SAYArts looking for new home?

You may remember my blog post of 21 January last when I announced that SAYArts stepped into the breach after the collapse of Urban Myth to give the kids a second chance.


SAYArtsWithout a ready made home St Augustine’s Anglican Church came to their rescue to provide a a venue while they got on their feet. This was a great result as far as I was concerned.

As an elected member of the City of Unley it was great to see them find a home, albeit only temporary as I indicated in that blog post.



As a Warden at the church I felt much pride in being able to assist this group find a way to get on their feet. And get on their feet they have done. All credit to Bec Pannell, Sean Riley and their dedicated team.

St Augustine’s was in a position where they could help because one of their buildings had just become vacant after the completion of a long term lease. After an exhaustive search for suitable replacement tenants they (St Augustine’s) may be on the verge of finding a new tenant. Negotiations are under way as we speak.

There may be a chance that the new tenant may be in a position to sublease the room made available to SAYArts but this is not known at this time and may not be for a few weeks yet. I am not in a position where I can influence this.

It may be therefore that SAYArts will be looking for a new home at the completion of this years second term. That is the end of June.

If you, or someone you know can help them out by providing them with space, I suggest in the order of 80 m2 let me know. I will pass on your offer to Bec.




SAYArts new beginnings

You may remember a post in November of last year called SAYarts taking the initiative after demise of Urban Myth last year wherein I indicated that the kids of Urban Myth were thrown a lifeline by a new Company called South Australian Youth Arts (SAYArts) with the accommodation assistance from St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Unley.

Well, since then, things have been looking up. SAYArts Manager Bec Pannell, proud of the progress made, has written a letter to the Council’s elected members. The transcript which follows I think is self explanatory



Dear Unley Councillors, we thought you might be interested to know that throughout school term time across the week, over 100 kids enter the doors of the Old School Buildings next to St Augustine’s Church on Unley Road. Why?

In September 2014, as Unley’s beloved long-standing Urban Myth Theatre of Youth collapsed, a new little company emerged to take it’s place: South Australian Youth Arts.

Currently operating out of the Old School Buildings next to St Augustine’s Church 183 Unley Road, Unley, SAYarts (as we are affectionately known) provided classes for those who had been stranded by Urban Myth – we have come through terms 3 & 4 of 2014 and are here to stay!

Run by former GM of Urban Myth and former Principal of Lincoln College, Bec Pannell and long-term Unley resident and award-winning playwright Sean Riley (My Sister Violet, Beautiful Words), SAYarts offers classes ranging from the young to young at heart – starting at age five. Between us, Sean and I have over 40 years experience working with youth.

So, Unley still has one of Adelaide’s best youth theatre programs operating within its boundaries – led by professional theatre makers and actors, supported by assistant tutors, and structured around games, stagecraft and children’s wellbeing, we continue to provide excellent service for your ratepayers and their kids! But it’s not only your residents who attend – we attract students from as far afield as Gawler, Myponga and Brighton into the heart of Unley.


In partnership with St Augustine’s (and help from the City of Unley), we hope to continue to offer classes for another 30 years!

If you have a blog, a website or a Facebook page, we would love you to encourage your residents to check out our webpage or Facebook page to see what we do and what we offer.

Facebook: or search South Australian Youth Arts (please LIKE us!)


PS WHAT HAPPENED TO URBAN? We think that Urban Myth is now officially wound up, legally. It is important to note that we are NOT in any way Urban Myth. We just have some similar values when it comes to creating outstanding and supportive environments for kids, and we were lucky enough to have most of their tutors sign on with us!



This is a good news storey and a great one to start the year. I will keep you up to date on their progress starting with whether or not they secure long term occupancy in space available at St Augustine’s. As your Councillor (elected member) and a Warden at St Augustine’s I am actively involved in helping to bring about a suitable arrangement, and I would hope to report on this sooner rather than later.

SAYarts taking the initiative after demise of Urban Myth.

After the shock announcement a few months back that Urban Myth was insolvent and would have to cease operations it was great to see a newly formed company called SAYarts step up to the plate to give the kids an opportunity to continue to learn life skills through theatre.

SAYarts stands for South Australian Youth Arts Theatre Company.

Bec Pannell, who had only just joined Urban Myth when the bad news was announced, jumped to the aid of the kids who felt lost and bewildered when Urban Myth went belly up back in July of this year. She set up with her husband Geoff a new company called South Australian Youth Arts Theatre Company.

Stepping up to the plate with her was Sean Riley, who has taken up the role of Artistic Director with the new company, along with a team of volunteers hell bent on rescuing these kids from the despair they suffered when Urban Myth fell

With some hard work by this very special group of people we see the kids now have a future after it looked quite bleak. They secured a place to conduct their workshops for this last term of 2014 at the now vacant old school of St Augustine’s Anglican Church on the corner of Unley Road and Edmund Avenue, Unley. This has enabled them to complete this year’s program.

Long time supporter, the City of Unley, worked hard to see if they could find a venue for them but before they could come up with a collection of venues around the City which would have been logistically difficult St Augustine’s provided an opportunity for at the very least a temporary home.

And that is what community is all about!

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Bec Pannell announced their 2015 program last Sunday at a BBQ at St Augustine’s. They are hopeful that they will be able to secure a long term occupancy of the St Augustine’s old school building. Negotiations continue positively at the time of writing of this blog post.



It would be fantastic for SAYarts if they could secure a long term occupation of this site as it brings them back to what I suggest is their spiritual home, Edmund Avenue and the nearby Village Green.

Their predecessor Urban Myth occupied the end cottage of the Village Green, on Edmund Avenue for over 30 years before moving to the Goodwood Institute 2 years ago.