Tour Lab_update 2022

Tour Lab

“Arts on Tour's touring workshop was an invaluable introduction in to the touring industry, providing a wealth of insights in to the development of a successful tour.” – 2022 Participant

Want to learn more about touring? Arts on Tour presents a jam-packed full-day workshop each year that introduces the essentials to getting a show on the road. The next Tour Lab will be held in late 2024 with details available closer to the event.

Tour Lab provides practical advice, information and resources, as well as networking opportunities for independent artists, producers, and companies who are new to touring or want to learn what it takes to get a show on the road.

Each year, the program includes venue managers, experienced independent touring artists and the Arts on Tour team to answer your questions. We cover a range of topics including: selling your production to venue managers, budgeting your tour, grants and more.

A valuable resource for any artist who tours, and a great opportunity to make contacts, and expand your knowledge” – 2022 Participant

The event is followed by drinks and an opportunity to continue the conversations started during the day.

Banner Photo Credit: Geoff Magee


Making Touring Work 

Nancy Denis (Artist)

Nancy Denis is a multidisciplinary artist and began her career early in Annie the Musical. Since then she has appeared on TV and Film such as ABC’s Cleverman, Netflix 600 Bottles of wine and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Nancy debuted with Sydney Theatre Company 2022 with Blithe Spirit followed by her second play with STC as Mrs Johnson in A Raisin In The Sun. Nancy wrote a play with songs, Ma’p Boulé in 2019 with Urban Theatre Projects and debuted at Darlinghurst Theatre December 2022. M’ap Boulé has since debuted at Adelaide Caberet Festival and BLEACH festival in 2023 and will have a national tour 2024 and 2025.   You can also keep up with Nancy on her YouTube channel ‘The Nancy Denis Show’ where she interviews a variety of local artists, guests and musical acts. Nancy continues to work and grow within the arts expanding into Visual Arts with an Artist in Residency with Red Rattler theatre in 2023.

Jo Dyer (Soft Tread)

Founder and Managing Director of Soft Tread, Jo Dyer is one of Australia’s leading producers. In the world of the performing arts, Jo has held senior roles with some of Australia’s key cultural institutions, including CEO of Sydney Writers’ Festival, General Manager of Bangarra Dance Theatre and Executive Producer of Sydney Theatre Company (STC). During her ten year tenure at STC, Jo oversaw the largest theatre programme in Australia, touring the company’s works around Australia and the world, most notably Gross und Klein starring Cate Blanchett to Paris, London and Vienna and Uncle Vanya with Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving and Jacki Weaver to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Lincoln Center Festival in New York.

As a film producer, Jo is a two-time nominee for Best Film at the AACTA Awards (the “Australian Oscars”) and was honoured with the Best Producer Award at the 2007 Asian First Film Awards.

Charley Sanders (House of Sand)

Charley is a performer, director & theatre maker, and Co Artistic Director of House of Sand. She holds an Adv. Dip. Arts in Acting from the Adelaide College of The Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from NIDA. 

Charley has worked extensively as a freelance director including for State Theatre Company SA (Welcome The Bright World; assistant director, Maggie Stone) ActNow (co-director, Zero Feet Away) Lambert House Enterprises (Flood), as a teaching director at AC Arts (Titus Andronicus; Mother Courage; O Go My Man; Slavs; 5 Years) Sydney Theatre Company (Assistant Director, Julia) Opera Australia (2nd Assistant Director, Cosi Fan Tutte) and for Paul Lucas Productions (NYC) as director & dramaturge on Trans Scripts. Charley’s graduate work from her MFA was a new play, Infected, written by and with renowned playwright Stephen Sewell.

From 2010 to ’13 Charley was artistic director of Adelaide theatre collective Early Worx, and directed works including Love Child (Joanna Murray-Smith), Seven Jewish Children (Caryl Churchill), The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (Moises Kaufmann) and Like A Fishbone (Anthony Weigh). Their numerous awards included Charley’s 2011 receipt of the Adelaide Critics Circle Emerging Artist of the Year.

Selling Your Show

Anne-Marie Heath (The Art House, Wyong)

Anne-Marie Heath has extensive experience in arts administration and has worked with a diverse range of companies and theatres in both metropolitan and regional locations. Anne-Marie has facilitated audience development and community engagement programs and lead organisations through key strategic and innovative changes. She is currently Executive Director for The Art House on the NSW Central Coast, a theatre built as part of the region’s cultural urban transformation and established as an independent business model.

