Apps, Stats and Programming Chats
Blog by Bri Zammit
With the artist call out now closed for the 2016 Crack Theatre Festival, we want to thank everyone who was able to stretch the word about the Festival as far as they could across Australia. We received over 60 applications from across almost every State and Territory in Australia and from artists with diverse cultural and regional backgrounds (and also the most we have ever received from Newcastle!). As a Festival that endeavours to provide support to all artists, we were grateful to receive so many applications from those whose ideas may be otherwise overlooked due to their location or experience. We are continually striving to find ways to accommodate and support these artists.
We were also thrilled to have so many emerging artists apply! Of the applications, 73% of applicants identified as emerging artists and many of the works, as observed by our 2016 Co-Artistic Directors, Kate and Nikki, “were in the early stages of development – big ideas, big dreams.” While these projects were BIG, we were so excited to be the first platform to hatch their ideas and assist in their development. To respond to these big works, Kate states, “we’ve created a Works In Progress program that gives space for these artists to come and test parts of their work through a showcase and residencies that take the pressure off. We want to make a space for these pioneering artists to use the Festival as a breeding ground for their new works in development – rather than shying away from what we can’t deliver.”
Kate and Nikki also observed the “outrageous” number of works made by women: works fronted by women, works with all women casts, and works that had a number of women in the creative teams. Who runs the world? GIRLS! As Kate states, “we are thrilled to see so many women with great ideas producing, directing, performing their own ideas – the evidence is there that if the industry wants more women in the arts, they don’t have to go very far to find them.” There are definite whispers of a full frontal female focus in the programming offices…
Overall both Kate and Nikki (and the rest of the CTF team!) were ecstatic to reflect that the applications they received reinforced that “the Festival is a place where people want to test their new works without the pressure of ticket sales and expectations – and we are very happy to be that place. It only affirms to me that it is what the Festival does best and we will continue to create opportunities year round for artists to grow, test, and shape themselves and their arts practice”
Which such an array of applications to deliberate over, our ADs reflected on their selection process and shared a few words to help strengthen applications in the future. As Kate observed, “great applications were able to paint a picture for us. We haven’t been there through the sleepless nights and obsessing over this idea that just needs to be seen – but we need to feel like we were there when we read the application – we want to feel restless with excitement for the work’s actualisation.” She also stated that “great applicants really nailed the who, what, where, when and especially the why, in clear and simple terms, with specific details” and were the ones that stuck in their minds when it came to programming the Festival.
Our Top 3 Tips for Proposals
- Be specific – What is it in actual real world physical terms that you want to do in the space and time you are given at the Festival?
- Write your name and project title at the top of your proposal and make it memorable – This can just be through providing clarity on the ‘who’ and the ‘what’.
- Tell us WHY! If we don’t understand why you can’t sleep because this project must happen – how are we going to commit ourselves to helping you realise it? Be bold and tell us how necessary you and your art is!
We are super excited to show you want our 2016 Festival holds for you, our artists and audiences. Because we don’t think we’ll be able to keep our mouths closed about all the incredible artists, we will be releasing a program teaser later in month. Keep your eyes peeled for some first tastes of our CTF 2016 spread!
Want to give us feedback on our 2016 application process? Take two minutes to fill out this super easy survey!
Bri Zammit is Crack Theatre Festival’s 2016 Associate Producer and Marketing Apprentice. In her spare time outside the virtual CTF Office, she can often be found lurking in theatres and trying to belt out songs from musicals (ear plugs recommended). Check out the full CTF Team here!