In September 2002 the Theatre Board of the Australia Council decided to undertake a national review of Theatre for Young People. The NSW Ministry for the Arts had approached the Australia Council with the idea after a series of funding cuts to NSW companies - REM Theatre lost federal funding in 2001, as did Theatre of Image in 2002, and Freewheels, based in Newcastle, had its funding halved.
The Australia Council found it was funding performance for young audiences $600,000 less than it was a decade before, and was still relying for policy in the area on the notes from the December 1991 Performing Arts Board meeting that were harshly critical of work for young audiences and effectively announced the end of federal funding for Theatre in Education (TIE). Lowdown communicated, in the pages of the magazine and in discussions with the Australia Council, that the idea of no federal theatre funding for the adult audiences of Sydney would be an outrage. So why were the children of Sydney less important?
Jane Woollard examined the NSW cuts, the McLean/Richer paper and other issues in 'Reviewing Theatre for Young People'.