The Australia Council for the Arts has joined with Arts SA and Country Arts SA to support an initiative that will bring the regional experience to the stage by developing professional theatre practice in two areas of regional South Australia.
The Upper Spencer Gulf and the Lower South East regions will be the first to host the two-year partnership, called Local Stages, with the appointment of a dedicated creative producer in Country Arts SA and a production budget for professional theatre-making.
The aim of Local Stages is to develop professional theatre practice by:
- Developing relationships with local artists;
- Teaming local artists with appropriate outside artists in collaborations to develop new theatre work;
- Creating opportunities for artists to access the Country Arts SA venues and other performance spaces in these two areas;
- Commissioning and producing innovative new work; and
- Creating programs to develop professional practice in the two areas.
This initiative will also encourage Country Arts SA venues and other performance spaces in these areas to move from being predominantly presenters of touring work, to becoming hubs for regional performance making. Local government will also be encouraged to invest more in existing infrastructure.
Hon John Hill, Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts says ‘Local Stages will offer development opportunities for regional artists and the potential for the work produced to be part of major events such as the Regional Centre for Culture program and to tour throughout South Australia and nationally.’
Chair of the Australia Council’s Theatre Board, Ian McRae, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the South Australian government and Country Arts SA. Local Stages will make a difference to professional theatre practice in regional areas. It’s a great way to utilise the existing infrastructure to generate opportunities for regional theatre artists to make new work.”
Arts SA and the Australia Council have jointly committed $594,000 over the next two years to this initiative, and Country Arts SA has committed over $135,000 in resources and facilities.