Grants & Underwriting

For all Theatre Board applications please note the 2018 meeting dates:
16 March, 13 April, 18 May, 27 July, 21 September, 19 October, 16 November, 7 December.
These are not the application deadlines. Applications will need to be submitted well before each meeting – no later than 10 days prior to the meeting.

Theatre Board Underwriting

You can apply for underwriting (up to $2000) from the Melbourne University Theatre Board .

Underwriting is essentially a loan to help students put on performances without needing to spend their own money. If your production makes a profit you need to pay back as much as you can to the Theatre Board. If your production makes a loss and you can’t pay back the money that is fine. It is always great when you can pay back either some or all of the underwriting money because then the Theatre Board can lend the money to another theatre group.

It can take up to two weeks after the Theatre Board meeting for underwriting to be processed so you need to factor this in when you are deciding which meeting to submit your application to.

Deadline: applications must be submitted to the Artistic Director/Theatre Coordinator (artistic@union.unimelb.edu.au) no later than 10 days prior to the meeting.

After submitting your application you must make a time to meet with the Artistic Director/Theatre Coordinator to discuss your application. You then need to make any necessary changes and resubmit to the Artistic Director/Theatre Coordinator who will forward your application to the Theatre Board 5 days prior to the meeting. It is desirable to start this process as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

➡️ Apply for the Underwriting Grant

➡️Download Statement by Supplier Forms

➡️Download_New Local Supplier Form    (➡️Download Example of Completed Form)

➡️Download Budget Template

Theatre Board Creative Development Grants

The University of Melbourne Theatre Board offers grants to students for creative explorations and skills development projects that are not directly tied to a production performance outcome.

Creative Development Funding Applications will be considered at every Theatre Board Meeting.
If you want your application to be considered, please submit your application a week before the meeting.

Maximum funding: $1,000.

➡️ Apply for Theatre Board Creative Development Funding

Theatre Board New Work Grants

The University of Melbourne Theatre Board offers New Work Grants grants to students to encourage creative risk taking and the development of original Australian work (in any performing arts discipline) with a production performance outcome.

New Work Applications will be considered at every Theatre Board Meeting.

Please note that the New Work Grant differs from the Theatre Board’s Creative Development Grant in that at least one of the personnel involved in the project must work in a professional capacity in the arts industry. It is also a requirement that the new work will result in a production/performance that will occur within one year of the grant being approved.  It is possible for applicants to apply for both a Theatre Board Creative Development Grant and a New Work Grant for the same project (as long as each application meets the requisite requirements and criteria).

Maximum funding: $2,000.

➡️ Apply for New Work Grants Application 

UMSU Creative Arts Grants

You can apply for grants (up to $500) from UMSU Creative Arts. Details here.


Successful Applications in 2017

DisColournation’s – Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit – Successful NEW WORK GRANT recipient

DisColourNation amplifies diverse voices and experiences. We work as a collective and, through collaboration, we explore stories rarely told on stage through new or adapted writing and music.

Our latest project seeks to make room for queer people of colour onstage by drawing on and undermining familiar romance narratives, tropes, and stereotypes. The project is a musical, humorous take on Anglo-centrist heterosexual myths pervading social encounters and expectations, defamiliarising those social norms, and potentially offers alternative structures of understanding the world.

Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit is a brand new work made through an irreverent, Asian-Australian lens about people rarely seen on stage, of a tale rarely allowed on stage (or indeed, in any other medium). RINTOF pushes for a frame of reference (people of colour playing main roles in which they are allowed to be desirable, loving, and assertive) that is fresh and still all too rare.

Whitley Annual Residential Theatre Society (WARTS) – Cry Baby – Successful UNDERWRITING recipient

We are a non-profit theatrical group who stages a production each year utilising the skills of students within the Whitley College community.

“It’s 1954. Everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism and Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He’s a bad boy with a good cause – truth, justice and the pursuit of rock and roll. Cry-Baby and the square rich girl, Allison, are star-crossed lovers at the centre of this world. Fuelled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock and roll, she turns her back on her squeaky clean boyfriend, Baldwin, to become a “drape” (a Baltimore juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby’s moll. At the other end of the topsy-turvy moral meritocracy of 1954 America, Baldwin is the king of the squares and leads his close-harmony pals against the juvenile delinquents, who are ultimately arrested for arson, sending the drapes all off to prison. It’s Romeo and Juliet meets High School Hellcats.”

Queens College Music and Drama Society (QCMADS) – Legally Blonde – Successful UNDERWRITING recipient

QCMADS is committed to giving members of the College and the broader community a chance to be part of a production. It aims to act as a platform for those who have never have the chance to be involved in the performing arts to step outside their comfort zone and try something new. It also aims to support up-and-coming talents, including designers, cast, and crew members, by providing them with mentorship. QCMADS is thrilled to bring a block-buster Broadway musical to the Union Theatre’s stage for a fraction of the cost of commercial shows, making it accessible to a broader audience.

QCMADS is thrilled to bring a block-buster Broadway musical to the Union Theatre’s stage for a fraction of the cost of commercial shows, making it accessible to a broader audience who would not be able to afford a night at the theatre

For further information on how other student theatre groups responded to the questions in the application, please click on this link.