Queensland Theatre Company

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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
FoundersAlan Edwards
Principal venueBille Brown Theatre,
Diane Cilento Studio
Senior staff
DirectorAmanda Jolly
Artistic staff
Artistic DirectorLee Lewis

The Queensland Theatre Company, since 2017 called Queensland Theatre, was established in 1970 by Alan Edwards with a full company of actors. It and was granted the prefix "Royal" in 1984.[1] Queensland Theatre is the state's professional funded theatre entity, headed up Executive Director, Amanda Jolly, and Artistic Director, Lee Lewis. Each year Queensland Theatre presents a season of mainstage plays which includes comedies, classic drama and new Australian work. It ceased to employ a full company of actors many years ago and engages actors for individual productions. Each year a number of shows are co-produced with other state theatre companies and key performing arts organisations. Actors from around the country appear for Queensland Theatre.

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.

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 Queensland Theatre 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 company during their careers.

The foundation Artistic Director was Alan Edwards. He was succeeded in 1988 by Aubrey Mellor, Chris Johnson, Robyn Nevin and Director/playwright Michael Gow. In 2010, Wesley Enoch took over from Michael Gow as Artistic Director and became the first Murri to head a state funded theatre entity in Australia. Other directors have included Gale Edwards, Joe McCallum, Rodney Fisher. Arnie Neeme and Murray Foy. 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.


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. It is now based in its own complex at South Brisbane.


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 and the Playhouse at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.[2] Other productions have included: Black Diggers, Macbeth (directed by internationally renowned Michael Attenborough CBE), Twelfth Night, The Importance of Being Earnest, 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 Toy Symphony by Michael Gow. In 2017 the company staged a production of Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage starring Marta Dusseldorp and Ben Winspear.[3]


  1. ^ Queensland Theatre Company – Queensland Government Legislation
  2. ^ Eckersley, M. 1997. Soundings in the Dramaturgy of the Australian Theatre Director. University of Melbourne. Melbourne. p. 33.
  3. ^ 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.

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