“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears…”

We are delighted to host Bell Shakespeare’s John Bell Scholarship auditions once again at The Joan this September.  The John Bell Scholarship (JBS) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students living in regional or remote areas, who are interested in a career as a performer. Three students are selected each year from across Australia to come to Sydney and spend a week with Bell Shakespeare. They will participate in acting masterclasses, be taught by John Bell, observe one week of Bell Shakespeare rehearsals, see live theatre and perform their winning monologue for Artistic Director Peter Evans and a Bell Shakespeare cast.

JBS auditions take the form of 15 minute one-on-one masterclasses with a member of Bell Shakespeare’s The Players.

To be eligible to audition, students must be at least 16 years of age by 31 December 2018, and still be at high school full-time in 2018. The Auditions at The Joan in Penrith will take place:

WHEN: Saturday 22 September, sessions between 1.00pm and 5.30pm

WHERE: Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, 597 High Street, Penrith (Getting here)

To book an audition session, eligible students must contact The Joan’s Theatre Programs Coordinator, Ian Zammit, to book an audition session and provide the student’s name, the high school they attend full time, and their parent’s or guardian’s contact name / phone number / email address. Book your audition session by contacting:

Ian Zammit, 02 4723 7606 (Tuesday-Friday 9.00am-4.30pm) or at

BOOKING DEADLINE: bookings close 4.30pm, Friday 31 August 2018

Auditioning students must then complete a registration form, to be handed to the Arts Educator at their audition on Saturday, 22 September. Students will not be eligible for the JBS if we do not have this form.


Important dates:
Shortlist announced: November 2018
Recipients announced: December 2018
Scholarship week: January 2019

Each student must perform a 1-2 minute monologue from the suggested monologue list provided by Bell Shakespeare or a monologue of their choice from any Shakespeare play.



Please note, selecting from Bell Shakespeare’s suggested list will not affect the success of the students’ audition. The suggested list is designed to make the selection of appropriate monologues a simpler process for students. Students may perform from either list, regardless of character gender.

Bell Shakespeare’s Arts Educators are professional actors and/or directors who have worked with Bell Shakespeare in our main stage productions or our in-school performances and have been trained by the company as teachers. The Arts Educators present all Bell Shakespeare programmes and have a wealth of performance experience and knowledge of Shakespeare.

Your point of contact for further information or for any questions regarding the workshops is your local regional venue where the performances of Julius Caesar will be held.

Workshop contact: get in touch with Theatre Programs Coordinator at The Joan, Ian Zammit, between 9.00am-4.30pm Tuesdays to Fridays on 02 4723 7606 or via email on


See Bell Shakespeare’s production of Shakespeare’s masterpiece of intrigue and treachery, Julius Caesar, on the Q Theatre’s stage, this October at The Joan.

JULIUS CAESAR by Bell Shakespeare

Friday, Oct 5 2018 7:30pm

Saturday, Oct 6 2018 2:00pm

Saturday, Oct 6 2018 7:30pm

Click here for full performance details and for how to book today!


Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (The Joan, Q Theatre, Penrith Conservatorium & Penrith Regional Gallery) wishes to extend a hearty congratulations to Cr Karen McKeown, who was recently honoured as a recipient of an Order of Australia Medal.

Cr McKeown is a member of the PP&VA Board and has been awarded the OAM for her service to local government, to the Community of Penrith and to women.

Propel is a training opportunity for up and coming playwrights, 16 – 26 years old, from across Western Sydney and beyond. WestWords and Q Theatre are offering up to 6 emerging playwrights the chance to develop a new short work under the mentorship of a team of professional theatre makers.

Propel will help you to:
• Meet like minded artists and collaborators
• Learn from industry professionals
• Hear your work read by performers

Workshop Schedule for 2018:
• #1: 1st August, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #2: 8th August, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #3: 15th August, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #4: 22nd August, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #5: 29th August, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #6: 5th September, 5.00pm – 8.00pm
• #7 11th September, 10am – 4.00pm Intensive with performers
• Short Work Readings: 12th September, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

All workshops and readings will be hosted at The Joan, 597 High St, Penrith.

What next?

Click on the link below to apply for Propel. You will need to include your name, a contact number and email address within the application, along with:

• a bit of background on yourself as an artist (max 1 page). It would be good to tell us a little about what you write whether it be plays, poetry, stories, what you like or would like to write about and what you would like to get out of participating in the Propel playwriting project.
• a short sample of something you’ve written (max 4 pages)


Applications must be received by end of day Friday 13 July 2018.

