Small Gems aims to identify, develop and support new performing arts work for small to medium sized venues in metropolitan Melbourne and beyond. Small Gems will essentially commission independent works that are of professional quality, contemporary interest and in the genre of drama, dance, hybrid theatre, circus and ground based physical theatre, in order to help create new work, support artists with a track record of high quality production output, and contribute positively to the Australian theatre scene.
It is important to the Small Gems producing consortium that performers, crew and creatives are properly paid. The budget offered to successful applicants by presenters is between $1,000 and $3,000 per performance. To fit within this budget, preference for works with 4 or less performers is given. This performance fee applies only when 3 or more of the Small Gems venues commission a show as a group for a mini tour.
If less than three venues on the panel are interested in a show, or multiple venues are interested but with availability too spread out to make a mini tour viable, the artists will be given the opportunity to contact the interested venues (or vice versa) to follow up opportunities or direct engagements separately. The financial arrangements that may follow will be based on negotiation, will vary based on each venue’s programming budget, and where they see the work fitting in their individual programming streams.
Venues in the consortium are expected to commit to each annual round pending their availability (i.e. the 2020 round is seeking works for 2021-2022). The commitment for venues involves:
- reading/assessing the complete applications and reviewing support materials (marketing examples, video links, bios, links to reviews, etc)
- attending a panel meeting (approx. 2 hours) to review and gauge interest from venues for each application
- contracting and supporting technical needs and marketing efforts if joining a mini tour
The full terms & conditions for artists, agreed to upon application, can be reviewed here.