Tantrum Youth Arts turns 40 this year and they are celebrating on July 9 with a day-long festival at the Newcastle Community Arts Centre.
The festival will be filled with performances and live music from a number of current and past Tantrum members, activities, panel discussions, short film screenings, script readings and performances, a theatre sports competition and more.
Tantrum, Newcastle’s local youth theatre and arts not-for-profit organisation, was established in 1976 under the name 2 Til 5 as a Saturday afternoon drama workshop. The company steadily grew from this basis, providing drama skills workshops and original productions for people aged 8-18.
Twenty years later in 1996, 2 Til 5 established Tantrum Theatre, a “gutsy” offshoot company catering to emerging actors and theatre artists aged 18-25, and the two companies eventually merged. In 2014, following the loss of vital funding from the Australia Council for the Arts in 2012, Tantrum Theatre relaunched as Tantrum Youth Arts with new staff and a new vision, better reflecting their integration of a range of contemporary artforms including performance, filmmaking, writing and physical theatre – all with a strong focus on developing young people’s creativity, confidence and communication.
The new model relies on funding from the State Government’s ArtsNSW funding body (after successfully receiving Multiyear Program Funding for 2016-2018) as well as additional partnerships and funding from local government bodies and businesses.
This year, Tantrum are thrilled to announce that they have been successful in securing the Australian Arts and Culture Fund ‘Catalyst’ Funding, out of the Federal Government’s new program for the Arts. This funding will support Tantrum’s Emerging Artists Initiative ‘Trajectory’, that will see many emerging artists developing new work over the next three years. This year ‘Trajectory’ has brought together an ensemble of talented performers and artists aged 18 to 26 years to work with Lottie Consalvo to present work at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and Crack Theatre Festival.
“Celebrating 40 years as a youth theatre company is a massive achievement in the current limited arts funding environment,” says acting Artistic Director Lucy Shepherd. “Tantrum has been very lucky to be able to see through the difficult years following the initial loss of Australia Council funding, and is so excited to have been awarded this competitive Catalyst grant for a great new project supporting emerging local artists.”
The 2016 ‘Trajectory’ ensemble’ will be performing at the 40th festival, along with: scenes from Vanessa Bates’ critically acclaimed ‘Trailer’; the first public performance of scenes from ‘Opening Doors’, Tantrum’s theatre-in-education experience; and ‘Stories Come Alive’, a touring performance through Newcastle Region libraries for children aged 3-5 years.
Tantrum will also welcome back a number of former Artistic Directors for an informative panel, including one of Australia’s leading theatre directors Leticia Cáceres (most recently of Melbourne Theatre Company), and award-winning Australian playwright and director Lachlan Philpott. The panel will be led by one of 2 til 5’s founders and long-standing Tantrum board member, Barney Langford.
Over their 40 years, Tantrum have engaged with a huge number of community organisations from Newcastle, the Central Coast, Singleton and further afield to deliver projects, programs and workshops for young people. Several of these organisations will be present at the festival with stalls and information booths about the services they provide for their local community.
There will be a barbecue and cake stand on the day as well as coffee from Sprocket Roasters, and lots of activities for all ages. Entrance to the festival is free – Tantrum will be taking voluntary donations on the day to support their productions, skills development and workshop programs.
When: Saturday 9 July 2016
Where: Newcastle Community Arts Centre, 246 Parry Street Newcastle West