Applicants under the age of 18 require parent / guardian consent, provided at the and of the application.

Click here for the PROPEL Application Form


Propel is presented in partnership with WestWords

WestWords, based in Parramatta, is dedicated to celebrating and championing the stories of the people, places and cultures that comprise the heart of Western Sydney. A guiding philosophy of WestWords is a belief in the power of literature and literacy (written, oral and visual), self-expression and creativity to change lives and the experience of communities. With a strategic focus on children and young people and through a comprehensive program of workshops, residencies, fellowships and support for writers we offer professional opportunities for the growth of distinctive voices.

Q Theatre is holding auditions for 16 young artists, 8 x theatre artists and 8 x musicians, (18 – 26) to take part in the 2018 ‘Originate’ project. This is a skills development project that results in a public outcome. The show will be presented in the Allan Mullins Studio at The Joan, Penrith.

PRODUCER: Q Theatre is the resident theatre making program at The Joan.

ROLES: 16 young artists (18 – 26). Within this we’re looking for 8 theatre makers and 8 musicians.

EXPERIENCE: Performers of various levels of experience are encouraged to apply. A background or interest in devising new work will be an advantage.

OBJECTIVE: ‘Originate’ seeks to up-skill early-career artists in the areas of new work development, cross art form practice and to facilitate new collaborations.

THE SHOW: ‘Originate’ is where ideas start. An ensemble of emerging theatre makers will collaborate with an ensemble of emerging musicians to create a new show about the here and now. Guided by Co-Directors from theatre and music, the group will move through a workshop process that dreams a new performance from the ground up. ‘Originate’ is a holding title for a performance that is yet to be developed and will be defined by the thoughts, beliefs, hopes and fears of the ensemble. Watch this space.

AVAILABILITY: To be considered for inclusion in the project artists must be available for the following dates:

5.00pm – 8.00pm | Wednesdays 23/05/18 – 13/06/18

10.00am – 4.00pm | Saturday & Sunday 26/05/18 – 27/05/18

5.00pm – 8.00pm | Wednesdays & Thursdays 20/06/18 – 12/07/18

10.00am – 4.00pm | Saturday & Sunday 14/07/18 – 15/07/18

5.00pm – 9.00pm | 16/07/18 – 21/07/18

7.30pm onwards | 19/07/18 – 21/07/18

COST: There is no charge for participation in this program.

TO AUDITION: Complete an application form by clicking here.


AUDITIONS HELD: 02/05/18 & 03/05/18

If you have any queries about your application, please email Emele at

Thanks to the support of Southlands, Penrith Performing & Visual Arts will provide $15,000 to the development of new projects by early career artists.

Three breakthrough awards of $5000 each will be presented to artists, alongside an assigned mentor artist, working in the areas of music, visual arts or theatre. For the first time, one of these awards will be reserved for a First Nations artist.

The awards are designed to support artists to develop a new idea, concept, draft, design or outcome for a project at a critical juncture in their career over a four month period.

This might take the form of the first draft of a new play, a series of works that outline a vision for an extended work or the recording of a new song or composition. Curators, producers and directors are also encouraged to submit proposals for projects. Artists whose practice defies art form categorisation, works at the intersection of artforms or who are particularly interested in community impact and access are also encouraged to apply.

*For the purpose of this award an early career artist is defined as an artist regardless of age in the first five years of their professional practice.*

Selection Criteria:


– Individuals

– Artists based in Greater Western Sydney – and west to Orange

Project Rationale: Successful projects proposals will be clear, viable and demonstrate artistic ambition.

Demonstrated Ability: Successful artists will demonstrate a commitment to creative practice and have a track record of delivering a project.

Potential for Impact: Projects where there is the potential for significant impact on the career of the emerging artist will be prioritised.

Relevance and Resonance: Projects that resonate or respond to the creative context of its potential audiences and have an ability to connect with the artistic programming of PP&VA will also be prioritised.

Successful artists will be expected to:

– be available to progress project between April and July

– participate in three group workshops with assigned mentors and

– showcase their work in progress in the Q in July

Good luck!

If you have any questions, please contact Emele on

Proposals must be received by midnight 1st March 2018

(Pictured: Victoria Garcia, 2017 Southlands Breakthrough Award Recipient)

Applications for the 2018 Music Scholarships are now open!

Penrith Conservatorium of Music is excited to announce its prestigious music scholarship program for 2018.

Penrith Conservatorium of Music, housed at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre is driven by a passion for music that has enriched the lives of the local community for over 28 years.

