Back To Back Theatre to join The National Performing Arts Partnership Framework

Back to Back Theatre is delighted to announce its inclusion in the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework (NPAPF), a new eight year funding model which replaces the Australian Major Performing Arts Framework and will include eight new arts organisations.

Inspired by its own ensemble of actors who are perceived to have intellectual disabilities and based in Geelong Victoria, Back to Back Theatre is a leading voice in contemporary world theatre and one of Australia’s most important cultural exporters. Its inclusion in the NPAF acknowledges the significance of small and medium sized companies within the Australian arts industry landscape and the importance of hearing diverse voices within our community. Most pressingly, it will allow the company the long term surety of funding to continue its expansions into varied art forms and processes of creative exploration of ideas.


It’s a great honour to be included in the new framework. We will use this opportunity to our advantage, not do what you think we might do, but to make new work for audiences. It changes the mood and ways of thinking on who might be able to entertain people and make theatre.


We are thrilled to have been invited to join the National Performing Arts Partnerships Framework. Joining the Framework will provide our company – and most importantly our artists – a strengthened bedrock from which to experiment and create new work. It is significant that the Framework includes new entrants from the Australia’s strong small-to-medium arts sector, and that Back to Back Theatre, as well as others in the seven new entrants, provide increased representation of our diverse national communities, and particularly for artists that experience a disability, and regional artists and companies.

BACK TO BACK BOARD CHAIR, Katrina Sedgwick said:

For over 30 years Back to Back Theatre has been creating stunning artistic works, across multiple platforms, lead by the ensemble of artists living with a disability and based in regional Victoria. Back to Back is one of Australia’s leading theatre companies, collaborating and presenting with practitioners, partners and venues all over the world. We are delighted to now be welcomed into the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework recognising the exceptional impact and reach of this company’s work.

ABOUT BACK TO BACK THEATRE: Back to Back Theatre creates new forms of contemporary performance imagined from the minds and experiences of a unique ensemble of actors with a disability, giving voice to social and political issues that speak to all people. Based in the regional centre of Geelong, the company is one of Australia’s most globally recognised and respected contemporary theatre companies. In addition to its professional practice Back to Back collaborates intensively with communities around the world, with a focus on artistic excellence and elevated social inclusion for people with disabilities.

Back to Back Theatre has received 18 national and international awards including in recent years, the Audience Award for Best Short at Adelaide Film Festival, Performance Studies International’s Artist-Scholar-Activist Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, an Edinburgh International Festival Herald Angel Critics’ Award, a New York Bessie and the Myer Foundation Group Award for longstanding contribution to the development of Australian theatre. In 2015, Bruce Gladwin received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.

About the National Performing Arts Partnership Framework: The National Performing Arts Partnership Framework is aimed at developing and rewarding artistic excellence, increasing the creating of new Australian work, developing First Nations arts and improving access to the arts for Australians in regional and remote communities. It provides up to eight years of stable funding for member organisations, administered by the Australia Council for the Arts together with Creative Victoria.

Reviews of Back To Back Theatre:

Challenging, arresting, supremely considered theatre from a world-class ensemble, Food Court leaves most theatre for dust in terms of daring and emotional intelligence, and will dispel utterly any preconceptions the audience might have about artists with disability.

Cameron Woodhead, The Age – review of Food Court at Rising Festival , 28 May 2021

one of the most courageous and truthful renderings of a text I have seen in my life. Back to Back Theatre’s FOOD COURT is a masterpiece.

Alison Croggon, The Saturday Paper – review of Food Court at Rising Festival, 28 May 2021


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