Griffin Theatre Company
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Griffin Theatre Company is an Australian theatre specialising in new writing. It is the resident theatre company at the SBW Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia. It is the only professional theatre company in Sydney entirely dedicated to the development and production of new Australian writing for the stage.
The Artistic Director is Lee Lewis, who took up the position in 2013. Previous Artistic Directors include Sam Strong (2010-2013), Nick Marchand (2006–2010), David Berthold (2003–06), Ros Horin (1992–2003), Ian Watson and the original Artistic Director, Peter Kingston.
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The following early history of Griffin is taken from the published history included in most early programmes, in this particular instance The Currency Press Current Theatre Series publication for 'Morning Sacrifice' by Dymphna Cusack (1986 Currency Press Pty Ltd):
"It was in 1979 that Peter Carmody, Penny Cook, Rosemarie Lenzo and Robert Menzies banded together under the directorship of Jenny Laing-Peach to present the Irish play 'The Ginger Man' by J.P. Donleavy at the Kirk Gallery in Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. They made a profit and went on to produce two Australian plays by John Stone at the Orange Door in Oxford St. Paddington - 'Discovering Australia' and 'The Grand Finale of Rene Trouver', directed by Peter Kingston."
The name 'Griffin' derived from the name of the street in Surry Hills in which Jenny Laing-Peach lived. Slowly the group enlarged (incorporating quite a few NIDA graduates) and next presented Joe Orton's 'Ruffian on the Stair' at the ANU Canberra in March 1980. After talks with Bob Ellis and Anne Brooksbank, the owners of The Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, they were offered a lease. A month later 'Ruffian' played as a lunch-time and late-night programme with David Williamson's 'The Coming of Stork' in the main timeslot.
For the next two years a mixture of overseas and Australian plays were presented at The Stables. But more and more the Company was becoming aware of the amount of Australian writing talent available and in May 1981 after successful readings of four new plays, the decision was made to adopt an all-Australian policy.
Applications were made to both the New South Wales and Commonwealth funding bodies and small grants were obtained. In 1982 the Company kicked off with Grant Fraser's 'Cheap Thrills' and since then...Australian plays have been produced, most of which have been premieres. Writers represented are Stephen Sewell, Barry Dickins, Ron Blair, Steve J. Spears, Mil Perrin, Craig Cronin, Ingle Knight, Pamela Van Amstel, Ray Mathew, Clem Gorman, Ned Manning, Ross Lonnie, Doreen Clarke, Gordon Graham, Jennifer Paynter, Greg McCart, Mij Tanith, John Stone, Brett Murphy, Hannie Rayson and Michael Gow. For the 1984 season the Company was awarded 'The Sydney Critic's Circle Award' for the most significant contribution to theatre that year."
In 1986 Peter Kingston was appointed the Company's first ever Artistic Director. He was followed into that position by Ian Watson.
In 1999, The Sun Herald described Griffin as Australia's ‘Theatre of the Decade'.
Cate Blanchett and Jacqueline McKenzie began their professional careers at Griffin. The films Lantana, The Boys, and The Heartbreak Kid (which later spun off into the television series Heartbreak High) were based on plays produced by Griffin. Away, Australia's most produced contemporary play, also started at the company.
