In a move that will provide a much needed boost to theatre in Queensland and in Australia, Brisbane Powerhouse has secured funding of more than $1 million across three years to put towards the development and presentation of World Theatre Festival from 2011 to 2013.

The inaugural World Theatre Festival was presented in 2010 as a development initiative for theatre patrons and artists, using core funding from Brisbane City Council. With recent debate over the state of theatre and arts audiences in Queensland, there was seen to be a great need to develop upon the seed that was planted.

The expanded World Theatre Festival is made possible with core contribution from Brisbane City Council, a visionary three-year gift of $500,000 from the Graeme Wood Foundation and matched funding over three years from the Queensland Government, through Arts Queensland and Queensland Events. In addition, WTF has received support from Australia Council and contributions from foreign government sources.

Premier for Queensland and Minister for the Arts, Anna Bligh and Brisbane Lord Mayor Mr Campbell Newman said the festival is a welcome and unique addition to the program of cultural and arts events supported by Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government.

Graeme Wood said "I like the edgy nature of WTF and the creative mind-shifts I'm sure it will bring to Brisbane and Australian theatre. The hope is that it will reinvigorate live performance in Brisbane as well as inspire new directions for local writers, performers and producers."

The 2011 World Theatre Festival is being developed in order to generate new audiences; support Australian theatre artists; to encourage artistic exchange; and to ensure Brisbane audiences and practitioners gain access to some of the most interesting contemporary theatre being created in around the world.

“With the lowest national theatre attendance per capita, the Brisbane theatre scene is now the preserve of a narrowing demographic. We [Brisbane] fall victim to cultural migration as practitioners not finding a place for their work locally, move interstate or overseas. World Theatre Festival plans to reverse the flow, bringing audiences, local artists and leading national and international artists to Brisbane to form a critical mass for performance culture,” said Andrew Ross, Director of Brisbane Powerhouse.

The World Theatre Festival embraces the new, the risky and the independent. It pushes new technologies, new forms and participatory genres in theatre from around the world. Brisbane Powerhouse aims to build a reputation for the World Theatre Festival as the leading Australian festival for innovative and compelling theatre work.

Brisbane Powerhouse is Brisbane City Council’s leading arts performance venue helping to deliver a vibrant and creative city.

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