Critical Stages Touring next Indy Theatre Forum will be presented at ArtState Tamworth on October 31st, in partnership with Theatre Network NSW.


We know that artists working in regional areas are producing great work, and that they often do it with very different support and without the networks we sometimes take for granted in urban centres. While all indy artists have lots in common, there’s an awful lot more we can learn from arts makers and presenters who aren’t city-based, especially in a time of arts uncertainty.

We invite arts makers and theatre professionals to come talk to other independent theatre practitioners, producers, and industry experts about the challenges and opportunities of working as a regional artist in NSW. Hear stories of success (and frustration), share your own experiences, make new connections and discover who and what is out there to support you in your practice.

The forum will be hosted by Critical Stages Touring CEO Chris Bendall who will lead the conversation with three exceptional panelists:

Sally Blackwood is a director and performing arts leader based in Quirindi, Kamilaroi country, on the Liverpool Plains, producing major new performance work locally and internationally. Sally is a passionate advocate for connecting individuals and enriching communities through engagement in arts and culture, with an exceptional history of work for women and diversity, particularly in the field of opera. Sally was an Australia Council Arts Leadership participant in 2017/18 and is currently serving on the board of ArtsNW.

Adam is a theatre maker and cultural leader with over 15 years experience in interdisciplinary performance, scripted theatre and major arts events. As Artistic Director of Bathurst-based interdisciplinary performance collective Lingua Franca, he has worked extensively with Local Stages presenting work in regional Australia, nationally and internationally. Adam understands how to create capacity for both emerging and professional regional artists. He was the 2018 Artistic Director and Director of the Arts Program for ArtState Bathurst.

Caroline is the Co-Artistic Director at Belloo Creative and is currently an Artistic Associate at NORPA, bringing over 25 years of experience as an actor, director, theatre maker and educator to our panel. Caroline’s work has included the multiple award-nominated Hanako for Brisbane Festival and Motherland for which she received a best director nomination. In 2019 Caroline began a residency at Queensland Theatre with Belloo Creative.

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from Theatre Network New South Wales (TNN) reporting on their Health of the Sector survey. This recent survey reflects over 200 responses from across the NSW sector with over 40% from independents. TNN is keen to connect with you at this event to better inform their 2019 State of Theatre Report and future programming. TNN will also provide an update on their future direction and plans.

The morning kicks off at 10.30am with a little networking and refreshments before the forum at 11am. We’ve timed it so you’ll have plenty of time for lunch before the Arts On Tour’s Salon at 2pm.

UNE Peel House, Downstairs Lecture Room, 24 Fitzroy Street, Tamworth

Thursday 31st October

A full recording of this forum is available to listen free on Soundcloud.