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About Us

State Theatre Company of South Australia is the state’s flagship professional theatre company performing an annual season of classic and contemporary Australian and international theatre works at its main performance home – the Dunstan Playhouse. The Company is a major community and cultural resource for all South Australians and is vital to artistic life in the state.

State Theatre Company also plays an important role in the bigger picture of the Australian theatre scene, contributing touring productions and providing employment and career opportunities for artists and technical and administrative staff. We are committed to the development of new works for the stage and to the development of South Australian artists through our creative fellowship programs.

The date of establishment as the state theatre company dates to the State Theatre Company of South Australia Act of 1972, an initiative of Don Dunstan. Throughout our 40 year history, the Company has played a pivotal role in the careers of many of Australia’s leading actors, writers and directors, attracting artists of the calibre of Miriam Margolyes, Xavier Samuel, Neil Armfield, Ruth Cracknell, Judy Davis, Gale Edwards, Mel Gibson, Garry McDonald, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sharman, Hugo Weaving, Jacki Weaver and John Wood.

Mission Statement

We are a South Australian Company that exists to create great theatre, deliver engaging and illuminating experiences to our audiences, develop our art-form and artists, and to connect our work and artists nationally.

Company Values & Culture

The Company aims to create an environment that fosters creativity, encourages innovation, is intellectually curious, strategic and responsible while also remaining energetic and passionate about what we do. The Company aims to bring the creation of theatre and the relationship between performance and audience to the centre of all of its activities, placing value on the idea that theatre can do something that no other art-form can: it can create communal joy; make emotional excavation a shared process and offer intellectual insights that are accessible to all.

  • As the Flagship Theatre Company for South Australia the Company will:

    • Present work of the highest quality delivering a balanced but exciting program of re-invigorated classics, new Australian work and the very best of new international work;
    • Develop an exciting, adventurous and cohesive programming approach and ‘house style’;
    • Be accessible and inviting to a broad and diverse audience;
    • Be recognised as a national engine-room for the development of new work through our best-practice approach and nurturing of the artists involved;
    • Create a pipe-line of commissions of work that are commissioned with the specific intent of careful development and production;
    • Be a significant player on the national theatre scene, actively engaged in the national conversation;
    • Be respected for the excellence of our creative development, production and performance practices;
    • Work with the best South Australian artists while also providing long term planning for the progression of emerging SA artists;
    • Attract some of the finest (and commercially most attractive) artists in the country due to the unique character of the Company and the optimal working conditions;
    • Embrace cultural diversity in our work both on and off stage;
    • Develop and/or present Aboriginal work annually;
    • Achieve gender parity in key creative roles over every three year programming cycle;
    • Develop potent relationships with festivals, arts centres and other presenters to extend the impact of our work, to present adventurous work in supportive environments and to share costs;
    • Develop a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with the Adelaide Festival Centre;
    • Brilliantly match repertoire and artists providing opportunities for great artists to pursue their passions and excel in execution;
    • Consistently deliver a first-class Education program including a mix of full productions, specially tailored access to the main-stage and workshops;
    • Ensure access to our work across the State through regional touring;
    • Show leadership in the development of the local theatre industry and be strongly connected with and respected by local artists and independent companies;
    • Embrace and exploit the opportunities of one of the best drama theatres in the country (The Dunstan Playhouse) while also creating a second stream of work in vibrant, intimate spaces;
    • Develop flexible non-subscription programming streams that complement our main-stage activities;
    • Create an environment where progressive work is seen as exciting and attractive by both artists and audiences;
    • Make theatre one of the preferred entertainment and cultural options for the community;
    • Engender not only great responses from and attendances by our audiences but also great pride within the wider community;
  • 2016
    Arts South Australia Ruby Award Winner for Community and or Regional Impact over $100,000 – Gorgon
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Comedy – The Popular Mechanicals
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Ensemble – The Popular Mechanicals
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Female Performance – Catherine McClements (The Events)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Male Performance – James Smith (Gorgon)

    2015
    AWGIE Award Winner – Nicki Bloom (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award Winner – Geoff Cobham for Best Scenic Design Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Nicki Bloom, Quentin Grant & Cameron Goodall for Best New Australian Work (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Quentin Grant & Cameron Goodall for Best Original Score (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Anna Cordingley for Best Costume Design (Masquerade)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Mikelangelo & Pip Branson for Best Original Score (Masquerade)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Pamela Rabe for Best Actress In a Supporting Role (Beckett Triptych: Footfalls)
    Glug Award for the Most Outstanding Production for Children – Masquerade

    2014
    Helpmann Award Winner – Best Presentation for Children – Windmill Theatre and State Theatre Company (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award Winner – Rosemary Meyers for Best New Australian Work (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Paul Blackwell for Best Male Actor (Vere – Faith)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Geoff Cobham for Best Lighting Design (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Jethro Woodward for Best Original Score (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Jonathan Oxlade for Best Scenic Design (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Rosemary Meyers for Best Direction of a Musical (Pinocchio)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Comedy – Vere
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Drama – The Dark Room
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Male Performer – Paul Blackwell (Vere)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Female Performer – Jordan Cowan (The Dark Room)
    Sydney Theatre Awards Nomination – Ursula Mills for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Mainstream Production (Kryptonite)
    Sydney Theatre Awards Nomination – Best New Australian Work – Kryptonite
    Sydney Theatre Awards Nomination – Best Production for Children – Windmill Theatre and State Theatre Company (Pinocchio)

    2013
    Helpmann Award Winner – Alison Bell for Best Female Actor (Hedda Gabler)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Best Play (Hedda Gabler)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Actress – Zindzi Okenyo (Random)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Comedy – IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play

