Queensland Theatre

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Queensland Theatre
General information
NameQueensland Theatre
Previous namesRoyal Queensland Theatre Company (1984–2001)
Queensland Theatre Company (1970–1983), (2001–2016)
Year founded1970; 53 years ago (1970)
FoundersAlan Edwards
Principal venueBille Brown Theatre,
Diane Cilento Studio
Senior staff
DirectorAmanda Jolly
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorLee Lewis

Queensland Theatre, formerly the Queensland Theatre Company and Royal Queensland Theatre Company, is a professional theatre company based in Brisbane, Australia. It regularly performs in its own Bille Browne Theatre and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre's Playhouse.

The company was founded in 1970 by British actor and director Alan Edwards with a full company of performers. It was granted the prefix "Royal" in 1984.[1] It is currently headed by executive director Amanda Jolly and artistic director Lee Lewis.


The company has a strong history of development programs and has always aimed to encourage artistic growth across the state. There is an emerging artists program, writing program, including the Queensland Premier's Drama Award, and regional partnerships program.[citation needed]

Emphasis is also placed on developing and inspiring young people through the company's education and youth program, with programs including The Scene Project, Youth Ensemble, Theatre Residency Week, Young Playwrights and other master classes. The company is principally supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Major Performing Arts Board of the Australia Council.



Actors who began their career with the original Queensland Theatre Company include Geoffrey Rush, Bille Brown, Kate Wilson (Foy) (former Chair of the Board of the Queensland Theatre Company and Honorary Professor of Theatre at the University of Southern Queensland), Carol Burns and David Waters. Many Queenslanders including Babette Stephens and Diane Cilento have worked with the original Queensland Theatre Company during their careers. A large number of Sydney- and Melbourne-based actors have performed with the company, which some considered controversial as it reduced the number of opportunities for Queensland-based actors within the state-funded professional theatre.[citation needed]

Artistic directors[edit]

The foundation Artistic Director was Alan Edwards. He was succeeded in 1988 by Aubrey Mellor, who was followed by Chris Johnson, Robyn Nevin and director/playwright Michael Gow.[citation needed]

From July 2010, Wesley Enoch took over as Artistic Director, firstly on a part-time basis and then full-time in January 2011.[2][3] becoming the first Indigenous person to head a state-funded theatre entity in Australia.[citation needed] Enoch left Queensland Theatre to become director of the Sydney Festival in October 2015, handing over to Sam Strong, former Associate Artistic Director at the Melbourne Theatre Company.[4]

Other directors have included Gale Edwards, Joe McCallum, Rodney Fisher, Arnie Neeme and Murray Foy.[citation needed]

In 2019 it was announced that Artistic Director Sam Strong would be stepping down and that Lee Lewis would succeed him.


The current chair of the company is Elizabeth Jameson.[citation needed]


For almost thirty years the Queensland Theatre Company used the purpose built 600 seat SGIO Theatre in Turbot Street, Brisbane, as their chief venue for productions. In 1996 they moved to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank. Queensland Theatre is based in its own complex at South Brisbane. It performs in the much smaller venues than the original SGIO Theatre, named after two well known Brisbane theatre actors, Bille Brown and Diane Cilento. It has in the past performed in the Playhouse Theatre, Cremorne Theatre and at one time in the Lyric Theatre, all part of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.


Productions have included: many Shakespeare's plays presented in the Roma Street Parkland Amphitheatre (formerly called the Albert Park Amphitheatre), as well in the Lyric Theatre, Cremorne Theatre and the Playhouse at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.[5] Other productions have included: Black Diggers, Macbeth (directed by Michael Attenborough), Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, That Face by Polly Stenham, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, 25 Down by Richard Jordan, The School of Arts by Bille Brown, Ninety by Joanna Murray-Smith, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, And A Nightingale Sang by C.P. Taylor and Toy Symphony by Michael Gow.

In 2017 the company staged a production of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage starring Sydney-based actors Marta Dusseldorp and her husband Ben Winspear.[6]

In May 2021, the company staged an adaptation of William Shakespeare's The taming of the shrew in the Bille Brown Theatre, Brisbane, directed by Damien Ryan.[7] Petruchio was played by Nicholas Brown, and Katharina by Anna McGahan. This year the company was also using the QPAC Playhouse.


  1. ^ Queensland Theatre Company – Queensland Government Legislation
  2. ^ "Wesley Enoch takes top job at QTC". AussieTheatre.com. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  3. ^ Queensland Theatre Company (2011). Annual Report 2011 (PDF) (Report). p. 5,81.
  4. ^ Queensland Theatre Company (2015). Annual Report 2015 (PDF) (Report). p. 8.
  5. ^ Eckersley, M. 1997. Soundings in the Dramaturgy of the Australian Theatre Director. University of Melbourne. Melbourne. p. 33.
  6. ^ Symonds, Kristy (24 October 2017). "Marta Dusseldorp and husband Ben Winspear to star on a Brisbane stage in a marriage of talent". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Taming of the shrew, 8 May – 5 Jun". Queensland Theatre. Retrieved 8 May 2021.

External links[edit]