Australian Childrens' Theatre Foundation

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 work of the ACTF

The ACTF is a proud partner of Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education program and supports schools across Victoria to access to the program. The Foundation provides subsidies of up to 75% for schools affected by low socio-economic circumstances; remoteness; high numbers of students for whom English is not their first language; bushfire or other disaster; and schools with specific learning needs. To see if your school is eligible contact the Arts & Education team at Regional Arts Victoria.

ACTF plays a key role in the development of the Theatre for Young Audiences sector in Victoria by offering a bi-annual $20,000 Commission for the development of a new work, as well as a newly created bi-annual $20,000 Fellowship which will support the development of an artists' artistic practice.

Find out about the ACTF Fellowship here

Find out about the ACTF Commission here

ACTF Photograph Joan and Betty Raynor