    2012
    Adelaide Critics Circle Award – Kate Cheel for Performing Arts Emerging Artist Award (The Glass Menagerie)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Drama – The Glass Menagerie
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Ensemble – Speaking in Tongues

    2011
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Dennis Olsen for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Entertaining Mr Sloane)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Drama – The Zoo Story
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Male Performance – Renato Musolino (The Zoo Story)

    2010
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Dennis Olsen for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role (King Lear)

    2009
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Geordie Brookman for Best Direction of a Musical (Metro Street)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Matthew Robinson for Best New Australian Work (Metro Street)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Matthew Carey for Best Music Direction (Metro Street)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Geoff Cobham for Best Lighting Design (Metro Street)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Jo Stone for Best Choreographer in a Musical (Metro Street)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Best Production (Knives in Hens)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Geordie Brookman for Best Direction (Knives in Hens)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Kate Box for Best Female Performer (Knives in Hens)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Daniel Spielman for Best Male Performer (Knives in Hens)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Robert Menzies for Best Male Performer (Knives in Hens)
    Green Room Award Nomination – Andrew Howard for Best Composition/Sound Design (Knives in Hens)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Musical – Metro Street
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Female Performance – Verity Hunt Ballard (Metro Street)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Technical – Geoff Cobham, Lighting Design (Attempts on her Life)

    2008
    AbaF Giving Award – Vision Impaired Program
    Helpmann Award – James Egglestone for Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera (Little Women)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Andrew Bovell for Best New Australian Work (When The Rain Stops Falling)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Niklas Pajanti for Best Lighting Design (When The Rain Stops Falling)
    Adelaide Critics Circle Award – Jude Henshell for Outstanding Emerging Artist Award (Attempts on Her Life)
    Adelaide Critics Circle Award – Group Award for Brink Productions (with State Theatre and Adelaide Festival), for When the Rain Stops Falling
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Drama – When the Rain Stops Falling
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Technical – Hossein Valamanesh and TheimaGen, Set Design, Video Design and Projection – When the Rain Stops Falling

    2007
    AbaF Marsh Partnering Award for the State Theatre Company Assistant Director Scheme with Major Partner Flinders Power
    Ruby Award – Sustained Contribution celebrating the significant contribution the Company has had on arts and cultural life In South Australia
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Michael Hill for Best Direction of a Play (Waiting for Godot)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Cameron Goodall for Best Male Actor in a Play (Hamlet)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Sean Taylor for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Uncle Vanya)
    Adelaide Critics Circle Award – Cameron Goodall for Professional Individual Award (Hamlet)

    2006
    Ruby Award – Best New Work (Honk If You Are Jesus)
    Helpmann Award – Marion Potts for Best Direction of a Play (Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? for Best Play
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Victoria Longley for Best Female Actor in a Play (Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Cameron Goodall for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Michaela Cantwell for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Honk if You Are Jesus)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Comedy – Honk if You Are Jesus

    2005
    Helpmann Award Nomination – William Zappa for Best Male Actor in a Play (Death of a Salesman)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Robyn Nevin for Best Direction of a Play (Hedda Gabler)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Amber McMahon for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Afternoon of the Elves)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Individual Female Performance – Amber McMahon (Boston Marriage)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award Best Show Drama – Drums in the Night

    2004
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Paul Blackwell for Best Male Actor in a Play (Night Letters)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Deidre Rubenstein for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Night Letters)
    5 Greenroom nominations (Night Letters)
    Shortlisted for NSW Premier’s Literature Award (Night Letters)

    2001
    Green Room Awards – Holy Day won two awards from ten nominations

  • The South Australian Theatre Company (SATC) was established in 1965 under the artistic direction of John Tasker. The date of establishment as the state theatre company dates to the State Theatre Company of South Australia Act of 1972, an initiative of Don Dunstan. The name of the company was changed to its current name in 1980 as a reflection of this act. The director of the company in its inaugural year was George Ogilvie.

    In 1974, the SATC became the resident theatre company of the newly built Adelaide Festival Centre, performing mostly in The Playhouse (later The Dunstan Playhouse, which is still the company’s primary venue), and was the first state theatre company in Australia to hold its entire operations in one purpose-made building.

    In 1977, Magpie Theatre was established as the youth arm of the company. It was lost in 1997, partially due to loss of funding after reconstruction of Arts SA.

    Under the artistic direction of Jim Sharman, the company was renamed Lighthouse and acted as an ensemble theatre company with twelve actors: Robynne Bourne, Peter Cummins, Melissa Jaffer (replaced in 1983 by Jacqy Phillips), Alan John (also composer in residence), Gillian Jones, Melita Jurisic, Russell Kiefel, Stuart McCreery, Robert Menzies (replaced by Robert Grubb), Geoffrey Rush, Kerry Walker and John Wood .

    From 1996 when she was artistic director, Chris Westwood subtitled the company Australian Playhouse, with the goal of presenting only Australian works until the end of the century. However, Westwood resigned under pressure at the end of 1997, and the company returned to a more orthodox season.

    (Milne, G, 2004, Theatre Australia (un)limited, Rodopi Press)

  • 2013-Present: Geordie Brookman
    2005-2012: Adam Cook
    2000-2004: Rosalba Clemente
    1998-1999: Rodney Fisher
    1993-1997: Chris Westwood (Executive Producer)
    1989-1993: Simon Phillips
    1986-1989: John Gaden
    1984-1986: Keith Gallasch
    1982-1984: Jim Sharman
    1976-1979: Colin George
    1972-1976: George Ogilvie

    (prior to official conception as the State Theatre Company)
    1969-1972: Peter Batey
    1968-1969: Les Dayman
    1965-1968: John Tasker

    Click here to download a listing of State Theatre Company plays performed since 1965.