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The State Theatre Company of South Australia is South Australiamarker's leading professional theatre company. It is based in the Dunstan Playhouse at the Adelaide Festival Centremarker. The current artistic director is Adam Cook. It was established under the State Theatre Company of South Australia Act 1972.

Notable actors, writers and directors, wotking with the Company include Neil Armfield, Ruth Cracknell, Judy Davis, Gale Edwards, Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sharman, Hugo Weaving and John Wood.


The South Australian Theatre Company (SATC) was established in 1965 under the artistic direction of John Tasker. The date of establishment as the state theatre company dates to the State Theatre Company of South Australia Act of 1972, an initiative of Don Dunstan. The name of the company was changed to its current name in 1980 as a reflection of this act. The director of the company in its inaugural year was George Ogilvie.

In 1974, the SATC became the resident theatre company of the newly built Adelaide Festival Centre, performing mostly in The Playhouse (later The Dunstan Playhouse, which is still the company's primary venue), and was the first state theatre company in Australia to hold its entire operations in one purpose-made building.

In 1977, Magpie Theatre was established as the youth arm of the company. It was lost in 1997, partially due to loss of funding after reconstruction of Arts SA.

Under the artistic direction of Jim Sharman, the company was renamed Lighthouse and acted as an ensemble theatre company with twelve actors: Robynne Bourne, Peter Cummins, Melissa Jaffer (replaced in 1983 by Jacqy Phillips), Alan John (also composer in residence), Gillian Jones, Melita Jurisic, Russell Kiefel, Stuart McCreery, Robert Menzies (replaced by Robert Grubb), Geoffrey Rush, Kerry Walker and John Wood .

From 1996 when she was artistic director, Chris Westwood subtitled the company Australian Playhouse, with the goal of presenting only Australian works until the end of the century. However, Westwood resigned under pressure at the end of 1997, and the company returned to a more orthodox season.


Artistic directors of the company include:Prior to official conception as the state theatre company:

After 1972:
  • George Ogilvie (1972-1976)
  • Colin George (1977-1979)
  • Kevin Palmer (Artistic Director), Nick Enright (Associate Director) (1980-81) (Henceforth as The State Theatre Company of South Australia)
  • Jim Sharman (Artistic Director), Neil Armfield and Louis Nowra (Associates) (1982-83) (as Lighthouse)
  • Keith Gallasch (1984-85)
  • John Gaden (Artsitic), Gale Edwards (Associate) (1986-89)
  • Simon Phillips (1990-93)
  • Chris Westwood (1994-97)
  • Rodney Fisher (1998-99)
  • Rosalba Clemente (2000-04)
  • Adam Cook (2005-Present)

New Works

Shows which have been developed by and/or have had their world premiere at STCSA include:

In addition, the company supports new work through its annual Young Guns competition for writers under 21, offering dramaturgy and a professional reading to the winning script, and the Jill Blewett Playwright's Award for the Creative Development of a play script by a South Australian Writer, presented biannually at Adelaide Writer's Week.


Milne, G, 2004, Theatre Australia (un)limited, Rodopi Press

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