A Message from La Mama Regarding 2025

To our valued La Mama communities,

We write to inform you that La Mama Theatre will temporarily cease public performance throughout 2025 to completely review its operations.

In December 2023, La Mama learned that we were unsuccessful with our application for Creative Australia organisational funding for 2025-2028. We had also been unsuccessful with this application in 2020, but through the Federal Government's RISE funding, significant pandemic support from Creative Victoria, Job Keeper and generous private donations, all of which we are extremely grateful for, we were able to continue delivering on our core mission: to facilitate fearlessly independent theatre making.

However, without Creative Australia’s organisational funding for 2025-2028, our current way of operating is not viable. 

The La Mama model supports artists to create and present work. We offer artists venue, ticketing, front of house, marketing and technical support, together with a modest production budget and 80% of box office takings. La Mama takes 20%, making a small contribution to our operations. 

Not securing four-year funding from Creative Australia was first met with disappointment and fear, but we are now choosing to grasp this moment as an opportunity to implement sustainable and necessary organisational change.

We are hopeful, inspired and excited for our future.

La Mama has played a significant role in the cultural fabric of this nation for more than 50 years. The impact we can have on the sector over the next 50 years is even more critical. We need art to help us through the current tough times and the anticipated challenges of the years and decades ahead. We must support independent artists with better conditions and opportunities. Doing so is increasingly urgent.

But we need to find new ways, new partners and new funding streams. We need to draw on the La Mama capacity for survival in tough times and re-engage for the cultural challenges of the late 2020s, 2030s and beyond.  

Consequently, instead of presenting work in 2025, we will be putting our energies and limited resources into finding permanent solutions, not just temporary band-aid solutions, to best support our artists, our staff, our communities, our sector, our society – for our sustainable future.

Throughout 2025, while we will not be presenting work as usual, we will be opening up both our venues for a series of artist residencies. Please stay tuned for more info.

We know taking away a year of presentation opportunities will have an impact on the sector, especially for artists with urgent stories to tell, culture-hungry audiences, school students and local business.  

We are confident that this temporary pause will yield stronger outcomes for all.

This is not something we ever wanted to do, but it has become something we must do, because what we do is vital to the wellbeing of our communities, and we need to find a way forward.

We are grateful for the support of Creative Victoria at this pivotal time and hopeful to continue to receive City of Melbourne support for 2025. 
We have a wonderful, funded, dynamic program of events scheduled for the rest of 2024 and are committed to returning with clarity, energy and a whole lot of transformative theatre in 2026.

And in 2025 we’ll be supporting numerous artists undertaking research and development of new work, while at the same time undertaking our own crucial period of research and development.

If you would like to have a conversation about supporting La Mama’s future philanthropically, please contact Caitlin on caitlin@lamama.com.au or (03) 9347 6948. You can also make a tax-deductible donation online at any time.

With hope and love,

Caitlin and the La Mama Committee of Management

Images: Glenn Hester Photography