Regional company Lab Kelpie awarded 2023 ACTF Commission

The Trustees of the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation (ACTF) and Regional Arts Victoria (RAV) are delighted to announce the 2023 Joan and Betty Rayner ACTF Commission is awarded to regional theatre company Lab Kelpie, who will develop playwright Katy Warner’s new work for children, Reasons To Be Invisible

A new Australian play about friendship, courage and adventure, Reasons To Be Invisible is an uplifting, heart-warming story about finding your voice – and having fun while doing it! Written by playwright and children’s author Katy Warner (2016 AWGIE Award for Best Children’s Theatre), it will be developed in Daylesford by Lab Kelpie, one of Australia’s leading independent theatre touring companies. 

“After an exciting decade of presenting and touring new Australian writing for adults, we are thrilled to be developing Lab Kelpie’s first children’s show with the support of the ACTF and RAV,” said Lyall Brooks, Artistic Director of Lab Kelpie. “This project will also showcase just how strong and vibrant our professional regional artistic communities can be.” 

Chair of the ACTF Rod Parnall commended the quality of applications and their support for Reasons To Be Invisible

“What a fantastic and competitive round of applications this year,” Parnall said. “The quality of all the works strongly reflected the values and ideals of the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation and the Trustees look forward to watching the development and performance of the successful application Reasons To Be Invisible, which I am sure will entertain and enthral children.” 

CEO of Regional Arts Victoria Jo Porter said she was delighted to be supporting the development of Reasons To Be Invisible through the commission: 

“The Trustees are thrilled to support a new work which aligns so well with the ideals of the Foundation and with an exceptional creative team,” Porter said. “The fact that Lab Kelpie are a regionally based company furthers our excitement, speaking to our values at Regional Art Victoria of supporting creative exchanges in regional communities and promoting opportunities for professional work to be developed in the regions.” 

About the Commission 

This unique opportunity provides artists with support to create theatre for children and young people, contributing generously to the landscape of work produced in this niche field. Commission recipients also gain experience in regional schools touring through Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education program. 

Arts & Education Senior Manager Pippin Davies says ”Regional Arts Victoria works with schools across the state to offer a diverse range of arts learning experiences for young people. Our programs compliment learning areas and capabilities of the Victorian Curriculum, covering a range of art forms.” 

“We encourage young people to participate in the arts as creators, makers and audiences, and strive to reduce access barriers to high quality and innovative arts programs. One contribution to this is the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation’s commission.” 

It is through this generous support from the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation, that Regional Arts Victoria is able to support programs for children and young people.

Our 2023 Arts & Education program is proudly supported by: