Playbox developed a mission statement, in 1990, when it took up residence at The CUB Malthouse that positioned the company in terms of :
“Aiming to secure the long-term future of Playbox as a national company dedicated to the creation, interpretation and presentation of theatre which reflects Australia's cultural traditions and diversity and its place in the contemporary world - especially in the Asia Pacific region”.
It has been, and continues to be, the goal of The Playbox Theatre Company, to introduce, promote and give a start to, new Australian playwrights. They are able to boast the responsibility for fostering the careers of some of Australia’s top playwrights, some of who’s plays I have had the pleasure of seeing: David Williams, Hannie Rayson (a personal favourite of mine), Louis Nowra, Michael Gow and, Joanna Murray- Smith, to name a few.
Through its thriving program, Playbox promotes new Australian drama, not only nationally, but internationally too. However, “one of the most important of Playbox initiatives is the fostering of artistic links with Asia. The company has toured productions of Australian works throughout Japan and Asia and has presented a number of Asian plays in exchange productions” and it is through this initiative that Playbox has created, that the world has had the opportunities to experience Contemporary Theatre, and in turn, we Australian’s have had the opportunity to experience other parts of the world, without leaving Australian.
The venues in which The Playbox Theatre Company has performed are rather large. The Playbox Theatre Company, for example, consisted of two main theatres: Downstairs and Upstairs. Downstairs seated an average of 300 people, while Upstairs seated an average of 80. Now, at The CUB Malthouse, there are also two main theatres: Merly Theatre and Beckett Theatre. Beckett can average 180 people in the theatre and Merly averages 450 seats for a performance that is done in there. This is a clear indication of the confidence that Playbox has in it’s performances and in its audiences.
I think it’s safe to say that the kinds of audience that Playbox targets is the audience that enjoys contemporary Australian Theatre, as well as Asian influenced theatre. I have noticed one thing about Playbox lately, and that is that their ticket prices seem to be up a little. Perhaps the Company has decided to make it’s audience a little more exclusive, because at this rate, students certainly won’t be a huge part of the theatre goers anymore.
It is clear, from The Playbox Theatre Company’s mission statement, that the function of Playbox is to establish itself as a theatre company that supports and encourages new Australian theatre. What I also found very interesting, and applies, very much, to the function of Playbox, was the core values that have been set:
“- New and Australian
- Accessible and relevant
- Nurturing and honouring
- Challenging and fun”
I think that Playbox is very successful in fulfilling these functions, as a theatre company. All the productions that I have seen there have been new contemporary Australian theatre. Something that is a great piece of evidence to prove this, is the workshops that are put on by Playbox. “Theatre in the Raw” program is one of a few. It is a program designed to help new playwrights by showcasing works in progress, thereby giving the new playwright the opportunity to receive public feedback on the work to assist in the next stage of its development. There is also VCA workshops, the 3Dfest and Playbox-Asialink Playwriting competition, all of which are designed to assist and encourage new Australian playwrights.
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My bibliography consists solely of web pages, because all the text that I found, and was given, was rather outdated and of nearly no use to me, whereas the web pages I have used are updated regularly. I hope this isn’t a problem.