New Musicals Australia, a new initiative dedicated to the production of original Australian musical theatre, has been funded by the Australia Council for the Arts Music Board as part of the Australian Government’s new funding for music theatre program. It is one of many new initiatives developed to boost the Australian music theatre industry and provide new work and employment for artists.
All musicals selected for the initiative will have their workshopping expenses covered by the Australia Council funding. New Musicals Australia does not require all further royalty or percentage of future income; it is purely focused on ensuring that more new musicals can have a strong developmental opportunity, and investing in the future of Australian musical theatre.
The Australia Council has partnered with Sydney-based Century Venues, whose spaces include The Enmore Theatre, The Metro, The Factory Theatre, The Comedy Store and The Vanguard. New Musicals Australia is operated out of Century Venues offices, cutting administrative and venue hire fees usually incurred in company set-up. Century Venues has also turned over their venues for use for all NMA workshops and events. Thanks to this partnership, New Musicals Australia is able to channel all the funding directly into workshops and artist employment.
“With our infrastructure and venue costs covered by Century, it means that New Musicals Australia can maximize the benefits of the Australia Council grant. Rehearsal space and performance space, administrative staff and infrastructure – these are things that would otherwise take tens of thousands of dollars,” said Director of New Musicals Australia, Kris Stewart. “Whilst our resources are limited, using Century Venues as a back bone ends up kind of doubling and tripling the Australia Council’s funding, and many more writers will therefore benefit from it,” continued Kris Stewart.
New Musicals Australia is operated for the benefit of both music theatre creators and performers. Whilst only a limited number for works can be selected each year, there is no submission fee and there is no limit to the number of times applicants can submit the same work.
The workshopping opportunities provided are open to creators who have Australian citizenship or permanent resident status. No musicals with non-original scores will be considered. All projects will employ Australia creative professionals (or students where appropriate) and be performed in Australia, primarily in Century Venues spaces. Professional artists involved in the process, including performers, creative teams and other practicing artists will be paid as per the MEAA Award. When essential to the project, New Musicals Australia will attempt to travel and accommodate necessary artists and creative teams.
New Musicals Australia has three key workshop initiatives. They are The Musical Snapshot, which presents a twenty to forty minute extract of the musical in concert, alongside other new works. The Developmental Reading sees a new work rehearsed and performed in concert, and the Workshop Presentation allows a musical to be rehearsed and performed book-down with staging and some production elements. New Musicals Australia also supports a variety of other initiatives targeted at developing new works, establishing networks and providing support for independent writers.
For more information on New Musicals Australia