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The mechanics of Free Range: A vehicle for the development and support of WA talent


Written By ARTRAGE 20 Sep, 2022

Valuing and supporting unique voices

Championing unique and inherently West Australian voices is at the forefront of the Free Range Program. A plethora of talent exists within this state, presenting opportunity to support the development of new content that breaks free of traditional theatre procedures and the development structures attached.

As an annual program, Free Range will be a key player in identifying and assisting emerging artists, furthering the impact on the arts industry and presence of skilled creatives and artists year on year. From 2023, ARTRAGE will open Expressions of Interest for the 2023 Free Range season, from which three new works selected will undergo a preliminary development process.

No two works are created equal, and all creatives have a different approach to creating new work. A key point of difference in the Free Range program is the innately flexible process to create, allowing artists to pursue works that exist in unique spaces and in their own way.

A Free Range approach

Works selected to take part in the Free Range program will undergo multiple stages to assist artists along the development of a new work.

The program commences with a week-long intensive, in which the key creatives attached to the project are supported by ARTRAGE for the full week to further develop the initial project concept.

After the conclusion of this week, a peer group will assemble to review the outcome of the week. After a review, the ARTRAGE team, alongside the creatives of the project determine the next best steps for the work. There are opportunities for mentors to join the project, collaboration and skill development at the forefront of the project.

All works that undergo the Free Range program will be treated individually, there is no set formula for how works progress once the first intensive is completed. Flexibility and reactivity are at the core of the program, enabling support where needed during the development process.

Support beyond development

Concluding a successful development and rehearsal period, we now have a new work, ready for the public. So now what? Emerging and established artists are no strangers to wearing many hats from development through to delivery, whilst often juggling other future projects and employment. The Free Range program allows artists to shed these responsibilities by offering support in the realm of producing, logistics, marketing, ticketing and more. Artists can instead focus on the creative, ultimately creating cohesive pieces that are as high-quality onstage, as they are from an audience experience perspective.

This means, it's showtime! With a skilled projects team on hand, ARTRAGE is there to assist with the delivery of the successful works beyond the first development. The works that are developed in the Free Range program have the opportunity to exist beyond Free Range, as a work in its own right, resulting in more locally produced work and more quality content available to local audiences and beyond.