TNA Circus and Physical Theatre Strategy

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to inform you that Theatre Network Australia has now finalised an agreement with Creative Victoria, fully endorsed by the former Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) board and membership, to take on some of the services that ACAPTA used to provide. We think this is an exciting new era for the Circus and Physical Theatre (CaPT) sector.

The TNA staff and board would like to acknowledge the years of commitment and passion that the ACAPTA staff and board have contributed to the Circus and Physical Theatre sector, in particular President Anni Davey, Administrator Kat Gill, and former Director Gail Kelly. As always in the arts, they put in many hundreds of hours of work above and beyond what was required of them because of their passion for the artform.

Read on for details of TNA’s new CaPT strategy, and please feel free to be in touch for more information.

Warm Regards,
Nicole Beyer, Executive Director
Simon Abrahams, Chair of the Board

 

Background
In 2016-17 Creative Victoria commissioned two Sector Reviews from Andrew Bleby and Associates, the first one reviewing the key service requirements needed to support the Circus and Physical Theatre Sector (2016), and the second one recommending an approach to implementing new ways of delivering services to the sector (2017). The reports recommended that Creative Victoria and ACAPTA approach TNA to take on some of the services that ACAPTA used to provide, in light of evidence that ACAPTA was unable to continue to provide those services. After several months of meetings and planning, TNA has agreed to an implementation plan, which we will now be rolling out, across the next 3 and a half years, to be reviewed and revised for 2021 and beyond. 

 

Theatre Network Australia’s Circus and Physical Theatre Strategy

Theatre Network Australia has now finalised an agreement with Creative Victoria, fully supported by the former ACAPTA board and endorsed at a Special General Meeting of the ACAPTA membership.

TNA will be taking on most but not all of the services that ACAPTA used to provide. The two key areas of work that TNA will not be taking on are the Peer Assessment for Street Safety (PASS) Scheme, which is now to be run by Street Performers Australia; and international travel and representation (our focus will be primarily within Australia). In other areas, we hope that we can enhance the work that ACAPTA did, because our broader remit has given us a strong support base, and helped us to develop an excellent reputation nationally for our advocacy and sector development work. We are very aware that in some regards Circus and Physical Theatre (CaPT) needs dedicated, discrete advocacy and promotion, and in other areas it will benefit from enhanced collaboration and exchange with other parts of the performing arts.

We are also convening a CaPT Advisory Group, with formal terms of reference, which will meet quarterly to provide detailed, deep sector advice to us about sector needs and aspirations. The members of the group will be paid an honorarium for their time. We are working with the former ACAPTA board on this.

Then we will begin to roll-out some services, which include:

  1. Information, Communication and Networking
  2. Insurance for Circus performance
  3. Sector Meetings and Conferences
  4. Advocacy of Sector Issues to Decision-makers
  5. Business Advice and Benchmarking
  6. International Engagement – ‘No Travel’ international strategy
  7. Circus and Physical Theatre Membership and Directory
  8. Support Street Performers Australia (SPA) to run the PASS Program.

To undertake the CaPT strategy, we will do a small restructure of TNA staff, adding some capacity to the team to dedicate to CaPT, and add CaPT tasks to the existing staff role descriptions.

 

Acknowledgements
The TNA staff and board would like to acknowledge the years of commitment and passion that the ACAPTA staff and board have contributed to the Circus and Physical Theatre sector. Running a very small service organisation takes a huge amount of energy and drive, and the returns are sometimes long-term and difficult to evaluate. Despite difficulties, ACAPTA achieved some incredible outcomes – including putting Australian Circus and Physical Theatre on the international map, getting dedicated Circus streams in major festivals, running sector forums and gatherings that inspired and supported the sector, providing up to date information and advice for artists, negotiating the Insurance arrangement with AON etc.

In particular we want to acknowledge the amazing Gail Kelly, who led ACAPTA as Director for several years, with her fabulous colleagues Ang Pamic and Alex Talamo, Administrator Kat Gill, who took on the final tasks of winding up and handover to TNA, and Anni Davey, President, who has been a stalwart of the Circus and Physical Theatre community for ever and has put in hundreds of hours to drive the negotiations with Creative Victoria and TNA, to ensure that the sector remains in good hands and continues to have dedicated services provided. We take our hats off to them.

The Circus and Physical Theatre strategy is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.