8.30am – 9.30am
Registration, Tea & Coffee


9.30am – 11.00am
Welcome to Country
Curator’s Welcome: David Williams
Keynote Address: Rachael Maza


11.00 – 11.30am
Morning Tea


11.30am – 12.25pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

The Betterment Clause: Some companies have been asked to include a “Betterment Clause” in actor contracts so that, if a better offer is made, an actor can take it without penalty. Company CEOs, agents and actors discuss how this affects artists and companies, and consider the complex choices required in maintaining a sustainable career in the theatre. Black Swan’s Natalie Jenkins hosts a panel discussion with outgoing Belvoir artistic director Ralph Myers, actor and MEAA rep Camilla Ah Kin.

Artist Conversation – Danny Braverman: Adena Jacobs talks to writer and actor Danny Braverman, who’s one-man show Wot?No Fish!! is presented as part of Sydney Festival 2015.

Respect Your Elders – Heidrun Löhr: Fiona Winning discusses a life of capturing performance on film and in pixels with renowned photographer Heidrun Löhr.

Writing Room #1 – Playwrights Writing Place: The first in the Writing Rooms series hosted by Playwriting Australia’s Tim Roseman will focus on writing for, about, or to evoke particular places in the theatre. Guests include playwright Jane Bodie and theatre critic John McCallum.

Practice Lab – Cantonese Opera Trilogy: Led by Melbourne-based theatre maker Felix Ching Ching Ho under the creative consultation of Sally Sussman, a show and tell session of the initial stage of creating the first episode of Cantonese Opera Trilogy (working title).  This series aims to bring together the local Cantonese Opera communities and artists to reimagine and reconstitute traditional Cantonese Opera material and performance technique into a series of contemporary work. The Practice Lab series at ATF is supported by Arts Centre Melbourne Asian Performing Arts Program.

Beyond Access Research Project: Mapping Disability and Inclusive Arts Practice in Australia. Sarah Austin discusses whether contemporary disability performance is the last frontier of radical avant-garde arts practice.


12.35pm – 1.30pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Asia: So Hot Right Now? A look at recent projects, events and initiatives between Asian and Australian artists. Director, Asialink Arts Lesley Alway in discussion with Paschal Berry, Annette Shun Wah and Dave Sleswick.

Company in Conversation – Moogahlin Performing Arts: David Williams discusses what it takes to build an Aboriginal theatre company with the team behind Moogahlin Performing Arts – Frederick Copperwaite, Andrea James, Lily Shearer and Liza-Mare Syron.

Respect Your Elders – Remembering Playworks: A conversation with the artists instrumental in establishing and running Playworks, the national women’s performance writing network, which ran from 1985 to 2006. Jane Kreis talks to Ros Horin, Anna Messariti, Sally Richardson and Virginia Baxter  about the vision, journey and legacy of Playworks, with contributions from Clare Grant and Francesca Smith.

Shaping Space and Time – How Design Creatives Make It: The first in our series of conversations with creatives who work behind the scenes of our theatres to make what we see and hear. Director Chris Kohn talks to lighting designer Emma Valente, set designer Anna Tregloan and sound artist Gail Priest, about their practice and professional journeys.

Practice Lab – The Daughters Opera Project: Please note, this session has been cancelled due to artist illness.

Making It Healthy – How are you, and what do you need? Alison Robb is joined by Elena Carapetis, Ian Maxwell and Mark Seton for a frank conversation about physical and psychological wellbeing, both from personal experience and in current research. We invite you to help generate possibilities for practical support and broader change.


1.30pm – 2.45 pm

2.15pm – 4pm

Walkie Talkie – Redfern Then and Now: Aunty Donna Ingram will take you to the heart of Aboriginal Redfern, starting with a yarn at The Block and a short walk to see some local landmarks and discuss the neighbourhood’s social, cultural and political history. Spaces are limited, so bookings can be made at the Information Desk on the day. Walking groups will depart from the Seymour Centre Courtyard at 2.15pm. Bring a hat and water, we’ll provide the sunscreen.


2.45pm – 4.00 pm: ADVENTURE SERIES!

Pathways to Diversity – What Does It Take? Are programs to support the diversity of stories on our stages creating long-term change or just ticking boxes? Where to from here? Footscray Community Arts Centre Director Jade Lillie talks to incoming Belvoir Artistic Director Eamon Flack, independent artists Sopa Enari and Rani Pramesti, and Australian Theatre of the Deaf Artistic Director Medina Sumovic.

Miya Waangkiny Nidja – Australian Languages on Stage: Kylie Farmer (Kaarljilba Kaardn) reflects on storytelling, theatre and the ways in which language shapes worlds. She asks: how might Australian theatre more genuinely embrace and celebrate the languages that actually come from Australia?

Respect Your Elders – Katharine Brisbane: Griffin Artistic Director Lee Lewis discusses a life dedicated to theatre with journalist, critic and publisher Katharine Brisbane.

Practice Lab – Natural World: Director Nigel Jamieson and Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho discuss their individual practices, their approaches to art form, the artistic ideas that interest them, and the dynamics of collaborating across cultures and countries. The Practice Lab series at ATF is supported by Arts Centre Melbourne Asian Performing Arts Program. Delegates will walk to Carriageworks, departing from the Seymour Centre Courtyard at 2.45pm.


4.00pm – 4.15pm
Afternoon Tea


4.15pm – 5.20pm
PLENARY – What’s The Risk?
Risky business, risky programming, risks to our culture and to our health. What does risk look like across the sector, and what are our strategies for resilience? Patrick McIntyre is joined by Lieven Bertels, Kate Gaul, Chris Mead and Jason Tamiru.


5.30 – 6.45pm
Currency House – Platform Paper Discussion (Cash Bar)
Theatrical polymath John Senczuk discusses his forthcoming Currency House Platform Paper “The Time is Ripe for the Great Australian Musical” with critic Martin Portus, featuring musical highlights from singers and pianist/composer Tim Cunniffe.



5.30 – 7.15pm
Walkie Talkie – Redfern Then and Now
Aunty Donna Ingram will take you to the heart of Aboriginal Redfern, starting with a yarn at The Block and a short walk to see some local landmarks and discuss the neighbourhood’s social, cultural and political history. Spaces are limited, so bookings can be made at the Information Desk on the day. Walking groups will depart from the Seymour Centre Courtyard at 5.30pm. Bring a hat and water, we’ll provide the sunscreen.


6.30pm – 9.30pm
Sydney Festival Shows / The Right Place


9.30pm – midnight
The Right Place (Sound Lounge, Seymour Centre)
Let’s face it, sometimes to make it in the theatre, you have to be in the right place at the right time. So we’re making that place, and we plan to have a good time.

Each night the Seymour Centre’s famously under-decorated Sound Lounge will be reimagined as The Right Place. Your host Justin Smith will be joined by some great DJs, cabaret artists, and take you down the the occasional rabbit-hole of theatre trivia, Senate Estimates and drag photo booths.

Make sure you put The Right Place in your diary as the place to meet up after dinner or shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights. It’s your hangout space, open from 6.30pm til midnight.