It gives us great pleasure to announce that Critical Stages Touring is the recipient of two grants in the latest round of the Australia Council’s Playing Australia touring program.

Totalling over $1.4m the funding will ensure that Australia’s national touring theatre company can continue to bring outstanding independent theatrical experiences to regional and remote communities for years to come.

The first grant, for our 2022 touring activities, will benefit the remounted production of Samah Sabawi’s THEM; seasons in Wyong and Whittlesea for The Good Room’s I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You; and a 17-week national tour of Junkyard Beats’ sustainability showstopper, The Box Show.

The second, and most exciting, grant awards us Playing Australia Multi-Year Investment from 2023 to 2025, supporting the touring ambitions of countless independent artists, as well as access to great Australian theatre for the more than 150 communities that will benefit from seeing local stories on local stages.

From Chris Bendall, CEO of Critical Stages Touring, “The return to multi-year funding creates an environment of security and flexibility for our artists, venue partners, and our wonderful audiences in remote and regional areas. It allows us to plan further ahead with more certainty, while also remaining responsive and adaptable.”

“Multi-Year Playing Australia investment was an absolute game changer for Critical Stages when we first received it in 2018. It has allowed us to reach further, and connect more deeply with artists and communities right around the country.”

“Right now, this support gives a vital boost to our work, and is a wonderful of the value of the arts to the recovery of regional communities in 2022 and beyond. Touring productions extend employment and career development opportunities for actors, designers, writers, directors, musicians, stage crew, stage managers and technicians. But most of all, it extends the reach of outstanding works of independent Australian theatre. It allows us to create memorable, meaningful live experiences that connects communities everywhere.”

We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to the many other companies and artists who have also received funding in this round. You can read more about the announcement, including a list of recipients, on the ministry’s webpage.

Cover image by Robert Catto.