Theatre company thrown a regional lifeline

The loss of Australia Council funding forced a major re-think for Arena Theatre Company, resulting in their newly announced relocation to a regional centre.

A scene from Arena’s recent production Trapper. Image credit: John Fish.

Established in 1966, Arena Theatre Company is one of Australia’s longest-running producers of theatre for young people. That history almost ground to a halt last year when Arena lost its Australia Council organisational funding on the arts sector’s ‘Black Friday’.

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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