Inside 130

Inside 130: Studio Residency Program

As part of Arena’s commitment to developing work for young audiences and supporting Melbourne’s theatre ecology, Inside 130 provided assistance to emerging and independent artists making new work for audiences aged 5 to 25 years.

For the past 6 years Inside 130 has offered free venue and equipment hire, mentoring from Arena’s artistic and managerial staff, and marketing and communications support from our premises at 130 Dryburgh St, North Melbourne for individuals or groups who demonstrated a commitment to the development of exciting new work for young audiences. 

“It is with much gratitude that we say thank you for welcoming us in to your space. By providing us with your space and equipment, we were able to play freely. You enabled our imagination, and this meant that our work and practice had the opportunity to grow.” Lara Tumak, Before I Fell Asleep


As Arena has recently moved premises our Inside 130 program is under review in 2017. Please sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date on news of this program.

2016 Resident

Les Mystères du Louvre

Arena's 2016 Inside 130 recipient was ReAction Theatre developing Les Mystères du Louvre.

ReAction Theatre in partnership with the Alliance Française de Melbourne are developing Les Mystères du Louvre, an immersive bilingual French/English theatrical experience for children 10 and up. This performance piece will use 3D projection, installation and live performance to explore a world where the mundane and phantasmic collide, challenging our perception that history is all in the past. If the people in the paintings came alive, what could they tell us? And if they spoke to us, would we understand? And, how important is language anyway?

ReAction Theatre undertook a creative residency at Arena in July 2016.

2015 Resident


Congratulations to Theatre Maker and Playwright Georgia Symons, who is the recipient of this years Inside 130 residency.

HOW TO BREAK INTO SOMEONE ELSE's UNIVERSE is a new interactive work for audiences aged 10 and up. 

Fox lives in a big apartment building. She knows who lives behind every door...except one. The apartment at the very top of the building is empty, or so she's been told. But she's snuck up there and she's heard noises - strange noises that could only mean one thing - that behind that door is the portal to another world.

HOW TO BREAK INTO SOMEONE ELSE's UNIVERSE will undertake a creative development at Arena's Studio in August 2015 focusing on experimenting with play and game design.

2014 Resident


Arena's 2014 Inside 130 recipient was Scapegoat by The Sally Collective, led by Rhys James & Hannah Monson. 

Scapegoat exlpores the quarter life crisis what it means, why it's here and why our mates are dying from it. What you get is a warehouse world where Footscray grit meets Neverland.

Where five twenty-something year olds recognise their transition from kid to adult, only to set up camp on it's threshold.  Rejecting a future in the 'real world' they leave to build their own. A refuge of stars, play time, mess and forget. Where dreams take their last bloody try at reality. Before deciding if Peter Pan really has fucked off without us.

Scapegoat premiered at The Grange in Melbourne's CBD in late 2014.

2013 residents

Bambert's Book of Missing Stories

Bambert is a little man who lives a quiet, solitary existence in his attic home.

Overwhelmed by the size and pace of the outside world, he finds comfort and companionship in the characters he has created in his stories, his “Book of Wishes”. One day Bambert decides to set his stories free and, attaching them to little hot air balloons, he sends them out into the world to seek their own settings. His last story is left blank; it is Bambert’s bold experiment to see if it might write itself. Gradually the stories are returned to him with postmarks from all over the globe – strange and beautiful tales that express Bambert’s great desire to better understand him self and the world. But Bambert’s life work is not complete until the last story is returned, the one he hopes will write itself.

Adapted from Reinhardt Jung’s exquisite and magical book, Bambert’s Book of Missing Stories is a new theatrical work for young audiences (9-12 years) and their families. An immersive work involving puppetry and live performance, this is a haunting tale about isolation, imagination and the enlivening power of art. 

Always Working Artists

My Worst Ever Night at the Best School Ball Ever is a play for teenage audiences about acts of social, sexual and personal transgression.

Always Working Artists is the company of actor-playwright Kate Rice and director Jeremy Rice, formed in 2000 to produce The Gospel of Mark at Belvoir Street Downstairs, Sydney.

While living in Darwin, Kate and Jeremy produced Sextet – a season of international short plays, Oscar Wilde’s Salome and several award-winning short films as part of the Darwin Fistful of Films Festival.

In 2008 the company produced the acclaimed verbatim theatre project Apocalypse Perth at the Blue Room and in 2010, the Western Australian premiere of Ruby Moon by Matt Cameron at Deckchair Theatre.

