This year’s grant rounds for Venue Hire and Production, New Work, Creative Development, Rehearsal Support and Seed Funding have opened.
During 2021 the Board will meet on 23 April, 21 May, 30 July, 17 September, 15 October, 12 November and in December on a date yet to be determined.
Funding applications will need to be submitted via SmartyGrants at least 10 days prior to a scheduled meeting. Rehearsal Support Grant applications however can be submitted at any time during Semester 1, 2021.
Before submitting an application, touch base with Union House Theatre’s Artistic Director, Xanthe Beesley, to discuss the application – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UoM Theatre Board is currently offering one-off small grants to affiliated student theatre groups to help secure rehearsal space. Grants of up to $300 can be used to supplement the cost of hiring rehearsal space off-campus.
The grant round opens on Monday 29 March and it is anticipated the round will run for the duration of Semester 1, 2021. Applications can be completed online via SmartyGrants and will be considered within five working days of submission.
Venue Hire and Production Support funding is a financial safety net to help student theatre groups stage work. The maximum amount of money a group can apply for is $2000.
An affiliated student theatre group applies for a sum of money from the Theatre Board to help with cash flow. Venue Hire and Production Support funding is like a loan with one key difference – if the production makes a loss or breaks even, the company is not required to repay the amount to the Theatre Board. The money returned to the Theatre Board supports other applications from student theatre groups.
Applications should be submitted to via SmartyGrants no later than 10 days prior to a meeting but make a time to meet with the Artistic Director/Theatre Coordinator, UHT, to discuss your application beforehand.
Melbourne University Modern Theatre Group performed ‘The Flick’ in the Guild Theatre from 3 – 6 April 2019.
The project reached its goals of engaging student theatre with contemporary script and
writing, as well as broadening the interest in student theatre. We were able to engage students within relevant disciplines of English, Performance Studies, and Film Studies, both by contacting faculties, and bringing in people onto the production team.
‘Our Father’, staged in the Guild Theatre from 26 – 28 September 2019 as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
A debut production from writer and performer Lucy Holz, first developed in 2018 as part of the Union House Theatre’s Writer in Residency Program, where it was given a staged reading in the Guild Theatre. An excerpt of the show was selected for the 2018 Tastings Festival, with the performance receiving Union House Theatre’s Outstanding Writing Award.
St Mary’s Drama Society staged ‘Spamalot’ in the Union Theatre from 12 – 14 September 2019.
An epic quest of musical promotions lovingly ripped off from the beloved motion picture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A wondrous romp filled with adventure, terror, and of course, love with minor successes and hilarious blunders to be expected.
The Theatre Board offers grants to students for creative explorations and skills development projects that are not necessarily tied to a performance outcome.
Projects might take several different forms, such as
- engaging with a professional theatre artist to work with applicants
- developing skills that applicants may not have e.g. collaborating with musicians, working with puppets, developing acrobatic or circus skills, working with screen technology
- resourcing practice-based research into a concept, process or medium without a production outcome yet in mind
- supporting a creative development period for a new work which might move into production and
- creative events or performance activities which involve student communities.
Maximum funding: $1000
Past Recipients: Creative Development
Four Letter Word Theatre’s season of ‘The Playground’ was performed in the Guild Theatre from 26 – 28 September 2019 as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
We had an ensemble of seven actors and creatives working on a devised piece called ‘The Playground’… As many of the ensemble had not devised before, we offered workshops with industry professionals in order both to aid them in the process, and to ensure they gained lasting skills that they could bring to any future projects. Some of the workshops were less focused on the actual devising of ‘The Playground’ itself, and more about teaching the ensemble skills, for instance, with Ella Lawry’s Improv workshop.
Sophie O’Brien led a creative project ‘UN/AKIN’ in August 2019.
The development project was an investigation into new interdisciplinary practices in our postcolonial space, specifically, looking at languages in terms of physical movement, sound and light processes for design, and vocal “languages”.
The Theatre Board offers this grant to affiliated student theatre groups and individuals to encourage creative risk taking and the development of original Australian work (in any performing arts discipline) with a production performance outcome.
New Work Grant differs from the Theatre Board’s Creative Development Grant in that at least one of the personnel involved in the project must work in a professional capacity in the arts industry. It is also a requirement that the new work will result in a production/performance that will occur within one year of the grant being approved. It is possible for applicants to apply for both a Theatre Board Creative Development Grant and a New Work Grant for the same project.
Projects might be:
- new writing
- adaptation of a classic text
- devised work
- dance work
- cross-disciplinary work
- new Australian work (unproduced).
Maximum funding: $2000
DIE ANGLE performed ‘Dark Points’ at Mycelium Studios, Brunswick, from 18 – 20 September 2019 as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Told through an interaction of movement, sound and light, ‘Dark Points’ was a new collaboration of emerging Melbourne artists – choreographer, Thalia Livingstone and sound artist, Mitchell Mackintosh. Working primarily as a film composer, Mitchell’s distinctly cinematic style and sense of narrative brought a fresh perspective to the medium, pushing both composer and choreographer to work outside their comfort zones. Performances were held in the industrial basement of Mycelium studios in Brunswick with visual artist Daniel Kotsimbos working with projections and set design to manipulate both the physical and visual dimensions of the space.
Dominic Weintraub directed ‘Leopard Print Loincloth’ which was performed at Theatre Works, St Kilda, from 4 – 8 February 2020.
Developing a sustainable and accessible process that invites people to invest wholly and personally in the creation of a work is something I am currently very passionate about, and ‘Leopard Print Loincloth’ felt like a big step forward.
The Theatre Board offers small grants to encourage student theatre groups and individuals to stay connected and creative by undertaking projects and activities remotely. The Remote Creativity and Connection grants, which were first introduced during 2020 in view of COVID-19 restrictions, remain on offer during Semester 1, 2021.
The quick-response grants are to the value of up to $200 for individuals and $700 for student theatre groups.
Projects and activities can take several forms such as online writing workshops, software licences and subscriptions, mentorship by a professional artist, visual art development, and mixing and promoting a music project.
Guidelines for Remote Creativity and Connection grant (PDF version)
Guidelines for Remote Creativity and Connection grant (Word version)
Seed Funding is offered to new affiliated student theatre groups and is designed to encourage diversity and renewal of student theatre. Seed Funding is to be spent on a production or performance within one year of the grant being approved.
Maximum funding: $2000
The Board oversees management of the Hannah Barry Memorial Award, Murray Sutherland, and Louise Homfrey Trust prizes:
Hannah Barry Memorial Trust Award
This is a single award open to all current undergraduate University of Melbourne students to develop a creative work in the performing arts.
Applications for 2021 open in early September and will close at 5:00 p.m. on Monday 11 October 2021.
As a guide, the value of the award in 2020 was $750 and last year’s guidelines are below:
The 2016 Hannah Barry Memorial Trust Award recipients were Laura Collins and Freya McGrath. Their project, A Dog Called Monkey was presented in Studio 2 at Northcote Town Hall from 21 – 24 June 2017. The $1,000 prize assisted the development of the work over a six month period.
This piece, drawn from the true experiences, explored how language can be manipulated and agency over truth ripped away. The intention of the piece was to challenge that injustice, and to explore the complexities surrounding sexual assault, the silences and damaging rhetorics.
Murray Sutherland Trust Prizes
Two prizes are awarded for outstanding performances in a student theatre production. The prizes are announced at the UHT Awards Night in October.
Louise Homfrey Trust Prizes
Book vouchers are awarded to two students who have performed in student theatre productions. The prizes are announced at the UHT Awards Night in October.