La Mama Model

Our unique model provides each production with a modest production budget and the infrastructure to allow artists to focus on their art. This continues to be an attractive proposition to artists at all stages of their career and is in increasing demand.

La Mama’s model of giving artists upfront funding to present work in a rent-free venue, with 80% box-office return, is unique in Australia. This model supports a high artistic risk/low financial risk proposition for artists and encourages a high volume of activity.

In addition access to rehearsal and meeting space, administrative, marketing and technical support and ticketing means for artists, lack of money and infrastructure is no barrier.

La Mama seeks to identify projects, productions and programming opportunities which give a forum to a diversity of theatrical forms; play with, question and extend contemporary performance practice and aesthetics; redress social inequity by promoting social and cultural diversity; challenge, enlighten and empower audiences. La Mama seeks to prioritise new Australian works, created by theatre makers from all backgrounds.

La Mama facilitates the development of people by providing opportunities, pathways and creative empowerment on an incomparable scale. Emerging artists see La Mama as an entry point to the industry, established artists return to La Mama for the unparalleled freedom and artists and audiences from around Australia and the world come to be part of the iconic institution.

La Mama is a good place to understand creativity in more concrete ways. Perhaps the first thing to note is the number of people who have worked there…
For [Andrew] Bovell, one of Australia’s most renowned playwrights and screenwriters, it was a decade-long creative experiment from Whiskey to Lantana in which La Mama played a crucial role…
This is how value in theatre actually accrues. It is embodied and enacted through relationships, and these relationships are enabled by the institutional structures that support them. The relationships exist only as a potential until a company like La Mama gives them a concrete place in the world. When considering La Mama’s value proposition, or the value proposition of any theatre company, we should resist the temptation to ignore history and context and focus on just numerical outputs. Numbers are only an indication that something is going on, an invitation to investigate further. And when we do investigate, what emerges are stories of imagination-in-action, in La Mama’s case, literally thousands of stories. Bundled together they create a meta-narrative that is exciting, unstable, incalculable and rewarding – in short, creative. 

-Julian Meryick, The Conversation, 2017

Working with La Mama Theatre was a wonderful experience. The team are professional, supportive and invest genuine thought and time into their visiting companies. As a London based creative I had not performed or produced a show in Australia in several years, I was navigating uncharted waters (difficult at the best of times when creating Independent Theatre) and La Mama made this a smooth and stress free experience. La Mama gave me the platform to explore new work and opened up opportunities within the Australian theatre industry, that I would not otherwise have had.

-Bj McNeill, FLAWED____like a b_y, Midsumma Festival January 2019