Penrith and the local region are homes to a wealth of musical talent and the Conservatorium is committed to developing and nurturing this talent.

The Conservatorium is offering seven highly sought-after Scholarships through a competitive application and live audition process. The Scholarships recognise future potential and provide the chance for students to take their gift to the next level.

At the heart of the Conservatorium’s Scholarships program is a team of over 20 tutors all with outstanding qualifications as both performers and teachers offering individual tuition from beginner through to AMEB Grade 8 and beyond to concert standard. Many students go on to become musicians and music educators themselves.

Thanks to the generosity of Penrith City Council, donors and benefactors, seven scholarships are open to all instruments including voice, contemporary and classical, students of violin, viola, cello, flute, and guitar. Students and non-students of Penrith Conservatorium of Music are encouraged to apply for this coveted opportunity.

Up-coming musicians who are awarded a scholarship will work with highly qualified teachers and tutors; receive subsidized tuition; experience musicianship and ensemble activity; and, gain access to The Joan family of artists, mentors, courses and concerts – all life changing opportunities that continue to excite and engage students and provide young musicians with very exciting prospects for the future.

The Conservatorium is now calling for applicants for the 2018 scholarships!


Q LAB – A space for new ideas, projects and possibilities

CALLOUT FOR 2018 Residency Applications | Apply Now

Bananas and Coconuts – Q LAB 2017. Creative team: Joel Burrows, Disapol Savetsila, Isabel Moon. Photo: Joshua Bentley.

Q LAB is Q Theatre’s annual residency program. Projects are selected through an open callout process and are provided with financial assistance and space as well as technical and dramaturgical support for dedicated creative development.

Q LAB is based on a commitment to supporting the development of independent artists and projects in the local Western Sydney area and the vibrancy that occurs as a result.

Building on the successes of previous residency programs, Q Theatre invites artists with a passion for Creative Penrith, to apply for a Q LAB ’18 Residency.

 “Q Theatre wants to help you dream up something big” Nick Atkins, Creative Producer

Q Theatre

Growing out of the legacy of the Q Theatre Company and over 50 years of stellar ground breaking theatre-making, Q Theatre helps to make The Joan a perfect place to imagine, create, build, design and experiment, test ideas or explore new collaborations and contexts.

Q Theatre embraces new work and brings together emerging and established local talent with artists from all across Australia to make theatre for and from the people of Penrith. With a focus on contemporary theatre projects Q Theatre is home to directors, playwrights, actors, musicians, digital artists and the many creatives who find themselves somewhere in between. Based at The Joan, there is a place for dedicated creative development for theatre makers big and small.

Advocating for new voices, alternate points of view, an investigation of distinctive new forms, and consistently challenging and reinvigorating art form practice, Q Theatre helps to reimagine what theatre can be, and who it is for!

We can’t think of a better way to help you develop your creative way of experiencing the world and the story you have ready to be told.

Start a conversation with Q Theatre – Apply Now!

The Q’s Artist in Residence Program Q Lab is now open.  Successful applicants will receive:

  • $2000 in artist fees
  • 2 weeks’ space in the Allan Mullins Studio with dramaturgical and technical support

Applications close: 22 November 2017.


Be part of Penrith’s creative heart

Board & Committee Nominations Now Open

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts Ltd, operators of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, is seeking nominations from interested Greater Western Sydney based community members to the Board of Management and to art form based advisory committees. These are volunteer positions.

PP&VA Ltd is a public company limited by guarantee and a controlled entity of Penrith City Council. It is a producer, curator, presenter and a leader in industry-led arts education experiences in the region.

BOARD DIRECTORS: 3 nominees to be appointed by Council for a 4 year term and a further 3 nominees for a 2 year term.

PERFORMING ARTS / VISUAL ARTS COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 6 nominees to be appointed to each committee by the Board for a term of 3 years.

Deadline: 16 August 2017

Information for nomination to Art Form Committees

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts welcomes the input of community members through its two art-form subcommittees, and has, since 2009, included community advisors on each art-from subcommittee.

Guiding this have been the following principles:

  • Each art-form subcommittee will include approximately six community advisors (in addition to at least 3 Board Members).
  • Community advisors are to be from the local (Penrith) and regional (Greater Western Sydney) community.
  • Community advisors are selected by the Board on the basis of professional skills, community involvement, art-form interest or experience in any of the following – programming and practice, education, community arts, collection and/or heritage management (visual arts), public programming and audience development.
  • Term of membership for community advisors is three years, however renewal or re-nomination is possible through the Board.
  • PP&VA Board art-form committees meet one evening a week at 5:30pm every second month in advance of each Board meeting (January, March, May, July etc). Current meetings are Wednesdays for Visual Arts and alternating Mondays & Tuesdays for Performing Arts based on the availability of current members.
  • The role of community advisors is advisory only.
  • Terms of Reference as attached.

