Junkyard Beats Victoria, recipients of the 2022 Fellowship.

The 2024 Joan & Betty Rayner ACTF Fellowship

Applications are now closed

ACTF plays a key role in the development of the Theatre for Children sector in Victoria by offering a bi-annual $20,000 Fellowship which will support the development of an artists’ artistic practice in this field.

Previous recipients include Junkyard Beats (2022). Junkyard Beats create and present live performances for young people which includes music, dance, physical theatre, circus, humour and imagination. The Fellowship supported Junkyard Beats artists to further develop their practice in the field of theatre for children, with activities such as mentorships and training in acting, physical theatre and clowning.

Junkyard Beats reflected on the 2022 Fellowship:

“One of the most influential activities we undertook were regular dance classes. We both felt our ability to learn choreography and execute it sharply drastically improve and this was reflected to us by the gasps and supportive cheers of our audiences whenever we would break out into dance in our play JUNKLANDIA. Our work with various clowning teachers REALLY improved our acting across the board. We are now more physically communicative and our ability to express emotion through clowning has made our play more engaging for our young audiences. We both feel we have experienced a great deal of creative & artistic growth through these activities.”

The ACTF also offers a bi-annual $20,000 Commission for the development of a new performance work for children. Applications for the 2023 Commission have now closed.

For further information please contact our Creative Learning Team [email protected]

More information

Building on ACTF’s history as strong supporters of theatre for primary school age children across Victoria, the Joan and Betty Rayner ACTF Fellowship supports the artistic development of an artists’ practice to the amount of $20,000 and is open to emerging or established artists working in children’s theatre and to those wishing to diversify their practice into and across the field of theatre for young audiences.

This biennial Fellowship continues the legacy of the Rayner sisters, who believed that high quality theatre should be accessible to young people, despite location, cultural or socio-economic differences.

The Rayner sisters established the Australian Childrens Theatre in 1948 after decades performing throughout Britain, Europe and the United States as strolling players.  Through their Theatre, Joan and Betty trained many emerging local performance artists, provided support for established childrens’ theatre performers and brought to Australia many highly talented international children’s theatre artists.

Joan & Betty themselves spent their early years developing their stage craft under the tutelage of renowned overseas performers and by travelling extensively to meet with local storytellers to observe the folk stories and customs of many cultures worldwide.  This in turn inspired them to train others through the Australian Children’s Theatre.

It is in this spirit that the Foundation initiated this Fellowship.

The Foundation partners with Regional Arts Victoria to bring theatre and live performance opportunities to disadvantaged communities through a subsidy program which offers up to 75% subsidy off the cost of performances. In 2019 the ACTF supported 5,847 audience members to experience live theatre.

Applications are now closed

For more information on the ACTF Fellowship and application support access please contact: 

Pippin Davies 
Senior Manager, Creative Learning 
P: 0427 211 123 
E: [email protected] 

Applications must have been submitted by 9am Monday 11 December 2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by end of February 2024

The Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation is proudly supported by: