Platform Youth Theatre, established in 1998 and after 18 years finished in 2016, was a company for 16 to 26 year olds emerging artists who wanted to be involved with theatre.
Platform was a Melbourne-based community of young people 16 – 26 plus. Their responsive open door policy reflected a strong commitment to being culturally, economically and socially inclusive. They sought out cross sector partnerships to make new and original theatre works and support young emerging artists to establish professional practice pathways in both industry and community engaged settings.
A long time ago, before the rise and fall of Y2K, approximately in 1998, a small theatre company called Platform Youth Theatre was born in the urban valleys of Darebin. It began as a one-off project initiated by the Darebin Council to create a youth theatre production titled Platform.
After the success and excitement of creating this play, the company continued to make theatre for and by the youth of Darebin, and call itself Platform! However, the company soon outgrew its nest at the Darebin Council and in 2000, the company decided to live out life as an independent beast. Platform became its own incorporated association in 2001. In 2006, Platform moved into the refurbished Northcote Town Hall. Then in 2011, after a few years of programming at venues like 45Downstairs and Donkey Wheel House, the company moved once more into the city, into the artist hub known as ‘Arts House’, next door to the Malthouse and ACCA. In 2016 having been de-funded by both the Australia Council for the Arts, and Creative Victoria, Platform Youth Theatre ended it’s life.
Since that first production in 1998, Platform had created a very special niche within the youth and theatre sectors of Victoria. The company had truly become a respectable citizen in the arts community, well-known for its inclusive cultural development process and sometimes known to boast about the awards it had collected for its productions. It will be sorely missed.