Australian Childrens' Theatre Foundation

The Australian Children's Theatre Foundation Commission 

The Australian Children’s Theatre was created by sisters Joan and Betty Rayner in 1948. Joan and Betty were seasoned performers, touring across Australia and the world. Countless Australian children were introduced to the pleasures of live theatre by attending the widely acclaimed drama, music, mime and puppet productions of the Australian Children's Theatre. The performances were always lively, engaging and uplifting; and did much to build bridges of love and understanding between people from different cultures and traditions. The Australian Children's Theatre also enabled outstanding international artists and companies to perform to delighted audiences in Australia.

Joan Rayner established the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation (ACTF) to keep alive the aims of the Australian Children's Theatre.

The ideals of the Foundation are:

  • to foster in children a widening interest in the arts and humanity
  • to foster understanding between people of different countries and cultures, including the telling of Indigenous stories
  • to use theatre to explore and present stories from around the world including those of recent arrivals to Australia

The ACTF continues to be a strong supporter of theatre for young children across Victoria and they will be commissioning or supporting the creative development of a new performance work, to the amount of $20,000.

The ACTF Commission applications are now closed for 2019.

Commissioning Guidelines

Expressions of Interest will be called for in the year preceding the commissioning year. Applications will be administered by Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education Manager early in the commissioning year (2019). All applications that meet the guidelines will be forwarded as appropriate to the ACTF Chairperson and Trustees, for discussion in March 2019.

The ACTF will commission (in whole or in part) the production of a small scale theatre piece specifically devised for primary school students, to the point of being tour ready. It is intended that the successful applicant will be able to tour the new work within Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education program in 2020. The new work may already be in early development at the time of application, however, the commission cannot provide funds for the remount of an existing work. The successful commission will enter into a contract with the ACTF and will include provision for royalties payable to the ACTF following the tour. The commission will be paid in stages on the successful completion of each stage or milestone as set out in the commissioning contract and the ACTF reserves the right to terminate the commission in the event that the production or the progress of its development or its timing is considered by the Trustees to be unsatisfactory or is not consistent with the application.

Submissions must meet the following guidelines:

  • Clearly describe how the project aligns with the ideals of the ACTF (see above)

  • Reflect high quality imaginative and creative storytelling in a live performance that is well developed and presented

  • Artists need to describe the end product they are aiming for and the stimulus they are aiming to provide

  • Reflect the global diverse culture, be uplifting, promote positive messages for children and young people and reflect a sense of humanity

  • Stimulate ideas and generate pre and post-performance activities and discussion

  • Be suitable for any year level or levels within the foundation to Year 6 (F-6) range (i.e. primary)

  • Be designed to be efficient and viable for touring within the Arts & Education touring model of Regional Arts Victoria – ie. small scale, preferably not more than 4 performers

    • Include a sound and viable budget

The successful applicant will be required to sign a Contractual Agreement with the Foundation in respect to the grant based on terms and timelines set down by the Foundation. This will include acknowledgement of the ACTF Commission in all marketing materials produced. The successful applicant will also be aware and compliant with the Child Safe Standards as required by State Government of Victoria from January 2017. For Further information:

The final decision is made by the ACTF Trustees.

The ACTF Commission applications are now closed for 2019.

ACTF Photograph Joan and Betty Raynor