State Theatre Company South Australia turns 50 | PHOTOS

State Theatre Company South Australia turns 50 | PHOTOS


Faces from the stage and behind the scenes shone bright to celebrate the golden anniversary of the State Theatre Company South Australia.


It was a golden evening as Adelaide celebrated the State Theatre Company South Australia's 50th anniversary.

Ninety people attended the event, hosted by Governor of South Australia Frances Adamson at Government House on Wednesday, April 13.

Among the distinguished guests in attendance were Board Chair Joe Thorp, Malcolm Gray QC, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO and artistic director of the Adelaide Festival Centre Douglas Gautier, immediate past premier Steven Marshall, Andrea Michaels MP, playwright Andrew Bovell, and actors Edwin Hodgeman, Don Barker and Carmel Johnson.

Among the highlights of the night were Edwin Hodgeman and Don Barker - who performed for the company in the early years from 1965 - reuniting; Don, for example, starred in the first show of 1972, David Williamson's The Department.

Adelaide actors Carmel Johnson, Rosalba Clemente (former artistic director) and Eugenia Fragos were in attendance. Some of the company's behind-the-scenes faces also were also out and about, including workshop supervisor Areste Nicola and props maker Patrick Duggin - who have both worked at the company for more than 30 years - as well as long-serving hair and makeup artist Jana DeBiasi.

According to its website, the company is the flagship theatre company of South Australia and is a resident artistic company of the Adelaide Festival Centre. It commissions, performs and tours theatrical productions of new and existing, classic and contemporary, Australian and international work.

The South Australian Theatre Company was established in 1965 under the Artistic Direction of John Tasker and the company recognises that date as its official birthday.

However, the company came into its contemporary form with its establishment as the state theatre company under the State Theatre Company of South Australia Act of 1972, an initiative of former premier, Don Dunstan.

State Theatre Company South Australia artistic director Mitchell Butel said the company had helped defined the state and the country's culture over the past six decades and helped launch the careers of many local and interstate performers, directors, designers and other creatives.

"While the company's history dates back to 1965, this anniversary marks 50 years since the Dunstan government formalised its future and legislated the company into being, turning it into the much-loved cultural fixture it is today," Mitchell said.

"It is an honour being the custodians of this wonderful company and we will be celebrating throughout the year with lots of other events in celebration of our artists and community.

"Our 2022 season is one of our biggest and boldest ever and is a celebration in itself. Our aim is to keep making phenomenal, transformative and inclusive theatre experiences for audiences into the next 50 years and beyond."

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