Our purpose

Arena produces high quality, original and artistically ambitious theatre for young people. Our work is presented by Australia’s major theatre producers and arts centres, and toured internationally.

We believe in theatre’s unique ability to provide a space of reflection, celebration and transformation for young people. Our aim is to speak to young people in languages they understand, in the spaces they occupy, but in ways they never thought possible.

Collaborative development

Arena collaborates with young people from the Greater Bendigo Region in the research and development of all of our work. Using innovative technology and artistic practices, our artists empower students in our workshops to be creative, critical thinkers and cultural agents within their community.

We draw on these conversations to find new ways of thinking about the form and content of a project, and different means of engaging with our audience. We then take these works further afield, extending these conversations nationally and internationally as we develop our ideas into extraordinary stage productions.

From their origins in Bendigo classrooms, these ideas are taken through professional creative development and evolve into fully realised theatre productions, allowing young people to see themselves and hear their voices in new, original works unlike anything they’ve seen before.

This process is comprised of three complimentary streams:

Workshops

      • Created for schools and community contexts

      • Short durations between one hour and one day.

Residencies

      • Created for schools and community contexts

      • Outcomes are multi-artform, experimental and non-theatre based

      • 3-6 months in duration.

Productions

      • Developed through professional creative development

      • Combination of theatre-based and non-traditional forms

      • Average two works annually: one premiere, one from repertoire.

Artistic statement

Arena believes all children and young people have the right to experience art on equal terms as an essential part of their relationship to the world, and not as preparation for adulthood.

Arena strives to create an inspiring, well-resourced environment for professional artists to apply their skills and experience in the pursuit of the most extraordinary theatre for young people possible.

Arena believes children and young people need art that empowers them to imagine what their world is becoming, rather than reinforce the world defined by previous generations.