Posted by Fiona de Garis, July 20th, 2016

We had a chat to Mark Storen,  Creative Director at Propel Youth Arts WA about their program the HIVE. Propel Youth Arts WA is the peak body for youth arts in WA dedicated to creating opportunities for young people to engage in the Arts. The HIVE has grown from a drop in space for kids in 2014 to  a fixed ensemble of young adults in 2016, the HIVE is a platform for young theatre makers and artists to grow, learn and create in a supportive environment.

Can you tell us what The Hive is all about and why it was created?

The HIVE is a mixed art form ensemble of young artists aged 18-26. It was created to provide a much needed platform for emerging artists to come together to make work, develop skills and collaborate in a supported environment. It’s our hope that through the HIVE we can provide young artists further development of existing skills, access to mentoring, professional workshops opportunities and placement with other organizations specific to their art form. Most importantly we wanted to give young emerging artists a platform to create inclusive and innovative work and help to bridge the gap between finishing their education or training and moving into the professional sector.


The Hive has changed from a drop in space for kids to this ensemble model, why was this change made?

The drop in space model was a great one and something Propel Youth Arts would like to do again. Currently we only have access to office space but we are on the hunt! We are working towards providing a space for the HIVE ensemble to make work in and to also be a space for our members. It will be a place for creative exchange a recognizable artistic hub for young people, what a beautiful thing that would be! While we search for this space we felt the HIVE ensemble was an opportunity to begin to re-imagine the model and enable creative collaborations through a concentrated developmental platform for emerging artists aged 18-26. While we search for a more permanent home for the HIVE, North Metropolitan TAFE have very kindly given us a space to meet and make-work.


What shows have they got coming up?

The HIVE has been commissioned by Curtin University to create an interactive performance experience for the students in and around campus. The show is called Look Up. It encourages people to engage with their daily environment and promotes the idea of an exchange of some kind. The HIVE has also been invited to perform the work at The Crack Theatre Festival in Newcastle in October this year. We’re pretty excited!

The Hive in 2014

The Hive in 2014

Who’s in the group?

Without giving too much away about them (we will be releasing more information about our individual members shortly) the HIVE is made up of six emerging Perth based artists aged 18-26 across the art forms. Some of them are recent graduates from performance courses; one of the HIVE ensemble members is currently studying Engineering and is also a photographic artist. They are quite varied in their artistic practice and experience and each individual member brings a vibrant and committed energy to the room. They are innovative in their ideas and have expressed a desire to make work that is inclusive with a strong social conscious. “No polite applause please”, is one of the ideas floating around as they work together to create their manifesto. They have a lot of integrity and I admire them for that.

The Hive Ensemble 2016

The Hive Ensemble 2016

Where do you see The Hive going and what are the future plans for this model?

This is the very first HIVE and as such it’s a bit of an exploration, a testing ground for the program. The artists have the opportunity to be part of the ensemble for one year. During this time we will try to provide them with as much support as we can to help in their development as emerging artists.

We will then open it up for another group to come through, keeping and growing our Alumni, encouraging them to return the favour by feeding back into the HIVE and increasing Propel Youth Arts capacity to provide mentor ships, workshops and professional development opportunities for future HIVEs. We are currently seeking funding for a mentoring program to run in conjunction with the HIVE, that’s something we’d like to implement as soon as we can. The HIVE ensemble is a model I’d like to see adopted in some way by all arts organisations regardless of whether they are youth based. It’d be a great thing to see all our arts organisations with a youth focused program that gives these young emerging artists an identifiable presence. I think the arts community has a responsibility to nurture the next generation of artists. They are the innovators.


SUPPORT | You can donate to The Hive’s Pozible campaign here>>



Posted by Thom Smyth, July 4th, 2016

Summer is approaching (no, really!), and if you’re thinking about presenting at Perth’s Fringe World, there are a huge number of venues and different deals on offer. Taking over the Perth Cultural Centre, Russell Square and deep into the suburbs, the festival will run from 20 January to 19 February 2017.

We’ve collated the main presentation options currently available to you, including some handy information about upcoming funding options to help provide additional support for your season.

Presentation Options


There are a huge number of pop-up tent and other venues programmed by festival organisers Fringe World, predominantly clustered around the Perth Cultural Centre and The Pleasure Garden (Russell Square) districts.

The Festival is open access so anyone can register to perform in these venues – shows are programmed to reflect a mix of genres, experience levels and artists from WA and beyond. Most of the venues in Fringe Hub sites are pop-up theatre tents, and these are often unusual in shape, size and technical capability. Not all events work in these tents and Fringe will offer slots to those shows that are suited to the venue.

See below for some of the other ways that you can participate in the Fringe at independent programs like Noodle Palace, Midlandia, Freo Royale and The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights.

You can also perform in a BYO venue (one that you find yourself) and these may be a traditional performance space like a theatre, or a non-traditional space like a pub.

All applications open 14 July – click here for more info>> | for detailed participant and venue info, click here>>

The Blue Room Theatre, image by Skye Sobejko

The Blue Room Theatre, image by Skye Sobejko

The Blue Room Theatre’s applications for their Summer Nights program 2017 is now open. The Blue Room Theatre provide some of the only black box theatre spaces at Fringe World, and will this year extend into the Studio Underground at the State Theatre Centre of WA. This is a curated program with an emphasis on theatre, storytelling and dance, including both local and visiting artists. While a dedicated theatre space, just factor in you will still need to share a space and lighting rig.

