Performing Arts

Ensemble Theatre

Click on any image to view slide show

About Us

On May 11 in 1958, a group of talented theatricals, who had been studying acting with American expatriate actor Hayes Gordon, assembled to present the first of two Sunday night performances in Cammeray Children's Library under the banner Variations on Similar Themes. The invitations to their premiere performance of a selection of Tennessee Williams' works one of the actors noted, We haven't a name yet. Yes, we admit to training - Strasbergian, Stanislavskian, Meisnerian, Gordonian etc and we emphasise what might be referred to as the 'ensemble' values in production. In 1960, the company moved to the current premises in the old boatshed at Careening Cove. The boatshed was converted by the members of the company into a theatre in the round and for 20 years presented theatre in this format. During the early 1980's the venue underwent a major refurbishment during which time the company moved its base of operations to the Playhouse, Sydney Opera House which was being used as a cinema at the time. The Ensemble's refurbished venue was re-opened in 1984 and the company celebrated 40 years in its Kirribilli home in the year 2000 with an extended season of 16 plays presented at four venues across Sydney. Founding Artistic Director Hayes Gordon appointed Sandra Bates to take over as Artistic Director in 1986 and Sandra continues in this role today, recently celebrating her 20th Anniversary with the company. Sandra has led the theatre through uncertain economic times to establish it as one of the most successful theatre companies in Australia with the third largest subscription base in the country. Since its inception, the Ensemble has presented over 350 productions at its home venue, the Playhouse, Sydney Opera House, Theatre Royal and the Seymour Centre. The company has also toured many productions around Australia including MIXED EMOTIONS, FACE TO FACE, A CONVERSATION, FLATFOOTand SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS. Ensemble productions have also been presented overseas including the 1980 UK tour of NO ROOM FOR DREAMERSandthe recent production of END OF THE RAINBOWwhich featured at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Many of Australia's favourite performers have appeared at the Ensemble Theatre including Lorraine Bayly, Simon Burke, Michael Craig, Russell Crowe, Max Cullen, David Field, Max Gillies, Nancye Hayes, Reg Livermore, Garry McDonald, Todd McKenney, Amanda Muggleton, Caroline O'Connor, Georgie Parker, Marina Prior, Kate Raison, Henri Szeps, Jack Thompson, William Zappa and international performers such as Warren Mitchell and Greta Scacchi. The Ensemble Theatre is Australia's longest, continuously running professional theatre company and has constantly maintained the highest standards in theatrical presentation. The Ensemble Theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008. What's On About Us Subscribe Now Like Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter

Company logo
Performing Arts

Admin: 02 9929 8877 Box:

Email Us

Website (opens in new window)
78 McDougall Street
New South Wales 2061