We have no rules about where our work comes from – it could be from an incidental conversation, or it could be a project we have been developing for several years. Either way, the key for us is to have relationships with as many smart, adventurous, rigorous and foolhardy artists as we sensibly can, from all backgrounds and walks of life.
To do that, we see shows and showings, hold workshops, host forums, accept scripts and pitches, take meetings, travel the country, listen to the grapevine, and have lots of conversations with lots of people. If your work excites us, we will begin a conversation about how we might be able to support your ideas through to production.
We are also looking to nurture creatives from Indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds who have the potential to take on positions of cultural leadership.
Each year we produce eight to nine Upstairs shows. We produce a lot of this work ourselves, but we also work with other companies to co-present or co-produce. If you are interested in working with us, email Dom Mercer, our Artistic Associate, and set up a meeting with one of the Artistic and Programming staff.
Our Upstairs Theatre is a big, difficult, wonderful corner space which has been home to landmark Australian theatre for three decades and counting.
25A is Belvoir’s new independent theatre initiative. 25A is a series of shows presented, produced and promoted by independent artists. It’s about acting, story, community, and making the most essential theatre you can.
To find out more, head to the 25A site here.
We know that for young artists in particular, the cost of seeing shows can be prohibitive. Belvoir is now offering artists $25 tickets to selected performances of all shows in our season. Artists will be required to register for the scheme and demonstrate that they are actively working in theatre to be eligible. You can register here.
The general rule of thumb for casting is: the better we know your work, the easier it is to cast you. We can get to know your work by seeing you in performance, auditioning you or working with you.
Each show is cast by the director working with the Artistic Director, the Artistic Administrator, the Artistic and Programming staff, and the Executive Director. Sometimes we cast a role by invitation, other times by audition. We cast nationally, though the majority of our actors are Sydney-based.
There are no rules as to when we cast. Sometimes a production is fully cast by the time we launch the season; sometimes it isn’t fully cast until close to rehearsals. In general the best time to enquire about roles is in the months after we launch the new season (usually early September).
To enquire about available roles, your agent can contact our Artistic Coordinator Emily David. Alternatively you can drop by our offices at 18 Belvoir St, Surry Hills, and read the scripts that interest you. We will be able to tell you then which roles are available for your age and gender.
If you are interested in any of the roles, your agent can contact Emily David to suggest you for the part and request an audition.
Auditions for our shows are by invitation only. Your agent can contact our Artistic Coordinator Emily David, to request an audition.
We audition for two reasons: either in order to get to know actors we don’t yet know, or to test the fit of particular actors for a role.
We usually audition for specific roles in our season. We will occasionally do general auditions.
The way we work with designers, whether it’s set, costume, lighting or sound, is basically the same as with directors and writers – the better we know your work, the easier it is for us to recommend you to our directors. We get to know your work by seeing shows you’ve worked on, or by working with you ourselves.
Creative teams are put together by the director of each production. They sometimes already have established relationships with designers, and sometimes need a helping hand to meet people they might share an aesthetic with. We help out by keeping a list of designers in various fields, seeing as much work as we can, and setting up meetings.
We are also looking to nurture theatre makers from Indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds who have the potential to take on positions of cultural leadership.
So, if you’re interested in working on our productions, make sure you invite us to your shows, and also send your CV and a link to your portfolio to Dom Mercer, our Artistic Associate.
Belvoir invites directors of undeniable ability to direct ambitious and original work for either of our two theatres.
With our main stage and a development program, we are able to engage directors of all walks, from furiously intuitive newcomers to contemporary visionaries to older, wiser heads.
We are also looking to nurture directors from Indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds who have the potential to take on positions of cultural leadership.
Most directors come to work at Belvoir after a series of conversations with the company in which the nature of the relationship between the director’s work and our work becomes clear of its own volition. This may take anywhere from half an hour to several years. Sometimes this relationship is started by Belvoir approaching a director, other times it is the other way round.
Belvoir works with the most exciting writers in the country in the shared pursuit of vigorous new work. We think plays, in all their myriad forms, are wonderful things. We develop and produce new work which is surprising, compassionate, well-crafted, adventurous, and, most of all, theatrical. We look for stories with big ideas about original, diverse, urgent and occasionally outlandish subjects. And we look to nurture writers from culturally diverse backgrounds who have the potential to take on positions of cultural leadership.
We do not accept unsolicited submissions from unproduced writers. If you would like a written assessment of your work we refer you to the Australian Writers’ Guild. Information on their script assessment services can be found on their website.
Commissions are by invitation, and the company will work closely with writers to support the work from commissioning to production. Occasionally, writers will be invited by Belvoir to write about a specific subject or to write for a specific project.
We also offer two awards for playwrights – the Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights and the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Fellowship. For full details please see the Awards and Fellowships page.
Inviting Us To See Your Work
The best way for us to get to know your work is to see it on its feet, so it is a good idea to let us know when you have a show, a reading or a workshop happening.
You can invite the Artistic Director and the Artistic and Programming staff by emailing our Artistic Associate Dom Mercer who keeps a record of all the invites and helps organise the chaos. If you like, you can also drop an email to individual staff. We cannot see everything, but we get close.