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About

State Theatre Company South Australia is the flagship theatre company of South Australia and is a resident artistic company of the Adelaide Festival Centre.

We commission, perform and tour theatrical productions of new and existing, classic and contemporary, Australian and international work. From a rich legacy of visionary theatre makers and landmark theatrical productions, we strive to make, present and promote phenomenal, transformative, and inclusive theatre that enriches South Australian and Australian culture.

We are also committed to a diversity of voices (including First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse voices) and audiences and access to all. State Theatre Company South Australia is committed to providing platforms and pushing boundaries and for being recognised for high quality and large-scale theatrical storytelling that has an eye to the sky but an ear to the ground.

  • Established in 1972 under the State Theatre Company South Australia Act as an initiative of former Premier Don Dunstan, State Theatre Company South Australia is a statutory authority that reports to the Premier of South Australia through the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

    The Company works out of several bases – its chief performance home is the Dunstan Playhouse at the Adelaide Festival Centre; its administrative offices are located in the Fowler’s Building of the Lion Arts Centre; and its temporary production offices, workshop, wardrobe, prop store and rehearsal room are located in the former E.S. Wigg and Son building in Thebarton.

    The Company has a diverse revenue base of state and federal funding, box office income (subscribers and single ticket buyers), private donors, corporate sponsors, philanthropic foundations and other commercial income including set and costume construction and costume and prop rentals.

    The Company’s state-wide education program is one of the strongest in the country. Over the past seven years, the Company has commissioned plays written especially for and about teenage and young audiences which have played regionally and in Adelaide. The Company also provides a comprehensive annual work experience program and summer school for high school students.

    Co-productions are at the heart of the Company’s operations, ensuring that South Australian artists are seen on national and international stages. The Company also regularly collaborates with interstate and international artists, increasing income potential and extending the life of its productions in seasons beyond Adelaide.

    The Company has a long tradition of supporting new playwriting and regularly commissions new and established playwrights, with a high number making it to full production. It also supports the Jill Blewett Playwright Award and Flinders University Young Playwrights Award.

    Support of local artists and theatre companies is a key part of the Company’s commitment to fostering talent and resources. Each year, the Company provides resources to South Australian independent artists and companies in the development and presentation of their work though programs such as Stateside, State Resident and other creative development programs.

    Throughout our 47 year history, the Company has played a pivotal role in the careers of many of Australia’s leading actors, directors, designers and writers, attracting artists of the calibre of Paul Blackwell, Nancye Hayes, Jacki Weaver, Judy Davis, Colin Friels, Robyn Nevin, Miriam Margolyes, Xavier Samuel, Miranda Tapsell, Hsiao-Ling Tang, Mel Gibson, Garry McDonald, Nathan O’Keefe, Mitchell Butel, Pamela Rabe, Peter Carroll, John Wood, Lisa McCune, Caroline O’Connor, Edwin Hodgeman, Carmel Johnson, Kelton Pell, Dennis Olsen, Don Barker, Jada Alberts, Nathan Page, Elena Carapetis, Amber McMahon, Ursula Yovich, Melita Jurisic, Ruth Cracknell, Neil Armfield, Jim Sharman, Geoffrey Rush, Simon Phillips, John Gaden, Rosalba Clemente, Adam Cook, Geordie Brookman, Rodney Fisher, Catherine Fitzgerald, Nescha Jelk, Nigel Levings, Ken Wilby, Tony Tripp, Geoff Cobham, Ailsa Patterson, Sue Smith, Alexis West and Michael Gow.

    As a member of the Confederation of State Theatres (CAST) and National Performing Arts Partnership Framework, the Company plays important and considered leadership roles in the national performing arts landscape.

  • Vision

    To make, present and promote phenomenal, transformative, and inclusive theatre that enriches South Australian and Australian culture.

    To inspire re-thinking and share being in the moment.

    To create anticipation. Immersion and surprise.

    Purpose

    The State Theatre Company of South Australia Act 1972 defines the Functions of the Company as follows (Division 2, part 4):

    • to present, produce, manage and conduct theatrical performances
    • to promote the writing of plays or drama
    • to promote public interest and participation in the art of the theatre
    • to establish and conduct schools, courses, lectures, seminars and discussions on the art of theatre; and
    • to promote the training of persons concerned in the production, presentation or performance of theatrical presentations

    We honour these Functions and apply them to the present moment. We celebrate the theatrical endeavour of our predecessors at State Theatre Company South Australia and its precursors and their indelible role in the story of Australian dramatic self-expression.

    We are the current custodians of State Theatre Company South Australia and we have a duty to leave the Company in a stronger position for the next generation of theatre makers and audiences.

    We are respectful and empathetic in our relationships and dealings inside and outside of the Company. We support each other as we strive for excellence in theatre making.

    We strive to include and reach the diverse people and communities we serve in South Australia and Australia.

    We are accountable to each other, artists, audiences, the theatre sector and the community.

  • State Theatre Company South Australia creates, produces and promotes phenomenal, inclusive and transformative theatre experiences that enrich South Australian and Australian culture.

    We believe that theatre is the most direct of art forms where anticipation, immersion and humanity can be shared and where text, design, performance, sound, motion and mutual witnessing coalesce to engender joy, transcendence and personal and social change. We make people re-think.

