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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Playing Australia: 19 arts companies will tour regions

Media release
PG /337
16 September 2009

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Arts Minister Peter Garrett today announced more than $3 million in Playing Australia funding for 19 performing arts companies to tour regional Australia.

“This funding will ensure that some of Australia’s best known and loved arts companies can play to regional communities in 2010,” Mr Garrett said.

“Round 34 funding will support performances in drama, children’s theatre, contemporary dance, world music and classical music.

“Performances supported by Playing Australia, no matter what the artform, are always met with great enthusiasm.

“Additionally, these productions help stimulate local economies in our regional areas.

“As well as entertaining audiences and providing opportunities to see exciting new works, these troupes of actors, musicians and their crews are making a real and lasting financial contribution to the economies of the towns they visit.”

Recipients of funding from the latest round include:

Playing Australia, the Australian Government’s national performing arts touring program, has been funding performing arts tours since 1992, helping to build a vibrant performing arts sector in Australia.

For more information on Playing Australia visit: 

List of Round 34 recipients follows.

Australian Government - Playing Australia

Grant Recipients – Round 34

September 2009


Arts on Tour NSW (NSW)

Lying Cheating Bastard by Soft Tread Enterprises (NSW)

Lying Cheating Bastard tells the story of a young man, Jimmy, who discovers his talent for games of chance when he meets and starts learning from veteran conman Frankie.

This production will be touring to 17 venues in VIC, WA, QLD and NSW with 49 performances, including Bendigo, Geraldton, Port Hedland, Townsville, Toowoomba, Orange, Bathurst and Tamworth.

Grant: $40 719

Arts on Tour NSW (NSW)

Halpern & Johnson by Ensemble Theatre (NSW)

Featuring Garry McDonald and Henri Szeps, Halpern & Johnson is the story of friendship and the need for communication within relationships. At the graveside of his recently departed wife, Mr Halpern meets Mr Johnson -a man with whom, unbeknownst to him, his wife had maintained a secret friendship for many years.

This production will be touring to 28 venues in NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT and QLD, with 79 performances, including Launceston, Ballarat, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Taree, Cairns, Rockhampton, Mt Isa and Coffs Harbour.

Grant: $143 076

Arts on Tour NSW (NSW)

TaikOZ: Blessings of the Earth by TaikOZ (NSW)

Blessings of The Earth incorporates rhythm and sound, movement and dance, flute and song, and primarily uses a wide collection of Japanese drums.

This production will be touring to 15 venues in NT, QLD, NSW, VIC and TAS, with 16 performances, including Alice Springs, Darwin, Cairns, Cleveland, Albury, Griffith, Sale, Hobart and Wangaratta.

Grant: $121 658

Arts on Tour NSW (NSW)

Mathinna by Bangarra Dance Theatre (NSW)

Mathinna is a contemporary dance story, based on true accounts of a young Aboriginal girl who was removed from her people and sent to live in the household of the Tasmanian Governor.

This production will be touring to 10 venues in VIC and TAS, with 16 performances, including Geelong, Launceston, Hobart, Shepparton, Sale and Dandenong.

Grant: $236 934

Arts on Tour NSW (NSW)

Peace Train by Peace Train Entertainment (NSW)

Peace Train tells the story of Cat Stevens (musician) through narrative and song.

This production will be touring to 38 venues in WA, QLD, NSW, SA and VIC, with 65

performances, including Esperance, Mandurah, Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Mt Isa, Mackay,

Maryborough, Caloundra, Dubbo, Tamworth, Queanbeyan, Port Pirie, Tanunda, Mt Gambier, Ballarat, Warragul and Sale.

Grant: $277 570

Australian Chamber Orchestra (NSW)

WA Regional Tour by ACO2 (NSW)

Led by the ACO's Principal 2nd Violin, Helena Rathbone, ACO2 comprises core muisians from the orchestra and young string players from the ACO's Emerging Artists Program.

This production will be touring to 8 venues in WA, with 9 performances, including Narrogin,

Katanning, Albany, Manjimup and Bunbury.

Grant: $83 948

Bell Shakespeare Company (NSW)

Twelfth Night and King Lear by Bell Shakespeare Company (NSW)

Twelfth Night will be directed by Lee Lewis, and King Lear will be directed by Marion Potts, starring John Bell.

These productions will be touring to 34 venues in NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT, NT, QLD and WA, with 238 performances, including Lismore, Orange, Launceston, Tamworth, Bendigo, Port Macquarie, Darwin, Albury, Townsville, Alice Springs, Rockhampton and Canberra.

Grant: $450 000

Performing Lines (NSW)

The Folding Wife by Urban Theatre Projects (NSW)

The Folding Wife tells the story of three generations of Filipina-Australian women and their migration from their homeland to Australia.

This production will be touring to 8 venues in QLD, NT, NSW, VIC and TAS, with 28 performances, including Mackay, Townsville, Darwin, Cairns and Hobart.

Grant: $57 136

Performing Lines (NSW)

Red Sky Morning by Red Stitch Actors (VIC)

Red Sky Morning explores dislocation and the need to connect through the characters of a father, mother and their teenage daughter. The play confronts the impact of depression and isolation in regional Australia.

This production will be touring to 15 venues in SA, NSW, QLD and TAS, with 35 with performances, including Whyalla, Murray Bridge, Toowoomba, Wagga Wagga, Griffith, Wollongong and Hobart.

