The Queensland Theatre Company, founded in 1970, is Queensland, Australia’s flagship professional theater company. It was created to fulfill the Australia Council’s decision to fund a state theater company in every state. The Queensland government had the options of promoting a local amateur company to professional status or starting a new company, but the board created in 1969 to make this decision failed to come to an agreement. After an intervention by the Australia Council, the Royal Queensland Theatre Company was established and granted statutory recognition in 1970. It was the first federally funded professional theater company in Queensland. The company petitioned for and was granted a royal charter in 1984 (the only one in Australia’s theatrical history); however, the “royal” was eventually dropped due to changing moods within the company.
Encouraging artistic growth across the state has always been an important part of the work the Queensland Theatre Company does. This is achieved through its writing, emerging artists, and regional partnerships programs. The company also has a youth and education program designed to inspire and help develop young people. It includes, among others, specially designed education performances, a playwriting program, and theater skills courses.
Since 2002, the Queensland Theatre Company has been housed in South Brisbane in a building specifically built for the company which finally brought all of its sections together under one roof. The site includes two theaters, the Mainhouse and the Greenhouse. Every year, the company has two seasons. There is a season of mainstage productions which features new Australian works, classic dramas, and comedies. For those who want to experience something different, the Studio Season has theater which “breaks the rules.” The 2013 Queensland Theatre Company productions include:
- Red starring Colin Friels
- Other Desert Cities starring Robert Colby and Rebecca Davis
- End of the Rainbow with Christen O’Leary
- Design for Living with Jason Klarwein, Kellie Lazarus, and Tama Matheson.
- The Pitch with Hugh Parker and The China Incident with Barbara Lowing
- Venus in Fur starring Todd MacDonald and Libby Munro
- 1001 Nights starring traditional Persian musicians Pezhvak
- Trollop with Amy Ingram