Local Stages supports the development of the performing arts in the Bathurst Region and the Central West of NSW.
The program was initiated to “unlock” access to BMEC’s facilities and resources for the development of contemporary and innovative performing arts practice. There was a realisation that as regional theatre companies were disappearing regional performing arts centres were arising and that these could become hubs for a diverse range of regional contemporary performing arts development.
In 2007 Local Stages was funded as a three year pilot project by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW and Bathurst Regional Council (BRC). Seven years later Local Stages has firmly established itself as a vital regional program and funding is obtained from a range of sources with core funding continuing Arts NSW and BRC. Projects are also supported by Regional Arts Fund and Australia Council for the Arts.
The position of Creative Producer was established to coordinate the Local Stages program and to act as an animateur of local projects and of the relationship between local artists and appropriate artists outside the region. Margie Breen held the position for the first two years and was succeeded by Kylie Shead who is the incumbent Creative Producer.
Since its inception Local Stages has assisted with the growth of the Catapult Festival, instigated the Aboriginal Performing Arts Program, established Smashed Arts, worked with local partners to create the Bathurst Writers’ and Readers’ Festival, developed the Local Emerging Artists Program (LEAP) at Inland Sea of Sound and created strong links between local artists and some of the finest professional artists around Australia and generally extended the horizons of possibility for performing arts practice in the Bathurst region.
Local Stages is now part of the heart of BMEC and is intertwined with every element of BMEC performing arts activity.
In 2016 Local Stages will continue to bring new shows, new work and skill development opportunities to the region.
Feedback and images here
For more information about Local Stages contact Kylie Shead.
Invisible Body performed at Writers' Festival in May 2015 Pic by Steve Woodhall
Niamh Ann was a participant in the Local Emerging Artists Program at Inland Sea of Sound, and performed at Cabaret Kite. Pic by Clare Lewis
Unsustainable Behaviour by Lingua Franca Pics by Phil Blatch