Grant: $106 969

Sydney Dance Company (NSW)

We Unfold and New Work by Sydney Dance Company (NSW)

We Unfold is the first creation by Rafael Bonachela following his appointment as the Sydney Dance Company’s new Artistic Director. We Unfold was devised to showcase the new look of SDC as it ‘unfolds’ its new aesthetic and begins a new journey.

We Unfold and New Work will be touring to 7 venues in ACT, NSW, VIC and QLD, with 36 performances, including Canberra, Griffith, Albury and Newcastle.

Grant: $316 584


Queensland Arts Council (QLD)

Tashi by Imaginary Theatre (QLD)

Tashi is a theatre work adapted from the Tashi book series created by Sydney writer Anna Fienberg and her mother Barbara Feinberg. Aimed at children ten and under, Tashi is a young child who has arrived in Australia from a mysterious Asian country who brings with him an ability for telling extraordinary stories about his life in his previous country.

This production will be touring to 18 venues in QLD, NT, WA, SA, VIC and NSW, with 69 performances, including Ayr, Thuringowa, Mt Isa, Darwin ,Port Hedland, Esperance, Margaret River, Tanunda, Warrnambool, Geelong, Sale and Dubbo.

Grant: $156 535

Southern Cross Soloists Music Ltd (QLD)

Southern Cross Soloists with Alison Mitchell by Southern Cross Soloists (QLD)

The Southern Cross Soloists have developed a new chamber music presentation that includes standard classical chamber works and new commissioned works. This production will be touring to 9 venues in TAS, QLD, ACT, VIC and NSW, with 9 performances, including Burnie, Devonport, St Helens, Brisbane and Canberra.

Grant: $16 000


Co-Opera Inc (SA)

La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini by Co-Opera Inc (SA)

Co-Opera will be touring La Boheme with 10 singers and a small chamber orchestra of 10 instrumentalists. The Darwin Symphony Orchestra will be participating in the Darwin performance.

This production will be touring to 15 venues in NT and WA, with 15 performances, including Darwin, Katherine, Kunanurra, Derby, Karratha, Canarvon, Narrogin, Merredin, Bridgetown, Norseman and Kalgoorlie.

Grant: $167 605


HIT Productions (VIC)

Louis Nowra’s Cosi by HIT Productions (VIC)

Set in the early 1970’s in an Australian asylum, Louis Nowra’s Cosi depicts a young director and university drop-out who takes a job working with patients who are interested in the dramatic arts.

This production will be touring to 55 venues in VIC, TAS, NSW, QLD, NT and WA, with 75 performances, including Bendigo, Horsham, Portland, Echuca, Devonport, Colac, Nowra, Armidale, Narrabri, Tenterfiled, Glen Innes, Moree, Quirindi, Gunnedah, Taree, Mackay, Ayr, Charters Towers, Carnarvon, Bruce Rock and Esperance.

Grant: $296 598

Kultour (VIC)

Zulya and the Children of the Underground by Zulya and the Children of the Underground (VIC)

Zulya and the Children of the Underground play a show of Zulya’s original songs, as well as the band’s arrangements of traditional Russian and Tatar music sung in three languages. In 2009 Zulya and the Children of the Underground will be recording a new album due to be released in early 2010, which will coincide with this tour.

This production will be touring to 26 venues in QLD, NT, NSW, ACT, SA, WA and VIC, with 28 performances, including Tennant Creek, Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, Townsville, Bathurst, Mildura, Perth, Portland and Warburton.

Grant: $64 985

Kultour (VIC)

Mandinka Sound by Muhamanwe Group and One Africa (VIC)

Through music, song and dance, Mandinka Sound will take the audience on a journey that traces West African Culture in contemporary Australia back to its roots in the ancient Mandinka Empire of West Africa.

This production will be touring to 24 venues in VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD, NT and WA, with 26 performances, including Horsham, Shepparton, Mt Isa, Cairns, Katherine, Carnarvon, Moora, Esperance and Margaret River.

Grant: $101 435

Regional Arts Victoria (VIC)

Wombat Stew - The Musical by Garry Ginivan Attractions (VIC)

Wombat Stew - The Musical is aimed at 3-8 year olds and is based on the well known children's book of the same name. It has been written and composed by Paul Keelan and Gary Young.

This production will be touring to 49 venues in ACT, VIC, NSW, QLD, NT and WA, with 166 performances, including Canberra, Benalla, Ballarat, Dandenong, Lismore, Orange, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour.

Grant: $275 943

Regional Arts Victoria (VIC)

Godzone by Melbourne Theatre Company (VIC)

Max Gillies plays 16 contemporary characters. Of these, 8 will be played/portrayed via video throughout the performance.

This production will be touring to 10 venues in VIC, SA and NSW, with 30 performances, including Mt Gambier, Renmark, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Geelong and Warragul.

Grant: $118 648

Regional Arts Victoria (VIC)

Boats by Terrapin Puppet Theatre (TAS)

Boats is a piece of puppet theatre which features object manipulation, live sound effects and classic storytelling techniques to present a sea-faring tale for children. Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer and devised by Frank Newman and Terrapin Puppet Theatre.

This production will be touring to 11 venues in VIC, with 23 performances, including Mt Beauty, Colac, Portland, Swan Hill, Kyneton and Warburton.

Grant: $14 794

Commonwealth of Australia