Students attending The Boy at the Edge of Everything (2015) - Photo by Tim Grey

Visiting with School Groups

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I discuss with my students before visiting MTC?

MTC is proud to present world-class theatre for young audiences and we welcome school groups of all sizes. If you’re bringing students to MTC for their first theatre experience, you may wish to discuss the differences between the cinema and the theatre. For example, the actors can see and hear the audience so it’s best to wait until interval or after the show to talk.

Theatre is a shared experience between actors and audience, so authentic responses like laughing, cheering and clapping are welcomed. However, if students are making noises intended to distract actors or audience members, ushers may ask them to leave.

We’ve found that students tend to be more engaged with the show if they have some prior understanding of the production. We recommend using our Education Packs to prepare students for their visit to MTC.

It may be helpful to remind all students of the following:

  • Turn off mobile phones inside the theatre
  • Photography and video recording is prohibited during the performance
  • Food and drinks are not permitted inside the theatre, but you can bring a plastic water bottle inside
  • Listening to music with headphones is distracting to the actors and other audience members

Teachers are responsible for students at all times while on theatre premises. To assist with your planning, we recommend downloading the Teacher’s Excursion Checklist on the right-hand side of this page.

Can students bring large school bags to the theatre?

Due to safety procedures, Southbank Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne do not permit large school bags to be taken inside the theatre. We have very limited storage space for bags, so please arrange for students to leave their bags at school or bring a small bag to stow under their seat. MTC does not assume responsibility for cloaked items, so always advise students to keep valuables with them.

Can my students take notes during the performance?

We recommend that you tell students not to take notes during the performance. We think immersing themselves in the performance will enhance students’ experience of the show, and taking notes can be distracting for the actors.

We’re attending a Pre-Show Talk. Where can we eat lunch before the show?

Southgate Complex, located on the banks of the Yarra River, is well suited to large school groups. There are a variety of restaurants, cafes, and takeaway outlets within the complex. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate school groups who wish to eat lunch in the Southbank Theatre foyers.

What happens if my students need to leave the theatre during the show?

Should one of your students need to visit the toilet during a show, or leave the auditorium for any reason, please be mindful that you may not be re-admitted to the auditorium until a suitable point in the performance. Every show is different, so it’s best to ask the usher if you’re unsure.

How do I know if a production is suitable for my students?

MTC’s Parents Guide contains information about the age-appropriateness of each production to help you make the right choice. You can also contact our Education Ticketing Officer on 8688 0963.

This is our first excursion to MTC. How do we get there?

Please check the venue of the event. The Sumner and Lawler are located at Southbank Theatre, while the Playhouse and Fairfax Studio are located inside Arts Centre Melbourne. All MTC venues are located a short walk from Flinders Street Station. A transport map is available to download on the right-hand side of this page.

There are four disabled parking spaces along Dodds Street, each with a four hour restriction. For more information about getting to our venues, access, parking and dining, click here. We recommend that you plan to arrive at the venue 30 minutes prior to the starting time.

What happens if we’re running late?

We don’t want you to miss out on the show, so we recommend that you plan to arrive at the venue 30 minutes prior to the starting time.

It can be distracting to actors and audience members when people enter the theatre after the show has started, so some shows have lock-out periods in order to maintain a captivating and engaging performance.

MTC reserves the right to admit latecomers only when/if there is a suitable break in the performance, and to relocate seating. MTC’s Latecomer Policy is available here.

I’ve received my tickets in the mail. What should I do with them now?

We recommend that teachers hold on to all tickets until you arrive at the venue. Prior to entering the theatre, distribute a ticket to each student. Tickets must be shown upon entry to the auditorium and kept by the student for the duration of the performance. If allocated seating applies, students must sit in their assigned seat. Ushers will direct students to their seats.

Is Southbank Theatre wheelchair accessible?

Yes. MTC is committed to making performances accessible to the widest possible audience. If you or your students have access requirements, we are happy to accommodate you. Please make your requirements known when booking. For more information about the various services we offer, click here.

Where can I park our vehicle?

Drop off points for chartered buses are located in the (city-bound) service lane of St Kilda Road outside the NGV and Hamer Hall, but there is no parking permitted at these locations. Two hour bus parking is available opposite Arts Centre Melbourne along St Kilda Road and is regulated by the Melbourne City Council. For more details please visit melbourne.vic.gov.au or call (03) 9658 9658.

Parking is available at the Australian Ballet Centre, with a height restriction of 2.1 metres. For more information about this car park, click here.

Parking is also available at Arts Centre Melbourne, but note the height restriction of 1.9 metres. For more information, visit artscentremelbourne.com.au/your-visit/car-parking

Will MTC serve alcohol to students over the age of 18?

People with valid ID who are legally of age can purchase alcohol from the theatre’s foyer bars. Please advise your students who are legally of age if they are permitted to consume alcohol on school excursions prior to attending the show.

Where can I find risk assessment guidelines for schools?

A Risk Assessment Guidelines for Schools document is available to download on the right-hand side of this page.

I still have questions. Who should I ask?

Our Education Ticketing Officer is happy to assist you 03 8688 0963.