Maybe (___) Together

Small Voices Louder is part installation, part sound-work, part social intervention, part exchange between artist and child.

It’s about taking children into a world that is challenging, playful and honest.

It's about opening adults ears to the world of children.

Why children? Maybe (___) Together is an advocate of the child’s voice. Just as teenagers are the critics of adults, children have an ability to cling to idealism, call things as they see them and inspire responsibility from adults.

Image Credit: Sophie Reid

2012 residents

Little Ones Theatre: Hook Up

Little Ones Theatre is a Melbourne and Sydney based theatre company dedicated to the development and production of new Australian works and niche interpretations of contemporary cult classics. Established in 2006, the company is focused on playful work that allows you to love ferociously, abandon yourself and let your heart explode.

Hook Up is a new Australian play devised by Jessica Bellamy and Stephen Nicolazzo that explores the way that young women understand, experience and perform their sexualities.

Inspired by the phenomenon of ╩╗hook up lists╩╝ (listings of past and desired future sexual experiences by young women shared amongst friends) and a survey sent out to women between the ages of 19-27, this new work tells the story of a variety of girl's First Times...whether with men, women, themselves, kitchen implements, or the beloved cocker spaniel through five heightened vignettes. 

For more information visit their website.


Noa and his sister exist together.

In a bunker. There is lots of time. 

They are prepared for anything…

Except the truth.

An evocative new work about friendship, survival and letting go.


Directed and written by Samara Hersch,

with devisors and performers Karen Sibbing and Joshua Ferenbach.

Dramaturgy: David Woods.

Software and sound design: Marco Cher-Gibard.

Lighting design: Amelia Lever-Davidson.

Set and costume design: Eugyeene Teh.

Produced by Erin Voth.

Production and stage manager: Julia Truong 


Presented at La Mama Theatre,  Dec 12-21.


Thieves Theatre

Thieves are Anna Loewendahl and Dr Greg Pritchard who have been producing work together for eight years, whilst maintaining their seperate art practices. They are currently producing 3 shows, and looking to tour them nationally and internationally.

Arena will support the residency of Feed, a novel by American writer M.T. Anderson: a dystopic story of a world in  which characters have the ‘feed’ (internet) wired into their brains. Thieves are working on a world first stage production. The narrative is  inextricably bound to technology– the characters live primarily in  a virtual world. It is a dehumanised future, where humans are merely commodities. But what happens when that world breaks down? What happens if you resist the feed?

For more information visit Thieves Theatre.

2011 Recipients

Before I Fell Asleep

Artists: Lara Tumak, Toby Horrocks, Allen Laverty, Bronwen Kamasz, Benjamin Cisterne and Kelly Ryall.

Before I Fell Asleep
is an immersive theatrical experience that follows the story of a young child who builds an imaginary city in the transient moment between going to bed and falling asleep. As the city is created before your very eyes you are invited to enter into it; to wander its streets and peer in its windows. Speeding trains, puffing factories and low-flying helicopters are part of a familiar bustling cityscape, but as the city’s architect grows towards adulthood something strange begins to happen to the city...

Image Credit: Lara Tumak and Collaborators

Cut Snake

Artists: Paige Rattray, Dan Giovannoni and Amelia Evans. Produced by Arthur.

Cut Snake will explore big questions including: Does space ever end? How does the internet work? Why do people get plastic surgery? Why don't you love me? And where are my keys?

Performed in super secret locations, Cut Snake is a play with singing and dancing about big questions and small moments.

Cut Snake will premiered at the Sydney Fringe Festival from Sept 20-24 2011 and toured to the Melbourne Fringe Festival from Sept 28 - Oct 8 2011.


Artists: Ayesha Tansey, Emily Goddard, Anna Marais, Nick Bendall and Evan Tweedie.

IAPPS will tackle modern fashion trends shaping young people today. Think android glam rock, noob sisteremo and cyber chic. This is the new renaissance streamlining into steel gloves and fringe flaps.  This theatre will strike at the heart of teens who day after day, night after night angst about the creation of image and the application of image. 

IAPPS will use spectacle, special effects, cyber clowning, and costume to develop something that is fierce, dangerous and unstoppable. It will be presented alongside Melbourne and Sydney Fashion Festivals in 2012.

If you wish to read more about the artists, the development AND how to donate to support this fantastic project, click here.