Founded in 1953, Melbourne Theatre Company is the oldest professional theatre company in Australia. It is a semi-autonomous department of the University of Melbourne. Producing up to twelve plays in a subscription season, a full education program and a studio program, it is not only Victoria’s major theatre company and one of the major performing arts companies in Australia, but one of the largest theatre companies in the English-speaking world.
In January 2009, the MTC Theatre, the Company’s new performance home, opened on Southbank Boulevard in the heart of Melbourne’s cultural precinct, allowing much of our season to be performed on the new 500-seat stage of the Sumner Theatre. There is also the 150-seat Lawler Studio, which will allow the Company to develop edgier works and new writers. With the Company continuing to stage works at the Arts Centre’s Playhouse (850 seats) and Fairfax Studio (350 seats), we have, for the first time in many years, access to the widest range of venue sizes to suit any play we might wish to produce.
The Company in 2009 has also moved its Headquarters from Ferrars Street, Southbank, where it has been since the 1970s, to new renovated offices and workshops in Sturt Street.
Despite all these exciting developments, the Company’s mission has not changed since the first season more than fifty years ago:
To produce classic and contemporary Australian and international theatre with style, passion and world class artistic excellence in order to entertain, challenge and enrich audiences in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.