VCA launches Australian musical symposium

September 15 / 167


Music theatre specialists from across Australia will gather together next week at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) for the very first National Music Theatre Symposium.


The Symposium is the first step toward a national development network for new Australian music theatre and addresses the lack of development programs for new music theatre, as highlighted earlier this year in the Platform Paper by John Senczuk, The Time is Ripe for the Great Australian Musical.

Symposium co-ordinator Margot Fenley, Head of Music Theatre at the VCA, said the event was designed to bring together key artists and practitioners from across the country to form a national network for new music theatre development.


“It takes a lot of hard work and collaboration to make good music theatre and in such a difficult funding climate we need to be more effective at forming partnerships to identify and share resources across the industry,” Ms Fenley said.

Ms Fenley said the VCA was committed to supporting the local industry by nurturing the development of new Australian work.

“In addition to the National Symposium bringing together a wide range significant collaborators, we are developing new work in the VCA studio environment, allowing artists to learn, problem solve and create in a collaborative, supportive space,” she said.

On Sunday 27 September, as part of an annual program to support the development of new music theatre works, final year music theatre students will present a first-stage sung reading of Stealing Picasso: A New Australian Musical’, a new work selected for creative development at the VCA from 45 applications from across the country.


The National Music Theatre Symposium will comprise a full day of discussions and network development held on Monday, 28 September.  The Symposium is by invitation only, to register interest in being part of the new national network contact Margot Fenley via 

Story by Louise Bennet

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