- Masquerade By Kate Mulvany. 7-17 January 2015
- The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ By Zoey Dawson. 21 January - 7 February 2015
- Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens By Mayu Kanamori. 10 - 21 February 2015
- Caress/Ache By Suzie Miller. 27 February - 11 April 2015
- Five Properties of Chainmale By Nicholas Hope. 15 April - 9 May 2015
- The House on the Lake By Aidan Fennessy. 15 May - 20 June 2015
- The Dapto Chaser By Mary Rachel Brown. 1 - 25 July 2015
- The Bleeding Tree By Angus Cerini. 31 July - 5 September 2015
- MinusOneSister By Anna Barnes. 9 September - 3 October 2015
- A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il By Kit Brookman. 9 October - 21 November 2015
- A Riff on Keef: The Human Myth By Benito Di Fonzo. 25 November - 12 December 2015
- Dreams in White - by Duncan Graham
- The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars - by Van Badham
- Beached - by Melissa Bubnic
- The Floating World - by John Romeril
- The Boys - by Gordon Graham
- The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself - by Bojana Novakovic, music by Tim Rogers, after the writings of Mary MacLane
- Angela's Kitchen - by Paul Capsis and Julian Meyrick
- A Hoax - by Rick Viede
- Between Two Waves - by Ian Meadows
- Speaking in Tongues - by Andrew Bovell
- Silent Disco - by Lachlan Philpott
- And No More Shall We Part - by Tom Holloway
- This Year's Ashes - by Jane Bodie
- Museum of Broken Relationships - by the Griffin Audience, in collaboration with Ian Meadows, Kate Mulvany, Shannon Murphy, Paige Rattray
- Love Me Tender - by Tom Holloway
- Like A Fishbone by Anthony Weigh
- Quack by Ian Wilding
- Impractical Jokes by Charlie Pickering
- The Seven Needs by 7-ON (Donna Abela, Vanessa Bates, Hilary Bell, Noëlle Janaczewska, Verity Laughton, Ned Manning and Catherine Zimdahl) (Script)
Running since 2004 (then called Griffin Stablemates), in parallel to Griffin's own mainstage season of new Australian plays, Griffin Independent is an annual season of 5-6 new international plays presented by independent theatre companies. Plays presented by Griffin Independent include:
- For A Better World by Roland Schimmelpfennig
- The Pigeons by David Gieselmann
- Way To Heaven by Juan Mayorga
- S-27 - by Sarah Grochala
- Orestes 2.0 - by Charles Mee
- Crestfall by Mark O'Rowe
- Shining City by Conor Mcpherson
- References To Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by José Rivera
- Under Ice by Falk Richter
- Dealing With Clair by Martin Crimp
- The Distance From Here - by Neil LaBute
- Tattoo - by Dea Loher
Commissioned and Premiered Works
Playwrights whose work has premiered at Griffin include:
- Glenda Adams - The Monkey Trap (1998)
- Richard Barrett - The Heartbreak Kid (1987)
- Hilary Bell - Wolf Lullaby (1996), The Falls (2000)
- Andrew Bovell - After Dinner (1989), Whisky on the Breath of a Drunk You Love (1992), Speaking in Tongues (1996), Ship of Fools (1999)
- Brendan Cowell - Rabbit (2003)
- Timothy Daly - Kafka Dances (1993), The Moonwalkers (1995), Private Visions of Gottfried Kellner (1999)
- Wesley Enoch - The Story of the Miracles at Cookie's Table (2007)
- Gordon Graham - The Boys (1991)
- Michael Gow - Away (1986), Europe (1987), Live Acts on Stage (1996)
- Noel Hodda - The Secret House (1987), Half Safe (1990),
- Ingle Knight - White Nancy (1982)
- Ned Manning - Us or Them (1984), Belonging (2007)
- Tommy Murphy - Strangers in Between (2005), Holding the Man (Adapted from the book by Timothy Conigrave, 2006)
- Louis Nowra - Death of Joe Orton, The Boyce Trilogy:The Woman with Dog's Eyes (2004), The Marvellous Boy (2005), The Emperor of Sydney (2006)
- Debra Oswald - Mr Bailey’s Minder (2004), The Peach Season (2006)
- Stephen Sewell -The Father We Loved On A Beach By The Sea (1981), In Stillness My Sister Speaks to Me (1990), The Secret Death of Salvador Dali (2004), Three Furies Scenes from the life of Francis Bacon (2005) 
- Katherine Thomson - Wonderlands (2003), "King Tide" (2007) 
- Ian Wilding - Below (2000), Torrez (2004), "October" (2007) 
- Catherine Zimdahl - Clark in Sarajevo (1998) 
Bestowed annually since 1998, the Griffin Award is offered to the most outstanding new work as read and judged by a panel appointed by Griffin. One stipulation on entry is that all works submitted have not been performed or produced prior.
- 1998 - Catherine Zimdahl for Clark in Sarajevo
- 1999 - Neil Cole for Alive at Williamstown Pier
- 2000 - Ian Wilding for Below
- 2001 - Verity Laughton for Burning
- 2002 - Noelle Janacsewska for Songket and Patrick Van der Werf for Presence
- 2003 - Brendan Cowell for Rabbit
- 2004 - Debra Oswald for Mr Bailey's Minder
- 2005 - Ian Wilding for The Carnivores
- 2006 - Mary Rachel Brown for Australian Gothic
- 2007 - Damien Millar for Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures
- 2008 - Rick Viede for Whore
- 2009 - Lachlan Philpott for Silent Disco
- Griffin Theatre Company website
- 'Company profile', Griffin Theatre Company (2009). Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- 'Griffin Production Archive', Griffin Theatre Company (2009). Retrieved 6 December 2009.