    We make theatre that reflects and reshapes the world in which we live and is inspired by and represents the diversity of that world. We recognise that we live and work on Kaurna land and ensure First Nations people and voices are a vital part of the company. We support the right of these artists to self-determine their creative identity.

    In all we do, we seek to play, disrupt and surprise.

    Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Mitchell Butel and Executive Director, Julian Hobba, we…

    – exist for our audiences, our artists and our community;

    – commission new South Australian and Australian theatre of scale and perform and tour this work, along with existing Australian and international classic and contemporary work;

    – provide opportunities and platforms for a majority of South Australian theatre artists and technicians and extend their practice, skills and impact;

    – provide opportunities and platforms for other Australian and international theatre artists;

    – provide our audiences a range of artists that provide a range of experiences, genres, forms and content;

    – guarantee significant First Nations-led and cast work;

    – ensure significant culturally and linguistic diverse representation and leadership within our works;

    – ensure artistic representation from other diverse communities according to age, sexuality and ability;

    – commit to gender parity of playwrights and directors;

    – strive continually for excellence in all our artistic work;

    – program works that test and push artistic boundaries;

    – program to ensure a broad appeal for a cross section of audiences;

    – promote to ensure broad engagement from a cross section of audiences;

    – maintain current audiences and grow new ones;

    – enjoy being the home company of the Dunstan Playhouse at the Adelaide Festival Centre;

    – tour regional South Australia extensively;

    – seek and secure co-production opportunities and collaborations with other South Australian arts organisations and artists, and interstate and international companies and venues;

    – provide access to productions for those with access challenges and needs;

    – perform for and connect with education audiences and provide resources and opportunities for them;

    – advocate for our audiences, artists, community, art form and sector;

    – honour the company’s history and legacy and strive to ensure the health and impact of its future;

    – celebrate, demonstrate and promote the value of art and theatre in creating empathy, connection and personal and social wellbeing.

  • State Theatre Company is a signatory to the Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST) National Code of Behaviour. You can view it here.

  • 2019

    Helpmann Award winner – Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Paul Blackwell (Faith Healer)
    Ruby Award winner – Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement: Paul Blackwell (dual winner with David Gulpilil)
    Ruby Award winner – Frank Ford Memorial Young Achiever Award: Tilda Cobham-Hervey
    Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award winner – Best Show – Comedy/Drama: The Gods of Strangers
    Adelaide Critics Circle Award for Best Individual Performance: Mark Saturno (A View from the Bridge)

     

    2018
    Helpmann Award winner – Best Supporting Actor: Mitchell Butel (Mr Burns with Belvoir)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Costume Design: Jonathan Oxlade (Mr Burns with Belvoir)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Female Actor in a Play: Miranda Daughtry (A Doll’s House)
    Arts South Australia Ruby Award finalist – Best Work or Event within a Festival: In The Club
    Arts South Australia Made in Adelaide Award finalist: Things I Know To Be True
    Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award winner – Best Ensemble: Sense and Sensibility
    Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award winner – Lighting Design: Geoff Cobham (Macbeth)

    2017
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play:  Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Things I Know to Be True)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Play: Things I Know to Be True (with Frantic Assembly)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Show Comedy/Drama: Mr Burns (with Belvoir)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Show Musical/Opera: Rumpelstiltskin (with Windmill Theatre Co)

    2016
    Arts South Australia Ruby Award winner – 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 – Best Scenic Design: Geoff Cobham  (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best New Australian Work: Nicki Bloom, Quentin Grant & Cameron Goodall (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Original Score: Quentin Grant & Cameron Goodall (Little Bird)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Costume Design: Anna Cordingley (Masquerade)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Original Score: Mikelangelo & Pip Branson (Masquerade)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Best Actress In a Supporting Role: Pamela Rabe (Beckett Triptych: Footfalls)
    Glug Award – Most Outstanding Production for Children: – Masquerade

    2014
    Helpmann Award winner – Best Presentation for Children: Windmill Theatre and State Theatre Company (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award winner – Best New Australian Work: Rosemary Meyers (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Male Actor: Paul Blackwell (Vere – Faith)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Lighting Design: Geoff Cobham (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Original Score: Jethro Woodward (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Scenic Design: Jonathan Oxlade (Pinocchio)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Direction of a Musical: Rosemary Meyers (Pinocchio)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Comedy: Vere
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Drama: The Dark Room
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Male Performer: Paul Blackwell (Vere)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Female Performer: Jordan Cowan (The Dark Room)
    Sydney Theatre Awards nomination – Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Mainstream Production: Ursula Mills (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 – Best Female Actor: Alison Bell (Hedda Gabler)
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Play: Hedda Gabler
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Actress: Zindzi Okenyo (Random)
    Adelaide Theatre Guide ‘Curtain Call’ Award winner – Best Comedy: IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2004
    Helpmann Award nomination – Best Male Actor in a Play: Paul Blackwell (Night Letters)
    Helpmann Award Nomination – Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play: Deidre Rubenstein (Night Letters)
    Greenroom Awards – five nominations: Night Letters
    NSW Premier’s Literature Award – shortlisted: Night Letters

    2001
    Green Room Awards – two awards, 10 nominations: Holy Day

  • 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)

  • 2019-present: Mitchell Butel
    2013-2018: 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 State Theatre Company:
    1969-1972: Peter Batey
    1968-1969: Les Dayman
    1965-1968: John Tasker

All performances of THE 7 STAGES OF GRIEVING have been cancelled, click through for more info.