polyglot theatre 2012 annual report
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DESCRIPTIONIn 2012 Polyglot performed 365 performances of 7 existing works, created 3 new works, facilitated 4 creative developments and led 177 workshops reaching 90,000 people in 6 different countries. We reached over an extra 9000 people through our workshop program.
1 ANNUAL REPORT 2012
vision, mission, values
Polyglots vision is of a future where children are
empowered artistically, socially and culturally.
Placing kids at the heart of our art, Polyglot creates
interactive experiences which ignite imaginations
everywhere from tiny Australian country towns to the
worlds leading centres for the arts.
values aCCessiBiliTY to our audiences in price, place
CollaBoRaTion with children and peers in our creative processes, encouraging partnerships.
DiveRsiTY of audiences and participants, activity and income.
eXCellenCe in process, production, performance and operations.
BRaveRY in our work to enable new discoveries.
PlaYFulness in artistic discovery and in operations, having as much fun as possible in the
ResouRCeFulness in order to make seemingly impossible things happen.
ResPeCT for our artists, audiences, colleagues, and for the insights of children.
susTainaBiliTY of operations, of artistic work and of the planet.
2012 staff list simon abrahams Executive Producer / co-CEO (to March)
Tamara Harrison Executive Producer / co-CEO (from July)
sue Giles Artistic Director / co-CEO
adi Diner Associate Producer / General Manager (from August)
imbi neeme Administrator
scott Dunsdon Marketing & Communications Coordinator (to August)
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Julie Wright Operations Coordinator
Philanthropy Manager (to December)
Fleur Brett Bookkeeper (contract)
Ts Publicity Publicists (contract)
2012 Board of Directors Julia White Chair (from June) angela oBrien General Secretary Johanna Platt Treasurer Dr. Patricia edgar am Tom Gutteridge David Hanrahan Rhiannon Keen Richard Roberts Jamie Dawson
ANNUAL REPORT 2012 2
Polyglot Theatre is an internationally renowned creator of interactive experiences for children and
families, inspiring kids to turn the simplest things into
extraordinary creations. At Polyglot, theatre is childs
Polyglots artists are inspired by the artwork, play
and ideas of children and our works feature active
participation from audience members through
touch, play and encounter. Our artistic works
respond to the childhood need for experiences
that encourage free artistic expression and an
imaginative interpretation of the world. We seek to
challenge, to foster curiosity and to inspire.
For over 30 years, Polyglot has been recognised as
one of Australias leading childrens arts companies.
We make new theatre work, present performances,
run workshops and community projects in Melbourne
and around Australia. In recent years, the company
has been in demand internationally, performing in
five languages in ten countries on four continents. We have played at some of the worlds most
prestigious arts centres from the Sydney Opera
House, to Londons Royal National Theatre, to
Washingtons Kennedy Center, to the National
Theatres of Korea and China.
Feed The art
Feed The Art is Polyglots model for appraising,
critiquing and valuing our work,
creating and fostering a holistic
culture of outstanding theatre making.
Feed The Art includes the following five steps:
CHilDRens inPuT engaged throughout the creative process
ConneCTion WiTH PeeRs through conversation, seeing work, and artistic exchange.
CaTalYsT aRTisTs, who contribute new ideas to provide provocation and push the artform
development throughout the creation process
CRiTiCism through invited external responses from experts who look at our work with a
ConTinual imPRovemenT is sought through ongoing skills development and a commitment
to excellence, so we never stop learning.
Feed The Art is a major component of Polyglots Artistic Vibrancy model, designed to assess the
quality, relevance and success of our artistic
3 ANNUAL REPORT 2012
2012 was a year of internal evolution and change
for Polyglot. An increase in touring, the creation and
world premiere of two new works, and the successful
delivery of two community projects and a major
school residency, resulted in one of the busiest years
weve had. At the end of the year we had played to
over 90,000 people in 6 different countries.
