Harvest Rain Theatre Company
|Years active||1985 - present|
Since its inception in 1985, Harvest Rain has produced theatre productions at a range of venues throughout Brisbane. From 1985 to 2008 the company operated out of the Sydney Street Theatre in New Farm. Now, Harvest Rain presents most of its major productions at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank, while the base of the company's operations and training facility is the Hayward Street Studios in Stafford on Brisbane's northside.
Harvest Rain's CEO and Artistic Director is Tim O'Connor.
In 2014, the company presented its first full season of professional musical theatre, including productions of Guys and Dolls starring Ian Stenlake and Daryl Somers, Spamalot starring Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Frank Woodley and Julie Anthony, and an arena production of Cats starring Marina Prior and featuring over 500 performers on stage, making it the largest production of Cats ever staged in the southern hemisphere.
In 2015, the company produced a production of The Pirates of Penzance to celebrate QPAC's 30th birthday. The show starred Andrew O'Keefe, John Wood and Nancye Hayes and featured Billy Bourchier as Frederic and Georgina Hopson as Mabel, in their professional debut. The production was directed by Simon Gallaher.
Harvest Rain began life in 1985 as a small drama group in New Farm, Queensland, Australia. The founding members of the company were the brothers Robbie Parkin and David Parkin and the husband and wife team Chris Crooks and Judy Crooks. The name "Harvest Rain" was chosen because Chris Crooks liked the word "harvest" and the team felt that the word "rain" softened it. The company initially staged a range of amateur productions and the shows featured a small ensemble of dedicated actors.
For 23 years the company operated out of the Sydney Street Theatre in New Farm but in 2008 they spread their wings and moved to the Mina Parade Warehouse in Alderley and began presenting all their mainhouse productions at QPAC.
In 2012, the company announced that it was in the final stages of transitioning into becoming a fully professional musical theatre company, the first of its kind in Queensland. The company's 2013 production of Oklahoma! was the first fully professional musical the company staged.
At the end of 2013, Artistic Director Tim O'Connor announced that the company's 2014 season would be their first full season of professional musical theatre, including productions of Guys and Dolls starring Ian Stenlake and Daryl Somers, Spamalot starring Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Frank Woodley and Julie Anthony, and an arena production of Cats starring Marina Prior and featuring over 500 performers on stage, making it the largest production of Cats ever staged in the southern hemisphere.
In 2014, the company moved their training, rehearsals, and administration to a state of the art building on the north side of Brisbane known as the Hayward Street Studios. They continued to produce musicals, mostly at QPAC but also at other venues throughout Queensland.
- Australian Stage (March 2010). "Divas return in affordable theatre show". Retrieved March 2010.
- Artshub (November 2013). "New dawn for Harvest Rain". Retrieved November 2013.
- Tonya Turner (28 November 2009). "New home and new life for theatre company". Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- Brisbane Kids Magazine (November 2014). "Harvest Rain at Hayward Street". Retrieved November 2014.
- Aussie Theatre (January 2014). "Professional musical theatre for Brisbane". Retrieved January 2014.
- Sydney Morning Herald (December 2013). "Hey Hey it's Harvest Rain's first professional season". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved December 2013.
- Brisbane Times (March 2015). "Queensland theatre excellence at Matilda Awards". Retrieved March 2015.
- Aussie Theatre (December 2014). "The Pirates are Aboard for QPAC’s 30th birthday". Retrieved December 2014.
- TheatrePeople (September 2011). "Reaping the Harvest". Retrieved September 2011.
- Bmag (September 2013). "Harvest Rain plans bountiful theatre year". Retrieved September 2013.
- Scene Magazine (March 2010). "Harvest Rain 25 interview". Retrieved March 2010.
- Creativespaces (January 2015). "Harvest Rain opens Hayward Street Studios". Retrieved January 2015.