STC Virtual

Welcome to Sydney Theatre Company Virtual

We’re thrilled to bring you Sydney Theatre Company Virtual — our brand new online video series. Gathering our community of Australian theatre artists, this series is designed to plug that theatre-shaped hole in your life. Our hope is that we can all come together through art to start making sense of this new world we now find ourselves in.

Enjoy this series of short, personal videos made by some of your favourite actors, directors and writers, plus tune in for live play readings:

Miranda Tapsell performs Wendy Mocke’s Tiger scare

Wendy Mocke is one of the four members of our Emerging Writers’ Group. In this week’s instalment we’ve produced a monologue that she wrote specially for STC Virtual. 

Performed by the amazing Miranda Tapsell, who lit up our stages during her run in Nakkiah Lui’s Black is the New White, Tiger scare is a sharp take down of conformist thinking whilst also being a heartfelt love letter to all the Aunties out there. Buckle up for this one!

 

Stephanie Somerville performs Jordyn Fulcher’s Ex Utero

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a specially commissioned monologue by each member of our Emerging Writers' Group. We’re thrilled to present Jordyn Fulcher’s Ex Utero, performed by the wonderful Stephanie Somerville.

Ex Utero, by turns moving and hilarious, explores the relationship between a young woman and her mother, who can feel, to her daughter at least, more like the child in the relationship. Jordyn’s script beautifully traces how small, every day interactions can lead to big realisations.

 

Priscilla Doueihy performs James Elazzi’s Lebanese BBQ

In the next installment of our STC Virtual mini-series focusing on our resident writers, the brilliant Priscilla Doueihy brings to life Lebanese BBQ by James Elazzi, a member of our Emerging Writers' Group.

This scene, commissioned especially for STC Virtual, takes us inside a Sunday family gathering where the protagonist is preparing herself for an onslaught of questions from her nosy relatives. But the arrival of a mysterious stranger means this week’s BBQ is a little more intriguing than normal.


 

Catherine Văn-Davies performs a scene from Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl

Over the last few months STC Virtual has been bringing you some of our favourite performers, sharing their favourite monologues, poems and prose. We’re now pleased to launch a new mini-series within STC V that focuses on the work of young and emerging writers.

To kick off the series, Catherine Văn-Davies reprises the larger-than-life role of Built Suttikul from White Pearl by our recently announced Patrick White Fellow Anchuli Felicia King. Here, Built gives her abusive ex-partner a piece of her mind, a perfect example of White Pearl’s electric mix of sharp humour and nuanced ethical investigation. 

Enjoy this amazing performance and watch this space, beginning next week we’ll be publishing original monologues, each penned by our stellar Emerging Writers' Group - James Elazzi, Jordyn Fulcher, Enoch Mailangi and Wendy Mocke.

 

Shari Sebbens, Guy Simon and Megan Wilding perform A Little Piece of Ash by Megan Wilding

Marking the conclusion of the first phase of Sydney Theatre Company Virtual, Richard Wherrett Fellow Shari Sebbens joins Guy Simon and Megan Wilding to perform a scene from Megan’s semi-autobiographical debut play - A Little Piece of Ash - which was shortlisted for the 2017 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and premiered at Kings Cross Theatre in 2019.

 

Hamish Michael performs a speech from How to Rule the World

Hamish Michael last lit up our stage in our multi-award winning production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Here, he’s performing a speech from a role that he originated, Tommy Ryan from 2019’s How to Rule the World. The show, penned by our outgoing Patrick White Fellow Nakkiah Lui, seamlessly combines sharp political satire with a deep and sensitive meditation on race and class politics in contemporary Australia.

 

Tracy Mann performs a scene from Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling

Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling is a smash hit comedy that delighted audiences in London’s West End last year before nabbing the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. Our production was only weeks from opening before the onset of COVID-19 necessitated us cancelling the season. We’re very excited to bring that production to you all when it is safe to do so, but in the meantime the wonderful Tracy Mann (Noises Off), who was playing Sylvia in our production, joins STC Virtual to perform a scene from this warm and poignant piece of theatre.

 

Hugo Weaving performs a soliloquy from Hamlet

One of Australia’s greatest actors performing one of history’s most significant pieces of writing. Hugo Weaving is due to grace our stage later this year with Angus Cerini’s sophomore play Wonnangatta. In the meantime, he joins STC Virtual to perform William Shakespeare’s most famous soliloquy, and to ask the question that has haunted and inspired theatre makers and audience members since the play was written, somewhere between 1599 and 1601CE.

