What Does the Community Lose if the Tasmanian Theatre Company Closes

- the only full time professional theatre company in the state (making Tasmanian the only state in Australia without a full time professional theatre company)
- the only company in the country dedicated to making work by Tasmanian playwrights
- employment for around 80 artists (over 12 FTE)
- commissioning of Tasmanian playwrights
- development and public reading of Tasmanian playwrights’ work
- touring professional theatre to regional Tasmania (25 communities in the last 4 years)
- touring Tasmanian theatre productions to the Mainland
- co –productions of Tasmanian work with theatre companies in Melbourne Sydney and Perth and thereby losing that exposure for Tasmanian artists
- a professionally run intimate theatre available for hire at affordable rates (the Theatre Royal Backspace)
- an annual program supporting independent theatre makers to produce public seasons of their work
- administrative support for independent artists creating work
- support and advice service for emerging artists
- the hugely successful Second Echo Ensemble, Tasmania’s only integrated performance ensemble of performers with and without disabilities
- the Generations Ensemble Theatre, run in partnership with the Glenorchy Council working with elderly residents of the Northern Suburbs of Hobart
- a program of theatre skills workshops in Risdon Prison
- The Boy with the Longest Shadow – a new play on issues around bullying from award winning Tasmanian playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer specially commissioned to tour to schools throughout the state over the next five years
- School workshops
- Class Clowns, a program of stand up comedy by secondary students as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Key Achievements Since Launch of TTC in May 2008

- 24 plays performed
- 17 World Premieres
- 3 Tasmanian Tours to 25 locations
- 1 Mainland tour to Victoria and ACT
- An international tour booked (and funded) for 2012
- 10,000 audience members in 2011
- Subscribers/TTC Friends – support base quadrupled 2009 to 2011
- 30 playreadings of new Tasmanian plays
- Winner of Australian Business Arts Foundation Tasmanian Community Partnership Award 2008, 2009 & 2010
- Establishment of a program to train professional Stage Managers
- Seasons of co-produced works in Melbourne and Sydney
- Commissioned 5 new Tasmanian plays
- Converted the Backspace Theatre into an intimate 160 seat theatre venue



Media Release
30 August, 2011

Tasmanian Theatre Goers Have Been Let Down

The Board and staff of the Tasmanian Theatre Company (TTC) responded with astonishment upon hearing today that it will not receive any funding for its 2012 season from the Tasmanian Government.

Artistic Director Charles Parkinson said this decision will have wide ranging ramifications both for Tasmanian artists and the Tasmanian community.

“In 2010-11 we employed 76 artists and performed to over 10,000 people which clearly demonstrates a high level of interest and enthusiasm for our productions,“ said Mr Parkinson.

“ This year the company undertook its first interstate tour attracting strong reviews and full houses while promoting the strength of the Tasmanian theatre industry.

“This was in addition to recent tours to 25 Tasmanian regional centres.”

In the light of TTC’s popularity and significance in the Tasmanian cultural landscape, Mr Parkinson said he was particularly disappointed that this means Tasmania will be the only state in Australia with no full time professional theatre company.

Ironically, the Premier funded the Tasmanian Council of Theatre, a peak body for the theatre industry while defunding the industry’s largest employer.

Mr Parkinson confirmed that TTC’s 2011 program will continue unchanged with the Festival of New Tasmanian Theatre due to open at the Theatre Royal Backspace on September 28th.

• Damian Bugg, Chair, Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board responds ...

Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts ARTS TASMANIA

The Editor
Tasmanian Times
Dear Sir,

The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board makes the following comments in response to the article What Does the Community Lose if the Tasmanian Theatre Company Closes (Tasmanian Times 5 September 2011, Above).

Firstly, this is not the end of professional theatre in Tasmania. The Board has provided funding of over $900 000 to support theatre activities in the state, including Tasmania Performs, Terrapin, Mudlark, Theatre Royal and Theatre North. Mudlark is also a professional adult theatre company; Tasmania Performs develops and tours professional theatre in Tasmania. All of these organisations also employ theatre workers. Tasmania Performs, Terrapin and Mudlark in particular support the production of local content and local writers. It is incorrect to say that the Tasmanian Theatre Company is the only professional theatre company in Tasmania; it is not, nor is it the only employer of arts workers or the only producer/creator of local content.

Secondly, this is not the end of development of the theatre sector in Tasmania. The Board has already provided $30 000 to the Theatre Council of Tasmania to develop sector plans and initiatives to support the development of theatre; and quarantined a further $84 829 towards these future initiatives, for the development and benefit of the entire theatre sector in Tasmania. This is an important initiative that arose out of the industry’s own response to the review of the professional theatre sector in 2010. The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board’s support of the Theatre Council will ensure the theatre sector continues to grow and with it jobs for talented people who have a long-standing commitment to theatre in Tasmania – many of whose careers began here prior to the 36 months of activity at TTC.

The Tasmanian Theatre Company has scored below the cut-off point for funding three years in a row – for 2010 and 2011, the company was just below the cut-off point and the Government was able to top up the amount of money in the funding pool to support them. This was not possible in the current budget climate and in any case, the TTC was not just below, but a long way below the line on this occasion – ranking 26th out of 29 companies who applied for funds in this round.

Yours sincerely,
Damian Bugg
Chair, Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board