Support for Artists
Merrigong fosters professional theatre-making in our region through our Make it @Merrigong and MERRIGONGX programs - commissioning, developing and producing new theatre works in-house, and supporting the development and presentation of work by independent artists.
Opportunities for independent artists/groups are either by invitation, or via our support application. A selection process is undertaken by members of Merrigong's artistic team and an external assessor.
For work to be selected to be part of our MERRIGONGX or Make it @Merrigong development programs it must meet one or more of the following criteria:
• The artist/group is local or has a local connection
• The work is new
• The work extends the art form by engaging with contemporary theatre practice
• The work provides a new experience for our audiences
• The work addresses Merrigong’s Artistic Vision.
Merrigong has a proud history of commissioning, developing and producing new Australian work for our audiences. Works are commissioned by the company on an annual basis and are by direct approach. Please note that we are unable to accept unsolicited script submissions. Scripts sent to the company will be acknowledged, but unfortunately we cannot commit to reading them or providing feedback. We strongly recommend that playwrights access the services provided by Playwriting Australia (www.pwa.org.au) the national organisation working with playwrights and theatre artists from all backgrounds and at all levels of their careers.
Opportunities exist for the use of free or subsidised rehearsal space for new works that meet the above criteria.
A development process may include the creative development of a new work with actors/performers/director/script editor/dramaturg/mentor and/or consultant, culminating in a work-in-progress showing.
New works by local independent artists or groups may also be selected for presentation in front of an audience, as part of our MERRIGONGX program. Each year, we select up to three innovative new theatre works that have undergone some development onsite.
The application process for Space, Creative Development and Development Showings are through the MERRIGONGX application process and are selected and curated by Merrigong's artistic team, along with an external industry professional, and in consultation with the artist/group. Applications take place on an annual basis and are open from September through to October with successful applicants informed in December.
Merrigong also runs a number of other programs in which independent artists can develop their practice, find support and/or show case their work. These include:
Made From Scratch
A scratch night for emerging writers, makers and performers to test their freshest ideas. Held regularly throughout the year, these fun, fringey nights showcase raw local and emerging artists across comedy, poetry, music, dance, cabaret, circus, film, visual art, script and more. Do you have a short act you’d like to try out? Download the expression of interest.
Merrigong engages touring organisations to conduct workshops that explore practice and form. These workshops are open to all artists and vary depending on the type of production.
We partner with Melbourne International Comedy Festival to host the regional heat of RAW Comedy, Australia’s biggest and most prestigious open mic comedy competition each year. Details and registration is via http://comedyfestival.com.au/raw/
Some funding bodies, including Arts NSW, require individuals, partnerships, groups or other unincorporated organisations to be auspiced by an incorporated organisation. Merrigong offers an auspicing service to independent artists/groups for grant applications they wish to submit to further develop projects that:
• Have undergone a development showing with Merrigong
• Are recognised by Merrigong to have artistic merit
• Are deemed to have a future beyond Merrigong's involvement.
Merrigong Theatre Company has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the New South Wales Government through Arts NSW.