Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find risk assessment guidelines for schools?
A Risk Assessment Guidelines for Schools document is available to download here.
MTC is a department of the University of Melbourne. You can download our Certificate of Currency here.
What COVID-safety procedures are in place at Southbank Theatre?
Southbank Theatre is a fully vaccinated venue. In accordance with government regulations, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or valid medical exemption will be required for anyone over the age of 12 years and 2 months to enter Southbank Theatre. All staff at MTC venues will likewise be fully vaccinated. You will be required to check-in on arrival and show proof of your vaccination status or medical exemption before you enter the building.
You can read about our COVID-safety policies and procedures here. If you are unwell, stay home.
If you're attending an MTC production at Arts Centre Melbourne, please check the procedures in place on their website.
Can students bring large school bags to the theatre?
Due to safety procedures, Southbank Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne do not permit large bags to be taken inside the theatre. Please arrange for students to leave their bags at school or bring a small bag to stow under their seat.
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.
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.
Where can we eat lunch before the show?
The newly landscaped forecourt of Southbank Theatre has seating areas, as does the courtyard between Melbourne Recital Centre and the Victorian College of the Arts. 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 front-of-house staff if you’re unsure.
How do I know if a production is suitable for my students?
For recommendations about the age-appropriateness of each production, and detailed information about each production’s content (including spoilers), see our Production Content Guide.
How do we get to the show?
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 here.
There are disabled parking spaces along Dodds Street. 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.
What should I do with my students' tickets?
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. 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.
I still have questions. Who should I ask?