For more details and to download an application pack, go to the website here >>
Applications for Summer Nights close 5pm, 15 July 2016.

PICA Building

PICA are curating their own season of interdisciplinary performance this year as part of Fringe World. More details to come soon. Keep an eye out on the website here>> or contact the venue directly.

Expanding into a full comedy hub in 2017, The Gelo Company will be programming comedy in all its forms. They’ll also be running producing, marketing and other workshops in the lead-up to the festival.

They are currently accepting Expressions of Interest from artists – hit the link for more info>>

They offer a curated independent program providing intimate theatre spaces in the heart of the Cultural Centre. There are three spaces to choose from, and are offering a different deal on ticketing where artists keep profits once venue expenses have been removed. They are also offering two productions exclusive use of a flexible 9m x 13m space, including allowing custom seating, stage and lighting design.

Applications close Mon 29 Augusthit the link for more info>>

Kings Square, Freo Royale

Kings Square, Freo Royale

Organisers Vulture Culture will roll out the fringe festoons and program stand-up comedy, theatre, storytelling, cabaret, and live music.

Get more info from their website here >> or contact

Noodle Palace - Image by OK Media

Noodle Palace – Image by OK Media

Noodle Palace is a rooftop venue taking over the Central Institute of Technology building on Francis Street to create around four perfomance spaces. They program a mix of comedy, cabaret, theatre and more. To apply fill out the expression of interest form here>>

Midlandia is located at the historic Midland Junction Arts Centre, and hosts a shorter season with a similar programming rationale to Noodle Palace. Application details to come soon. Keep an eye out on the website here>>


There are a number of funding options available that can assist you to stage a successful (and paid!) production at Fringe:

Australia Council for the Arts
Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups
Closing Tuesday 4 October 2016, for projects starting after 1 January 2017.

Development Grants for Individuals and Groups
Closing Tuesday 4 October 2016, for projects starting after 1 January 2017.

Department of Culture and the Arts
Creative Development | Under $15k
Applications open year round, assessed every Friday. Allow at least 25 days before your project start date to apply.

Commercial Development Grants | Under $15k and Under $25k
Applications for Under $15k assesed as above. Applications for Under $25k due 6 October.

City of Perth
Arts and Cultural Sponsorship | Under $10k

Up to $10,000. Applications close 5 September for projects starting after 1 January 2017.

These are just some available funding options. If you need further assistance, email Thom at Performing Lines WA |

Got an Opportunity that can help artists get their work seen and their teams paid? Want us to spread the word? Please contact


Posted by Thom Smyth, July 4th, 2016

Our first Presenter Profile features Sharon Custers, the new General Manager at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.  Sharon returned to her hometown in March this year after leaving 20 years ago to pursue her career in the arts. Since then Sharon has worked with Cirque du Soleil, Shebeen– the not for profit bar and managed OFFtheGRID, a solar-powered, zero-waste music festival in Melbourne.  Check out the interview to read up on what brought her back to regional WA and how the arts scene in Bunbury is moving and changing!

RA | I read that you actually grew up in Bunbury and left after high school to pursue your career. What influence did growing up in Bunbury have on you?

Regional Australia in the 90s was not the most engaging place for a young person who’s into art. I found Bunbury really boring back then and I couldn’t wait to move far away. That has all changed, though. The arts scene in Bunbury is growing and I think that if I grew up here now, I wouldn’t be in such a rush to leave. There’s something exciting happening here at the moment. A movement.


Sharon hugging a polar bear.

RA | You’ve worked with some amazing companies. Tell us about a stand out moment in your career so far?

I can still remember the phone call from Cirque Du Soleil offering me the job of Head of Props for their show Zaia, which was based in Macau, China. A million different emotions went through me, starting with disbelief, turning into complete terror and then excited anticipation of a new challenge. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, but that was a big one. Moving my life to China wasn’t in my 5 year plan, but when Cirque du Soleil calls, you just go with it.

RA | Now after 20 years you’re back in WA!  Why did you decide to return? Was it the job opportunity or were you always planning on heading back to WA?

When I left Bunbury I thought I would never be back. I had no intention of ever returning. 20 years later, I’m sitting in my little house in Melbourne, browsing through Artshub, looking for a new challenge and I see that BREC is looking for a General Manager. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made up my mind to come back to Bunbury and turn it into the place I always wanted it to be. Turns out a few other people got a head start and were already doing that! A few collaborations are in the pipelines as we speak…

RA | Now that you’ve been back for a few months, what do you feel are the strengths of the West Australian performing arts scene at the moment?

I have been blown away by the passion and commitment of the creative people in this corner of the country. There is an excitement in the air and a sense of possibility that is hard to find in other places. The people of this region are ready to take risks, they are ready for new and innovative practices – they are hungry for it, in fact.

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre

RA | What’s your favourite thing about Bunbury now that you’re back?

I love sitting on my front porch with a glass of Ferguson Valley wine, watching the sunset over the ocean. I think I’ve been missing that ocean sunset all along and I didn’t even know it. I’m also really loving the growing foodie scene in Bunbury – there are some great restaurants that would rival any in Melbourne.

RA | What should we look out for next at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre?

In August we will be hosting Ochre Contemporary Dance for a 5 week residency, as they create their new work, Kaya. This will be the first time a professional touring work is produced here at BREC, so I am super excited and I can’t wait to see what develops out of this. Exciting times ahead for BREC and Bunbury…


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