The Australia Council for the Arts has announced increased funding and a new approach to supporting national script development for theatre.
Under the new plan, a pool of $330,000 will be invested in national script development each year for the next three years (2007 to 2009).
The Australia Council currently supports two national script development organisations – Playworks and the Australian National Playwrights’ Centre (ANPC) – through ongoing three-year and project-based grants from the Theatre and Literature Boards.
The new funding arrangement will replace this, and both organisations have been invited to apply for the new pool, either jointly or separately.
In 2006, the amount received by both organisations totalled just over $245,000 through four separate grants. The new single pool of funds from the theatre and literature boards of the Australia Council represents a 35 per cent increase on this level.
Arts NSW, the other major funding partner of the two organisations, is also intending to increase its support for national script development through this new arrangement.
Australia Council director of theatre, John Baylis, said that the new approach aimed to provide more resources for Australian writing for performance.
‘We are committed to providing playwrights with more opportunities to have their work developed and taken into production,’ he said.
‘We are significantly increasing our investment in writing for performance through this initiative, and we are asking the two current national organisations to tell us how they could use these extra resources to create a better environment for script development in Australia.’