Australian Childrens' Theatre Foundation

The Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation continues to be a strong supporter of theatre for young children across Victoria and this year they will be commissioning and supporting the creative development of a new theatre-based work, up to the amount of $20,000.

Regional Arts Victoria's Arts & Education team is proud to administer the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation Commission each year, and tour the successfully commissioned work within their touring program to schools across the state.

Works should address the following ideals: 

  • 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

Works must meet the following criteria:

  • Align with the ideals of the ACTF (see above)
  • Reflect a high standard of imaginative and creative performance and current education practice
  • Be imaginative and performance -based, which may include elements of storytelling, music, dance and/or puppetry and multi - media (optional)
  • Live performance that is of high quality in development and presentation. Artists need to describe the end product they are aiming for and the stimulus they are aiming to provide

The performance should also:

  • Reflect our global diverse culture that we live in, be uplifting and promote positive messages for children and young people
  • 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 – may include up to Years 7 & 8)
  • Be designed to be efficient and viable for touring within the Arts & Education touring model of Regional Arts Victoria – ie. small scale, not more than 3 performers

To apply:

Please read the ACTF Commission Guidelines here. Applications are to be submitted via email to: with the subject line 'ACTF 2017 Commission EOI' by no later than 5pm Monday 30 January 2017.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March 2017.

ACTF Photograph Joan and Betty Raynor


Joan and Betty Rayner created the Australian Children's Theatre in 1948. Over the years, the Rayner sisters performed in many parts of the world, bringing enormous joy to many children and adults.

More than two million 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 by Joan and Betty were always lively, engaging and uplifting; and did much to build bridges of understanding and regard between people of different cultures and traditions. The Australian Children's Theatre also enabled outstanding international artists and companies to perform to delighted audiences in Australia.

In 1993 the Australian Children's Theatre Foundation was created in order to keep alive the aims of the Australian Children's Theatre, and to celebrate the achievements of the Rayner sisters.

Programs supported by the ACTF aim to foster in children a widening interest in and appreciation of the arts and humanity. The ACTF presently supports Regional Arts Victoria's Education and Families program to provide live theatre to disadvantaged primary schools in Victoria.