Small Gems

Small Gems


Small Gems aims to identify, develop and support new performing arts work for small to medium sized venues in metropolitan Melbourne and beyond. Small Gems will commission independent works that are of professional quality, contemporary interest and in the genre of drama, dance, hybrid theatre, circus and ground based physical theatre, to help create new work, support artists with a track record of high quality production output, and contribute positively to the Australian theatre scene.


    What kind of artists can be a part of Small Gems?

    • Small Gems is looking for artists who have an original production, either an idea or developed work. Please note, preference will be given to works that have not yet had a performance season in Victoria.
    • Small Gems will give preference to companies/artists with a history of producing high quality works.

    What’s in it for artists?

    • Small Gems is a great way to develop and create your production in a supportive environment, with rehearsal space and development time.
    • Small Gems will allow you to stage new works in a low-risk way.
    • Small Gems will give you access to cosmopolitan audiences.
    • Performance fees are a part of the program. Artists will be properly paid, given rehearsal space and support (as negotiated).
    • Small Gems gives you the opportunity to create or further develop a show with guaranteed performance dates.
    • Small Gems gives you freedom from government funding timelines.
    • Small Gems will utilise shared marketing initiatives with artists and a number of venues to get the best exposure for your show.

    What’s the cost?

    • There is no application fee to enter Small Gems.
    • If accepted, the Small Gems producing consortium will discuss your budget needs with you.
    • It is important to the Small Gems producing consortium that performers, crew and creatives are properly paid. Please keep this in mind when developing your application, considering the budget for presenters is between $1,000 and $3,000 per performance.

    Please read the Small Gems Terms & Conditions before applying.


    Who is currently involved?

    • Gasworks Arts Park
    • Hobsons Bay City Council
    • Burrinja Cultural Centre
    • Kingston Arts
    • Geelong Arts Centre

    What kind of venues can be a part of Small Gems?

    • Small to medium sized venues (approximately 200 seats) with capacity for professional theatre lighting, sound and projection;
    • Venues with access to marketing resources; and
    • Venues whose audience have high levels of attendance and familiarity with arts experiences generally.

    What’s in it for the venues?

    • Small Gems is a way of generating interesting content that is suitable for our specific audiences.
    • Small Gems ensures the production will fit within our theatres, spaces and specifications.
    • Small Gems ensures a fixed price on touring shows, and less reliance on timelines of funding rounds, and gives certainty around show development times.
    • Small Gems gives venues the opportunity to generate media interest and profile, as works will be in development rather than ready made and already on the touring circuit.
    • Small Gems allows venues to fulfill their mission of new work development and support through low-risk producing partnerships.
    • Small Gems guarantees exclusive premieres of new Australian work.
    • Venues would be acknowledged as a production partner, and royalties for future performances would be negotiated individually.

    What’s the cost?

    • Small Gems aims to identify shows that can work with an artist fee in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 per performance.
    • There is no requirement to guarantee your participation in a tour. A small tour could comprise three performances across three venues, a larger tour could comprise 10 performances across five venues.

    Get involved We invite other venues with similar interests and venue capacities to express interest in joining the initiative. We are looking for up to two urban venues to join the initiative, who have experienced and contemporary arts audiences.

    Follow this link to complete a short survey to apply online:

  • Applications for 2024/25 projects opened Mon 3 Apr 2023, and closed Sun 21 May 2023.

    More Information

    t: (03) 8606 4200

  • Preview the Small Gems 2023 application form here