfying.

So that’s what we’re going to do.

We have constructed something for everyone. For playwrights in the city and those in the country, for those at the beginning of their career and those half way through it, for First Nations writers and writers with cultural identities of all kinds, for those thinking big, and for those who are part of several of these groups. 

We’ll commission and support seven major new works, and commission 50 mini works.    

A new project – Dear Australia – is a direct response to our changed and changing world, a way for playwrights to speak right now to what’s happening around us. It’s a collaboration with 25 small-to-medium organisations from across Australia. 

We hope these initiatives will help stimulate us all into a future we can’t yet quite imagine.

Meanwhile, thinking about the future, we are working hard and happily with our friends at Australian Plays to explore the creation of a brand new organisation combining the best of our two homes and adding something new, too. 

We expect this new organisation to be operational in 2021.

This new home for Australian plays and playwriting will, we hope, and for the first time, walk side-by-side with playwrights throughout the life cycle of their plays. From the earliest discovery, through to development and towards production, then onto publication, promotion and licensing. Our relationships with producing companies will be stronger, as well as those with the education and community sectors. Advocacy will have a new focus.   

As you will know by now, this work is a response to the independent REA Review, a product of very wide consultation with playwrights and people from across the theatre sector. You can read it in full here. 

We have been so heartened by the wonderful support expressed by so many. It’s very clear that there is a common goal: to create the best possible environment for the nurturing and positioning of exceptional playwriting that reflects, refracts and refreshes the society in which we live. 

We thank our supporters, funders, donors and partners so very much, along with every playwright, dramaturg, director, actor and colleague who has worked with us or will do so this year. There are exacting times ahead, but exciting times too, and with your backing we will work assiduously to prepare for the best future we can possibly imagine.

You can read the full program here.

You can download an accessible version of the program here: Large Print PDF, Large Print Word Doc, MP3 Recording

David Berthold
Interim Executive Chair

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