Regional Arts Victoria


The Trustees of the Australian Children’s Theatre Foundation (ACTF) and Regional Arts Victoria are delighted to announce applications for the 2021 Joan and Betty Rayner ACTF Commission are now open.

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, and/or 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 ACTF continues to be a strong supporter of theatre for young children across Victoria and will be commissioning or supporting the creative development of a new performance work, up to the amount of $20,000.

In addition to the monetary support, the successful applicant will also be given the opportunity to tour the new work as part of Regional Arts Victoria’s 2022 Arts & Education Program.

Held biennially, previous recipients include Mark Penzak with Toro & Rose (2019) and Tinker by New Working Group and Andy Dexterity (2017).

Submissions must meet the following guidelines:

  • Clearly describe how the project aligns with the ideals of the ACTF (see above)
  • Reflect high quality imaginative and creative storytelling in a live performance that is well developed and presented
  • Artists need to describe the end product they are aiming for and the stimulus they are aiming to provide
  • Reflect the global diverse culture, be uplifting, promote positive messages for children and young people and reflect a sense of humanity
  • Stimulate ideas and generate pre and post-performance activities and discussion
  • Be suitable for any year level or levels within the foundation to Year 6 (F-6) range (i.e. primary)
  • Be designed to be efficient and viable for touring within the Arts & Education touring model of Regional Arts Victoria – ie. small scale, preferably not more than 4 performers
  • Include a sound and viable budget
  • The project must reflect that the ACTF commission will be the main source of funding. Larger scale projects with multiple funding sources will not be assessed
  • If the applicant has previously been successful for an ACTF commission or fellowship they will not be eligible to apply for the next two rounds of each submissions

The new work may already be in early development at the time of application, however the commission cannot provide funds for the remount of an existing work.

Applications will be administered by Regional Arts Victoria’s Arts & Education Manager early in the commissioning year (2021). All applications that meet the guidelines will be forwarded to the ACTF Chairperson and Trustees for discussion in March 2021. The final decision will be made by the ACTF Trustees.

Applications are now open and will close 5pm Friday 29 January, 2021.

Download the Application Form (Word  / PDF  )

Download the Commission Guidelines (Word  / PDF  )

Please contact Megan Collier, Arts & Education Coordinator at Regional Arts Victoria:

P: 0477 846 014

Available: Monday to Wednesday, during business hours.


Monday 21 December, 2020
Friday 29 January, 2021

Victoria , Regional Vic

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