Robbi James (Rogue Projects) 

Robbi completed his Masters in Arts Management at the Sydney Opera House in 2018 with the Australian Institute of Music, and has been a producer with Rogue Projects since 2017. The company has been a dual-city producer, creating and staging work in Sydney and Melbourne since 2020. Today he manages the company with fellow rogues Erica Lovell and Talia Meyerowitz-Katz. Since taking Gina Schien’s Morgan Stern to the Edinburgh Fringe and Brisbane’s Undercover Artist Festival, Robbi has helped produce and market fourteen fully-staged Rogue projects including Sam O’Sullivan’s You’re Not Special (KXT, Australian Theatre Live), Ally Morgan’s Not Today (Best in Cabaret Sydney Fringe Awards, Theatre Works), Blacklisted at Hayes Theatre, Pear-Shaped (Theatre Works, Monkey Baa), and Bradford Elmore’s Refused Classification (Best Comedy Cannes Short Film Festival). 

Creating a Financially Viable Tour

Sara Richardson (Arts on Tour)

Joining the Arts on Tour team in 2015, Sara is an Arts Administrator with a broad range of industry experience and a love of the performing arts. Before AOT she worked at the City Recital Hall with a range of artists and companies on the planning and delivery of productions, concerts and events. With a background in visual arts, Sara has also worked in the visual arts sector for festivals, galleries and site-specific projects.

Peter Ross (Capitol Theatre Tamworth) 

Peter is the Manager of Entertainment Venues for Tamworth Regional Council. This includes the theatre director duties for the Capitol Theatre Tamworth which produces a season of events annually. He is a BA graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts majoring in Musical Theatre. Peter has worked professionally in the Entertainment Industry as a Director, Producer, Performer and teacher. He taught singing at Brent Street Studios in Sydney for several years and then co-ran his own singing school for a year before pursuing directing in musical theatre nationally. He also sits on the Board for Arts On Tour and through his position at Tamworth Regional Council is heavily involved in the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The Future of Touring

Sasha Bradbury (NORPA)

Sasha Bradbury is an arts manager with national and international experience in the live performance industry.  She has worked with a wide range of companies, events and clients including NORPA, RISING Festival, Arts Centre Melbourne, Trestle Theatre Company (UK), The Helpmann Awards, Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Ballet & Nederlands Dans Theater.

Her broad professional expertise includes producing both indoor and site specific events, venue management, client relations, touring, ticketing management, marketing & audience development, box office and front of house operations.

Grace Nye-Butler (Theatre Green Book)

Grace is a scientist and stage manager with a unique blend of expertise. Currently pursuing her PhD in social-ecological systems, Grace held a previous career as a stage manager, touring nationally and internationally. Driven by her love for both theatre and the environment, Grace has undertaken a mission to promote sustainability within Australia's theatre industry. With a strong background in research and science communication, Grace is the co-author of the Theatre Green Book Australia and founder of Griffin Theatre Company's Green Griffin program and Bump Out Sydney. Grace firmly believes that sustainability should be managed with a First Nations First approach and accessible to all so that everyone can contribute to positive change. Her research centres on cultivating and strengthening stakeholder networks across Australia to advance sustainability in the creative and cultural sectors. By understanding the intricacies of the professional theatre industry, and the science behind climate change and sustainability, Grace combines her dual passions to help arts organisations create and maintain greener theatrical practices.

Carl Sciberras (Dance Makers Collective)

Carl Sciberras is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and producer from Western Sydney. Carl has a Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) from NIDA, a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) from WAAPA and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (Writing and Cultural Studies) from UTS. Carl is the General Manager of Dance Makers Collective, a Creative Industries Special Business Advisor with Creative Plus Business and currently sits on the Create NSW Dance & Physical Theatre Artform Board.

In 2017 Carl was a participant in the Australia Council’s Future Leaders Program, in 2016 was awarded the City of Parramatta’s Creative Fellowship and in 2018 was presented a Highly Commended Award by the City of Parramatta’s Australia Day Awards Committee for his contribution to the arts in the region. Carl co-founded Flatline, a visual art and dance collaboration that creates performance, installation and art works that have been presented internationally, most recently in Malta as part of the Malta International Arts Festival, but also in festivals and biennials across Australia and Asia.

Want to know more about touring? Not sure where to start? Arts on Tour offers a jam-packed full-day workshop that explores everything you need to know about getting your work on the road!

Tour Lab 2023

Photographer Credit: Clare Hawley

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