La Mama Explorations

Explorations 2024 will be taking place over our Winter season at HQ. Please stay tuned (and sign up to our e-news here) for more information regarding Explorations 2024. 

La Mama’s Explorations season has been supporting works in development since 1980. 

Creative exploration is at the core of all works produced and presented at La Mama, however the annual Explorations’ season of works in development is a special time of year when productions are given three nights in the space to explore their practice and develop their theatrical pursuits. 

Explorations is a platform for artists that explore the boundaries of form, interrogate contemporary society and represent a range of voices. Explorations is a place to play risk free with daring ideas.  

If you are interested in applying for future Explorations, there is no application template. Send script excerpts, images, examples of past work, creative teams, multimedia, whatever you have, but please name what it is that you want to explore!  

We’re not looking for polished kitchen sink theatre. We want to be challenged, not just by your ideas, but by the way you present them. Each Exploration gets three nights in the space, a modest Production Budget and 80% of the box office. 

For more information, please contact La Mama’s Development and Pathways Manager Myf Powell at myf@lamama.com.au 

“I am an independent theatre maker based in Melbourne, who rides the strange middle ground of being a highly skilled professional performer and theatre maker, but also an independent practitioner juggling the creative process alongside producing, managing meagre finances, attempting to follow creative vision and impulse in new and brave territory, and hunting for space, support and resources. La Mama’s Explorations program gave me the humble and profound gift of theatre space, trust, and logistical support, and in return only asked for me to leap into making theatre that truly excited me. Very few other organisations are so committed to fostering artists from the ground up. La Mama is an crucial part of the Victorian and Australian theatre ecosystems, and must be supported to continue this work.”

Phoebe Mason – Performer, Theatremaker, Playback Theatre 

I moved from El Salvador to Australia eight years ago. The first show I ever directed was eight years ago, at La Mama; and my first written and self-directed show ‘He’ was presented December 2022, at La Mama Explorations. La Mama is not just a theatre, it’s home. Every theatre practitioner in Melbourne knows about La Mama and most likely has done a show in one of its venues, it is because artists are respected in their developments, it’s a place where artistic experimentation is welcomed, not judged by a ‘how-many-tickets-can-we-sell-from-a-show-like-this?’ mentality. Radical ideas are welcomed. Crazy crews are welcomed. Humanity is welcomed. Stepping into La Mama stage is stepping into floorboards with history, a history that encompasses important artists that shape the cultural ecology of this city. In my personal experience, as a migrant, as a performer and theatre maker that navigates and communicates in his second language, La Mama was fundamental to develop my artistic craft. Their unconditional support has strengthened my practice.”

Rodrigo Calderón Tobar – Performer, Director, founder of Red Velvet Underground- Arts studio 

“Recently, La Mama reinstated its Explorations program after four difficult years for the theatre (La Mama HQ’s reconstruction post fire and covid years). I was fortunate enough to have my piece LIMBO in this season of works. Without this opportunity I would not have been able to present this work in its developmental stage to an audience. Not only did I not have to pay theatre hire fees, but La Mama provided a production budget for my work as well as receiving the box office. Creating a platform for creative risk taking is essential for the broader Australian arts landscape and La Mama has done this for over fifty years.” 

Isabel Knight – Actor, Theatre Maker