Information for nomination to PP&VA Board

Penrith Performing & Visual Arts is seeking nominations from Greater Western Sydney based individuals with an active interest in cultural development in Penrith for membership of the Board of Management.

Nominees are requested to nominate for either a two-year term of for four years.  All Board Members are eligible for re-nomination.

The PP&VA Board seeks to be representative of the community and include a gender balance and diverse professional, cultural and artistic experiences and expertise within its make-up. Six community representatives will be appointed by Council to join three Councillors and the General Manager’s nominee.

Membership terms will commence following the Company’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for Wednesday 25 October 2017.

All nominees are requested to fill in a self-nomination form and attach a brief one page CV outlining relevant cultural, community and professional experience.

Board Member Job Description

As the highest leadership body of the organisation and to satisfy its fiduciary duties, the Board is responsible for:

  • determining the mission and purposes of the organisation
  • selecting and evaluating the performance of the chief executive
  • strategic and organisational planning
  • ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
  • fundraising and resource development
  • approving and monitoring the organisations’ programs and services
  • enhancing the organisations’ public image
  • assessing its own performance as the governing body of the organisation

Each individual board member is expected to

  • know the organisations’ mission, policies, programs, and needs
  • faithfully read and understand the organisations’ financial statements
  • serve as active advocates and ambassadors for the organisation and fully engage in identifying and securing the financial resources and partnerships necessary for the organisation to advance its mission
  • leverage connections, networks, and resources to develop collective action to fully achieve the organisations’ mission
  • help identify personal connections that can benefit the organisations’ fundraising and reputational standing, and can influence public policy
  • prepare for, attend, and conscientiously participate in board meetings
  • participate fully in one or more committees
  • attend company events and activities.

Board members are expected to

  • follow the organisations’ policies and Board resolutions
  • declare any potential conflicts before meetings, and actual conflicts during meetings as they arise and update the formal disclosure register annually.
  • maintain confidentiality about all internal matters of the organisation.

Please direct queries to Hania Radvan on 4723 7609 or by email to

Click here to download the Artform Committee Application Form – Word document.

Click here to download the Artform Committee Application Form – PDF.

Click here to download the Board Nomination Form – Word document.

Click here to download the Board Nomination Form – PDF.

Expressions of Interest – Café at Lewers

Opens 26 May | Closes 18 June


Penrith Performing & Visual Arts is seeking Expressions of Interest from an experienced café operator for Café at Lewers at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest.

We are looking for a creative, commercially focussed and co-operative operator who will work with us to provide an outstanding and integrated customer experience.

Fast, friendly service coupled with a high quality menu with meals at reasonable price points will reflect the artistic, progressive and dynamic nature of the site and its patrons.  Café at Lewers is a unique offer. Housed in the grounds of an artistically significant bequest, an artist designed heritage garden and a dynamic and growing regional gallery.

Expressions of Interest open 26 May and close 18 June.

More information: Contact Dave Garner on 0414 391 971 or email

Click here to download the Information Pack



May 4, 2017


Categories: Special Events

2 Artists / 3 Companies / 4 Weeksroad

The Q at The Joan in partnership with PYT Fairfield and PACT Centre for Emerging Artists.

HIGH/WAY 234: residency is designed to strengthen creative communities across Greater Western Sydney as well as build capacity for next generation artists.

Two artists or groups of artists will be invited to complete a month long residency co-hosted by PACT, PYT | Fairfield and The Q at The Joan. Projects must be able to demonstrate a connection to Western Sydney.

Residents will work out of The Joan, Penrith for their first week, PYT | Fairfield for their second & third weeks and PACT, Erskineville for their fourth and final week. Each stage of the residency will be supported by mentorship from the companies’ Artist Mentors: Katrina Douglas, Karen Therese and Nick Atkins and each project will be given $3000 cash for the purpose of artist frees and project costs.

Selected artists will be asked to present a work in progress showing at PACT.


Applications Open Thursday 4th May — Close 23rd May, 5pm

Residency Dates: July 30 – August 27 2017


provides a focal point for performing arts activity in the Western Sydney Region