The Northern Rivers Performing Arts Inc. (NORPA) will benefit from a NSW Government Grant of $106,282 announced today for their Youth Theatre Hub.

The funding will support professionally led weekly theatre classes, specific skills-building master classes, a youth theatre ensemble and an annual theatre production and youth theatre forum.

Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said NORPA is a fantastic example of successful regional theatre. 

“I’m delighted we are able to help NORPA bring professional theatre to young people,” Mr Franklin said.

“As Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts, I am passionate about supporting cultural opportunities in our regions, particularly access to creative pursuits for young people.

“Young people will now have increased access to professional training and performance opportunities from one of Australia’s leading regional-based theatre companies,” he said.

NORPA delivers bespoke programs of theatre/workshops for school students, facilitates cultural exchange, research, art-form development, training and exploration for local/international artists, provides employment opportunities for the
region’s creative sector and provides opening space for local Indigenous artists to develop/perform work.

The Youth Theatre Hub will help create professional pathways and training for young people to pursue careers in the performing arts across performance, technical production and stage design.

NORPA CEO and Artistic Director Julian Louis warmly welcomed the funding.

“This investment enables us to expand our education offering into a significant youth theatre program that engages young people in the process of theatre making including performance, production and design,” Mr Louis said.

“This is an important new initiative for young people in our region to provide experiences that develop confidence, a sense of connection and practical skills that can be applied not only in theatre but also in broader life.

“The projects that we’ll stage with our young people will become central to our annual Season and creative program in the future,” Mr Louis said.

The grant request by NORPA has been fully funded from the Stronger Country Communities Fund and will continue to support their position as a leader in the cultural landscape of the Northern Rivers and throughout NSW.

Due to the Public Health Order, NORPA has had to suspend their public operations for the time being, so funding for the Youth Theatre Hub is incredibly important to help them get back on their feet when the theatre can reopen.