Liz's cover image

Liz JONES AO

Year of Award: 1999 Award State: Victoria Arts - Performing > Theatre And Stage
The Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship to examine the place of theatre and its cultural relevance - U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, USA
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Conclusions:

What have I learned from my Churchill experience? I began this journey feeling at best, despondent about theatre’s future in our ever increasing technological world, but find that theatre is surviving remarkably well.

Theatre is an incredibly expensive art form even at the grassroots level and cannot survive without some outside support either public (as in Europe) or private (as in the States). The most exciting new theatre comes from the work of ensembles – and such ensembles require quite extensive assured funding.

One of the ironies is that cutting edge political theatre exists very much with the support of an educated cultural elite – and battles to reach the oppressed and the dispossessed. In this, ticket prices are incredibly important – especially when it comes to the active participation of our own impoverished theatre community members. Accessibility is all important. I cannot stress enough how vital I feel it is that practising artists are offered an affordable solution to attending all performances and festivals.

In all of this I must feel proud of La Mama with its open door policies, its low ticket prices, and thankfully its reliable state funding. I am also very grateful that Actors Equity in this country respect the right of their members to work cooperatively for door shares in places like La Mama.


Awards and Honours

  • 2012 awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the performing arts as an artistic director, administrator and performer, to the promotion of Indigenous playwrights and actors, and to the community.
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