Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
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The Malthouse Theatre (on the right), behind the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
Coordinates: Malthouse Theatre is the resident theatre company of The Coopers Malthouse building in Southbank, part of the Melbourne Arts Precinct. In the 1980s they were known as the Playbox Theatre Company and were housed in the Playbox Theater in Melbourne.
The Playbox Theatre Company was dedicated to supporting Australian playwrights and producing new Australian plays throughout the 1980. Originally called "Hoopla!", it was housed in Melbourne's Playbox Theatre in Exhibition Street before it was destroyed by fire in 1984.
In 1990, the company moved to new premises at the old Carlton and United Breweries Malthouse. In 2003, under incoming artistic director Michael Kantor and executive producer, Steven Armstrong, the company changed its name to Malthouse Theatre. While it continues to produce new Australian theatre, the company no longer limits itself to new Australian texts.
The Coopers Malthouse building
Originally built in 1892 as a brewery and malting works, the Malthouse building was donated by Carlton and United Breweries for the creation and presentation of contemporary Australian theatre in 1990. The Coopers Malthouse at 113 Sturt Street now houses three theatres (500-seat Merlyn Theatre, the 175-seat Beckett Theatre and the 100-seat Tower Theatre), administration, rehearsal studios and a vibrant cafe and bar. Malthouse Theatre's scenic workshop is located in the neighbouring 111 Sturt Street complex, which includes Chunky Move contemporary dance company and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
Malthouse Theatre’s core artistic team is led by its Artistic Director Marion Potts and includes Associate Artists David Chisholm (composition), Lally Katz (Writing), Matthew Lutton (Directing), Mark Pritchard (Dramaturg) and Jason Tamiru (Indigenous Engagement). These artists, along with Executive Producer Sarah Neal, Associate Producer Josh Wright and the extended Malthouse Theatre team curate a combination of new commissions, local collaborations and national/international co-productions.
Malthouse Theatre produces and/or presents up to twenty productions annually, from drama to contemporary opera, music theatre and cabaret, to contemporary dance and physical theatre - a multidisciplinary contemporary theatre where the combined possibilities of all the theatre arts are offered centre-stage. The company regularly co-produces with local and national performing arts companies and tours nationally and internationally. In recent years, Malthouse Theatre productions have been presented by the Edinburgh Festival, Barbican Centre, Vienna Festival, Amsterdam Festival, NZ Festival and Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. In 2009, the company's co-production with Belvoir, Ionesco's Exit the King, in a commissioned adaptation by Geoffrey Rush and Neil Armfield, was reproduced on Broadway and nominated for four Tony Awards, winning Best Actor for Geoffrey Rush.