Slamming shut a window of possibility: youth theatre in crisis

Artistic directors of three youth theatre companies from three different states reflect on a sector in crisis and call for immediate and decisive action.

The youth theatre sector is where the actors, playwrights and directors of the future first learn their craft, and where a love of the performing arts is instilled in audiences who may well grow up to become the next generation of theatre company subscribers.

That future is now under threat following the Australia Council’s decision to defund a range of companies who are collectively classified as ‘theatre for young people’ (TYP).

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts