In 2012 the Foundation entered into agreements with Monash University and the University of Melbourne to support innovation, experimentation and high production standards in the student comedy revues. These revues have been the breeding ground for a large proportion of Melbourne’s comedy talent over the past thirty years, providing early exposure for many members of Fast Forward, The D Generation, Frontline, Australia You’re Standing In It and others.
This support aims to encourage talented performers to actively participate in Student Revues in a variety of roles, to identify outstanding performances and performers and provide opportunities for the talent to be showcased and developed. It also enables the Universities to act as an incubator for talented performing artists and encourage active participation in performing arts.
The funds expand the range of performance and production options currently available for Student Revues, and the Foundation has also provided an experienced professional performer to mentor, coach and guide the students in all aspects of development and production. In particular, the students have derived great value from scriptwriting and performance workshops that have been held annually for the last five years. Presenters at these workshops have included a large number of leading professional comedy writers, performers and producers, and they have proved to be an invaluable way for the students to rapidly develop new skills and fresh perspectives on the arts of comedy.
The project continues to contribute to a highly successful string of Revues from each campus, with audience numbers, awareness and overall quality of sketches and performance increasing steadily over the last six years. Several recent participants in these shows have now commenced professional careers in radio and TV comedy.