A Sydney-based playwright, director and theatre producer has conducted an independent study of Sydney’s theatre venues, which has determined that there is both a lack of suitable venues and many barriers for theatre-makers looking for a suitable space.
Steven Hopley’s Sydney Theatre Report 2015 has found that many theatre spaces are used as performance spaces less than 30% of the time, and that independent producers say that finding an affordable venue is the biggest problem they face when putting on a show.
NSW Greens spokesperson for the Arts Jenny Leong MP says:
“This report confirms what many theatre lovers in Sydney have been sensing – that Sydney is facing a severe shortage of spaces suitable for independent and innovative productions.
“While it’s important that government funding assists our established companies to do big works, it’s essential that there is also support for independent creatives and practitioners. We need to ensure that there are spaces in Sydney for artists and producers to take risks and tell new stories in new ways.
“This report follows the recent announcement that many small theatre companies have had their Australia Council funding cut. These are companies that are already struggling to meet costs. It’s inevitable that we’ll see a decline in performances across our city as a result.
“It’s crucial that arts spaces are properly funded and we also need to see a simplification of the red tape that gets in the way of small venues operating successfully.