Ready to take a leap into the unknown? BATS' annual STAB production showcases theatrical innovation in all its many forms. It's a rare chance for artists to be given the financial resource required to realise something ambitious, experimental or unusual. With support from Creative New Zealand we're able to offer them a chance to take a stab at a new idea and give Wellington audiences the chance to see something they've never seen before.

The Commission

STAB originated in 1995 from BATS Theatre’s desire to initiate a commission that allowed theatre artists to experiment in a supportive environment. For the past few years, with the awesome support of Creative New Zealand, BATS has been able to offer:

  • One major STAB commission of between $50,000 and $65,000

  • One STAB LAB commission of between $10,000 – $15,000

The aim of STAB is:
  • To secure and provide a significant level of funding (the commission) to support the creation of innovative, pioneering performance work.

  • To commission new New Zealand performance work.

  • To support this work from inception through a production process to presentation.

  • To promote BATS as host to the most innovative theatre in New Zealand, with its finger on the creative pulse of the performing arts.

  • To support a national community of pioneering artists who strive to push boundaries in their performance work.


STAB LAB is a workshop model through which BATS will invite one company to
undertake intensive development of an idea, culminating in at least one showing to
invited industry guests and members of the public.

The aim of STAB LAB is to give a small resource to practitioners who wish to test
out their thinking in a supportive environment. It is intended that STAB LAB will
assist in achieving one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Developing and/or testing an idea to the point at which the company can
    decide whether or not it is feasible to continue to work towards a full
    production in its current form.

  • Identifying and/or finding solutions to challenges both anticipated and not
    anticipated in the conception of an idea.

  • Generating material that can be pitched to funders, festivals or theatres for a
    full production.