We were sad to say farewell to Simon Abrahams
after four and a half years at the helm with
Sue Giles. With their leadership, Polyglot
traversed uncharted territory which helped reshape
the direction of the company.
Tamara Harrison was appointed to the company
as Executive Producer, bringing a wealth of
experience and energy with her from her position
at Malthouse Theatre. Tamara joined Sue Giles as
co-CEO, continuing the successful management
model implemented several years ago. We also
welcomed Catherine French as our new Marketing
& Communications Coordinator, Emma Dodd as
Production Manager, and Adi Diner took on the
newly created position of General Manager.
New energy was brought to the Board with Dr.
Patricia Edgar AM, Jamie Dawson and Rhiannon
Keen joining our dedicated team. Their different
areas of expertise have bought further support
to the small Polyglot team, and we thank all the
Board for their guidance and advocacy in this
busy year. Moving into 2013 we bid farewell to two
longstanding Board members, David Hanrahan and
Richard Roberts. Both brought a wealth of skills and
experience to the table and provided invaluable
advice and leadership over their board terms.
The steady investment from our long term partners
of Arts Victoria, City of Melbourne and City of
Stonnington has provided a consistent base to
our core operations. In 2012 we were fortunate
to receive the support of a number of trusts and
foundations which had a huge impact on our ability
to deliver two well received community projects -
Expecting Something? engaged new young and expecting mothers with their local communities in
Gippsland; Tangle MOTION won a VicHealth Award for its activation of communities through creativity.
Both Australia Council and Arts Victoria were
crucial in assisting the companys international tours
including a showcase performance of Tangle at the prestigious Lincoln Center in New York.
We also thank our donors and Ambassador program
supporters who made a difference to our creation
of new work. With How High The Sky Polyglot made its very first work for younger children babies under 1 year old and their carers. It premiered to great
success at the Melbourne International Arts Festival.
We thank especially the continued support of Miss
Betty Amsden OAM, Patron of our Ambassadors
Circle, as well as Daniel and Danielle Besen for their
involvement in this project.
The end of the year saw the company invest back
into reserves with the added security of confirming Emerging Key Organisational support from the
Australia Council for the next triennium.
On behalf of the Polyglot Board, I thank all of our
partners and the tirelessly devoted Polyglot Team
for propelling the company forward and the
unswerving, ever enthusiastic and artful direction of
our Artistic Director Sue Giles.
Julia White Chair
ANNUAL REPORT 2012 4
The creative force that is Polyglot, never ONCE
flagged during 2012!
Despite executive changeover and increased
activity across the whole organisation, our staff and
artists continued to deliver and create fun, inspiring,
ambitious and unique performances and workshops
to our every growing audience of kids and families
around the world.
Special mention in 2012 goes to the team of
dedicated artists who have stepped up to
operate independently, working to the companys
philosophy in Australia and overseas, bringing skill,
professionalism and a joyful spirit of adventure to our
many public events.
Tangle started the year at Sydney Festival and then played Art Centre Melbourne, APAM in Adelaide,
Morwell, Darwin, Lincoln Center in New York,
Shepparton and Melbourne Museum a glorious
mix of local, national and international presentations
that has become the hallmark of our Play Space
projects. On top of that we developed a fascinating
model of community process around the touring
works, with the VicHealth supported Tangle MOTION project taking us to regional areas.
We Built This City was discovered by new audiences in New Zealand, USA, Brisbane, Korea and Hobart,
continuing the breadth of reach of this now 11 year
old project. Paper Planet transformed the public spaces at Casula Powerhouse in Sydney and the
Smorgon Family Plaza at Arts Centre Melbourne.
Sticky Maze attracted over 20,000 people at the Out
Of The Box Festival in Brisbane. It then went to the
desert in Newman WA before finishing a fabulous year in Taipei at the National Theatre of Taiwan.
Our new play space project Ants wowed them at Federation Square in July and together with outer