polyglot theatre 2012 annual report

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In 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

    and process.

    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)

    Catherine French

    Marketing & Communications Coordinator

    (from September)

    Julie Wright Operations Coordinator

    Cathy Kirwan

    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

    specialised lens

    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


    aBouT PolYGloT

  • 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

    CHaiRs RePoRT

  • ANNUAL REPORT 2012 4

    Ceos RePoRT

    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

    west sch