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Circus and Physical Theatre
TNA CaPT Bulletin – Oct 2017

Dear Circus and Physical Theatre colleagues, 

The transition from ACAPTA to TNA’s CaPT is being treated with the care and attention it needs. We are close to finalising the last of the handover in terms of administration and legalities, and we are excited to get started on the program moving forward. Our CaPT Strategy is underway, and in this early stage, our work is to focus on communications and connection with the sector. Read on below for what we’ve been up to and what’s planned for the remainder of 2017. 

Nicole, Jamie, Kieran, Simone and Bethany


This advisory group will meet quarterly and be engaged in ongoing measures to ensure that the sector has a voice and that services are meeting their needs. Their two key functions are:

1. To maintain strong engagement and information exchange between Theatre Network Australia and the broad circus and physical theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally.

2. To offer guidance to TNA to ensure that its mandated service delivery to the CaPT sector is operating effectively and efficiently.

We have been working in consultation with the sector to set this up, and are confident that we will be able to announce the advisory group before the end of the year.


Debbie Wilks and Rockie Stone hosted a TNA information and engagement session on our behalf. There were 50 people in attendance, and some of the issues and ideas voiced included:

• The need to map the sector;
• Greater access to venues that can house circus specific work;
• Audience Development (in the breadth of circus work);
• The need to look at funding categories, and to seek an increase in assessment peers (at the  Australia Council for example) from the CaPT sector;
• General advocacy for the sector.


ATF2017 was held over 3-5 October in Adelaide. Delegates from the sector included Davey Thompson and Teena Munn – Circus Oz, Josh Hoare – Cirkidz, Cecily Hardy – Legs on the Wall, Celia White – Vulcana, Felicia Lannan (Flick), and Jane Tonkin – Corrugated Iron.

In a Conversation that Davey facilitated together with Colin Kinchela and Diat Alferink, he generously shared about BLAKflip, his experience working as a producer on Chasing Smoke, and his goals for the program.

“We decolonised the method to create Chasing Smoke – we took all the fun parts of dance, theatre, physical theatre and music…. And left the rules behind. There was no structured hierarchy in the room, and we all treated each other more like siblings and cousins than work colleagues. It created a family feel for the whole crew, which I think helped cushion the blow on the heavy topics the cast were discussing.”


TNA presents the Victorian Touring Workshop with VAPAC and Regional Arts Victoria annually. Designed to provide practical advice, support and networking opportunities for artists and producers, both emerging and/or ready to take their shows on the road, this year’s workshop is from 10.30am to 4.30pm, 16 November, at the Darebin Arts and Entertainment Centre. Registration for the full workshop is $40 salaried, $27 independents.

This year, we’ve included “Touring Circus & Physical Theatre 101” as a breakout session in the day’s program:

Touring Circus & Physical Theatre 101 – Facilitated by Elena Kirschbaum, Highwire Events & Entertainment; and Hannah Cryle, Pants Down Circus.

Full program and registration details are available here.


Theatre Network Australia is also the host and secretariat for ASSITEJ Australia. So much work from the CaPT sector is made with, for, and by children and young people, and intersects with the Youth Theatre / Theatre for Young Audiences sector. Both sectors can be strengthened from feeding into each other. Let us know if you are interested to stay informed of ASSITEJ related updates. Email


As part of our CaPT initiative, Annalise and André were awarded Best Emerging Circus Performers at the 2017 Melbourne Fringe, as part of their involvement in No Frills Cabaret. Big congratulations to them! And here was the feedback from the judging panel:

“We awarded this to Annalise and André for demonstrating a dedication to and a self-directed pursuit of skill development, an interest in exploration and a willingness to collaborate …TNA encourages and hopes to see more of these two artists making and performing work in the sector…”

We are looking forward to integrating our focus on the CaPT sector in our ongoing work, upcoming events such as the annual Victorian Theatre Forum, and biennial Australian Theatre Forum, and in our continued National Engagement Strategy. On top of our monthly e-news filled with sector updates, news, and opportunities, where CaPT specific news will be included, a CaPT bulletin much like this one will also be sent quarterly – and of course, we would love to feature more of the CaPT sector on our social media platforms – so get in touch and keep us informed of what you are up to!

At TNA, we also highly value in-person communications as a fundamental practice – so we invite you to keep speaking with us, and get to know the organisation and our plans better.


facebook: Theatre Network Australia
twitter: @TheatreNetworkA
instagram: /theatrenetworkaustralia

Compiled by Jamie Lewis. To submit your updates, email​
2018 Membership is now open. More information here.

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