text Arena 55 with two balloons at the side
Established in 1966, Arena is one of Australia’s longest-running producers of theatre for young people.

In 2021 Arena Theatre Company is turning 55! This momentous milestone marks over half a century of Arena creating extraordinary theatre for young audiences. Along the way we have worked with amazing writers, directors, actors, creatives and crew, so many people that have shaped Arena into the company it is today. We are very fortunate in being able to come this far and we have so many people to thank for that.

Here we will be posting memories, videos and photos of the last 55 years of Arena. To help us celebrate we would love to hear from you. Anyone who has worked for, worked with, been influenced by or even attended an Arena show. Any and all memories of this wonderful company are welcome….

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Productions staged
nationally and internationally
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world premieres
along with 55 adaptions of existing works
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Audience reached

Did you know?

Arena Theatre Company was established in 1966 by Naomi Marks.

It was initially named Children’s Arena Theatre (CAT) as the first four productions were produced in the round.

Arena’s first production was The Crossroads by innovative children’s theatre maker, Brian Way.

Arena Theatre Company has a history of producing theatre for young people that neither patronises nor preaches to it’s audience

The Age

Arena Theatre Company has a history of producing theatre for young people that neither patronises nor preaches to it’s audience

The Age

Autopsy: 1996

Autopsy premiered in June 1996 and was the first play in the ‘Anthropop Trilogy’. It was directed by Rose Myers and Bruce Gladwin, who both starred in it as well. The play was used to speak to the techno generation of the 90’s while combining cutting edge technology. Featuring music from Band of Hope, this amazing piece brought an insightful look at how young people make sense of their lives in contemporary society.

Creatives

Director: Rosemary Myers & Bruce Gladwin
Writer:
Designer:

Creatives

Lighting Designer:
Production Manager:
Sound Designer:
Composer:

Cast

Rosemary Myers:
Bruce Gladwin:

Oblong: 1998

Our first dive into the archives is a production of Oblong from 1998, a wacky slapstick comedy about self-discovery. Written by Rose Myers and Bruce Gladwin, designed by Jeff Raglin and featuring music by Band of Hope, this piece was about creating something beyond the usual.

Creatives

Director: Rosemary Myers
Writer: Bruce Gladwin & Rosemary Myers
Designer: Jeff Raglus

Creatives / Crew

Production Manager/ Stage Manager: Lisa Parris
Asst Production Manager/ Stage Manager: Angela Pamic
Composer: Hugh Covill & Band of Hope

Cast

Trevor Major: Same
Nadia Coreno: Same
David Pidd: Bob the Post Person

Kim Leeanda Wilson: Same
Georgia Power: Same
Anthea Davis: Bob The Post Person

Schnorky The Wave Puncher: 2000

Schnorky is a mysterious surfer who charts the weather, shoots the breeze and generally keeps to himself. Schnorky becomes an overnight hero when he predicts a storm and bravely rescues some stranded fisherman off Cape Treacherous. True to his mysterious style however, Schnorky doesn’t even turn up to his own party…

Based on the magnificently illustrated book by acclaimed artist Jeff Raglus, Arena has brought Schnorky’s world to the stage in bright, bold detail to captivate the senses and animate the imagination. Popular comedian Sue Ann Post has adapted Jeff’s story to the stage, injecting her unique sense of humour into the show. The script is accompanied by an outstanding soundtrack, composed by the wildly hilarious Frank Wood from the comic duo Lano and Woodley.

Creatives

Director: Rosemary Myers
Writer: Sue-Anne Post
Designer: Jeff Raglus

Creatives

Musical Director: Frank Wood
Production Manager: Kerrill Ezzy

Cast

Miria Kostiuk: Mrs Tweet / Chuck / The Captain / A sailor
Noel Jordan: Mr Tweet / Ackers / Spider / A sailor
Hamish McCormick: Schnorky / Audrey
Daniela Farinacci: Bert / A sailor

Girl Who Cried Wolf: 2008

Real life, inner life, second life …where does fiction end and the actual world begin?

The most popular girl at school has disappeared prompting a lock down in the suburb of Pleasant Lakes. Fear and hysteria grips the community. But all is not what it seems as two girls form an unlikely connection and collude in the construction of a gigantic lie.

Inspired by media reports involving the story of a girl who faked her own abduction, Girl Who Cried Wolf is a bold new production that examines the cult of celebrity and the machinations of the school playground hierarchy. Set against the backdrop of a local shopping mall’s Idol competition, an awkward 11 year old girl suffers the pain of growing up differently in a claustrophobic new housing estate in the outer suburban sprawl, anywhere and everywhere in contemporary Australia.

Girl Who Cried Wolf is a haunting and hysterical new Australian play written by Angela Betzien, 2007 winner of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s prestigious Richard Wherrett Prize for Excellence in Playwriting. The production is created by Arena Theatre Company and features their trademark fusion of theatre and film with live music.

Creatives

Director: Rosemary Myers
Writer: Angela Betzien
Designer: Emily Barrie
Video Designer: Chris More
Video Systems Designer: Peter Brundle
Composer: Jethro Woodward

Crew

Production Manager: Richard Vabre
Stage Manager: Chris Kohn
Simon Dargaville: AV Operator

Cast

Gemma Cavoli: Laura
Angus Cerini: Joe
Sharon Davis: Ada
Samantha Toli: Catriona

Marlin: 2014

When a fisherman and his grandaughter leave for a fishing trip, their journey becomes a life and death adventure that neither of them had anticipated. First performed in September 2014 at MTC, this production was awarded Drama Victorias Best Performance by a Theatre Company to Primary Students 2014.

Creatives

Director: Christian Leavesley
Writer: Damian Miller
Assistant Director: Jolyon James
Designer: Marg Horwell

Creatives / Crew

Lighting Designer: Rachel Burke
Production Manager: Emily O’Brien
Sound Designer: Jethro Woodward
Composer: Wan-Zheng Ting

Cast

Ashlea Pyke: Billy
Christopher Bunworth: Thomas Grogan (Grandad)
Jacob Williams: Puppeteer