Theatre community mourns Betty Burstall

Tributes for La Mama's founder continue to flow, as the Australian theatre community mourns one of its most significant figures.

Tributes for La Mama’s founder continue to flow, as the Australian theatre community mourns one of its most significant figures.

As reported on Monday, Betty Burstall passed away peacefully last Friday 14 June, surrounded by family members. She was 87.

Burstall founded Melbourne’s now iconic La Mama Theatre in 1967, after returning from a visit to New York City, where she was inspired by the city’s thriving off-off-Broadway scene.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts