We’re heading back to the theatre! 🎭

Johanna Mulholland, General Manager

Every other day here in the ATYP office, someone looks my way and says, “I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You. My eyes involuntarily widen, I sit forward a little. 

The production with this synapse-twanging title is in fact ATYP’s first gig back in a theatre in a year. It’s a fun, cheeky show where 9–13-year-olds take the stage and turn the microphone on the audience, specifically, the adults in the room. This show asks the big (and little) questions and gives young people agency and amplification in the process. The show is a moment in time that is created in conversation. It depends on the I and the You

I’ve come to really love the title of this show. Try saying it out loud. When you hear it, you feel that sense of anticipation. You’re about to be asked a question, someone is curious about you, interested in your opinion and you’re being given the space and the audience, to speak your mind. To hear it dropped into meetings every now and then as we plan for the year ahead – and for the Big Move back to Pier 2/3 at the end of it – always gives me that little jolt, and a reminder of the importance of curiosity, of inquiry. This is why we are here after all, to provide our participants and audiences with the space to do just that. 

I’ve Been Meaning… We’ve all felt that sense of suspended animation in our lives recently. Then there are the To Do lists full of things which were meaningful in the before-times but have since dropped off – and some things that are even more meaningful now that we are fully focussed on what is directly within our grasp. With our 2021 season in the ether and FANGIRLS opening this week, it feels like after the Year of Waiting our good intentions are finally taking shape. 

We are supremely grateful to see the full return of our semester classes while applications for Fresh Ink, our national playwriting mentoring program (back in person this year), open today. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Hobart to the Fresh Ink fold, in addition to returning programs in Sydney, Darwin and Perth. We can’t wait to see young people back in our workshop spaces and find out what playwrights aged 18–26 around the country have been meaning to tell us. 

There are exciting happenings on the staffing front too this month as we welcome our newly appointed Marketing and Communications Manager, Lucy McNabb, and Deputy Education Manager, Monique Johnstone. Both of whom come to us with oodles of experience across theatre, education and with a clear passion for working with young people. They’ll feel right at home with ATYP’s already brilliant team. 

We did manage to make a few Asks in 2020 and were thrilled with the response. Our successful application to the Office of the Arts’ RISE fund resulted in a six-figure grant which will enable us to deliver key initiatives through to the end of 2022. I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing generosity of all our incredible donors, and two in particular who have asked to remain anonymous and who stepped in to support our upcoming tour, Follow Me Home. Thank you.

Finally – from Asks to Demands – On Demand Plus our complete digital education package for primary teachers – and one of the best things to come out of COVID after maybe Tiger King – is live! We are extremely proud of this game-changing resource and send our whole-hearted thanks to the Thyne Reid Foundation for their early investment.

So, I’ve been meaning to ask you, loyal friend of ATYP: How are you? What are you looking forward to this year? Are you ready to get stuck in? We love hearing from our participants and the parents who love them so please, let us know on Facebook, Instagram or even TikTok (yes I said it).

And see you at Riverside in March – because there’s something we’ve been meaning to ask you.