 

Shari Sebbens and Luke Carroll perform a scene from Battle of Waterloo

Witness Richard Wherrett Fellow Shari Sebbens and STC favourite Luke Carroll, most recently with us in Black is the New White and The Torrents, perform a moving scene from Kylie Coolwell extraordinary 2015 debut play – a truly Sydney story – Battle of Waterloo. Set in housing commission blocks in Sydney’s Inner South, this utterly human piece of drama was developed through STC’s Rough Draft Program, Playwriting Australia’s Redfern Salon Program and the 2013 Yellamundie National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival.

 

Anita Hegh reads Amy and Louis

Anita Hegh, who joined us most recently for her stunning performances in The Harp in the South, Part One and Part Two, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, is not only one of our most entrancing performers - she’s also a teaching artist with STC’s amazing education program, School Drama. For STC Virtual Anita reads Libby Gleeson’s classic Australian children’s story, a regular fixture in the teaching artists’ collection of stories they use to help primary school children with literacy, creativity and confidence.

 

Shari Sebbens performs Black Medea

First produced at Sydney Theatre Company in 2000 as part of our Wharf 2 Blueprints program during Wesley Enoch’s time as a Resident Director, his play Black Medea is a reimagining of Euripides’ ancient story with an Indigenous woman at its centre. In her latest piece for STC Virtual, our Richard Wherrett Fellow Shari Sebbens performs a monologue from the play.

 

Yael and Elana Stone perform a song from Frankenstein

Yael Stone has appeared in a number of STC productions over the years, from Elling in 2009 to Honour in 2010 and, last year, The Beauty Queen of Leenane directed by our Associate Director Paige Rattray. Yael made her debut with us in 2008 and here she revisits a song from that show: American-Australian playwright Lally Katz’s experimental retelling of Frankenstein, with music by Stefan Gregory. Yael is accompanied by her equally talented sister Elana Stone – a member of the band All Our Exes Live in Texas.

 

Anthony Taufa performs a monologue from Love and Information

Master of theatrical form, Caryl Churchill’s penchant for innovation is all there in Love and Information, a kaleidoscope of scenes that can be shifted and rearranged to present a dynamic and evocative snapshot of our modern lives and human connections. For STC Virtual the wonderful Anthony Taufa presents the monologue ‘The Child Who Didn’t Know Fear’ from the play, which he performed in Artistic Director Kip Williams’ acclaimed 2015 production at The Wharf.

All rights whatsoever in this play are strictly reserved to the writer.  No use whatsoever can be made of the play in any medium and/or in any language throughout the world by anyone unless permission is granted and terms agreed and applications for any such use or any grant of rights in the Play should be addressed to Casarotto Ramsay and Associates Ltd,  e-mail: rights@casarotto.co.uk  www.casarotto.co.uk

 

Glace Chase performs a scene from Triple X

The wildly funny and incredibly moving play Triple X, written by Glace Chase and directed by STC's Associate Director Paige Rattray, was to have opened at Sydney Opera House on 2 May. The wonderful cast and crew managed to stage two preview performances in Brisbane before the social distancing restrictions came into effect. Here Glace performs a short scene from the show. 


Shari Sebbens and Ash Flanders perform a scene from Blackie Blackie Brown

In 2018, Gamilaroi Torres Strait Islander playwright, superstar and our most recent Patrick White Fellow Nakkiah Lui created Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death – a play that tells the story of a mild mannered archeologist who becomes the eponymous powerhouse Blackie, a First Nations superhero with revenge on her mind. For STC Virtual, our Richard Wherret Fellow Shari Sebbens is joined by the hilarious Ash Flanders (Sisters Grimm, Calpurnia Descending) to recreate a scene from the genre busting, laugh-out-loud takedown of the colonial imaginary and the idea of justice.

 

Mia Wasikowska performs an excerpt from Lord of the Flies

Australian screen star Mia Wasikowska made her STC debut in last year’s high-octane production of Lord of the Flies, directed by our Artistic Director Kip Williams. In this episode of Sydney Theatre Company Virtual, Mia revisits the role of Ralph in a short excerpt from the play, along with a stirring poem from American poet Phillip Booth with a message about letting go of fear.



Shari Sebbens performs an excerpt from Stolen

First premiering more than two decades ago, Stolen by Jane Harrison is a seminal work telling the story of the Stolen Generations through the experience of five children forcibly taken from their home. In this excerpt, Richard Wherrett Fellow Shari Sebbens performs a scene in which one of the children comforts another with a story from the Dreamtime passed down from his grandfather.


Mandy McElhinney performing Virginia Woolf

With most of us staying within the same four walls for the next little while, we thought it was time to take a moment to appreciate the wonder all around us that often goes unnoticed. The beloved Mandy McElhinney, who recently moved our hearts and expanded our minds in our production of Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes, joins Sydney Theatre Company Virtual with Monday or Tuesday, a short story by Virginia Woolf — a writer whose skill for finding the transcendent in the everyday is unmatched.


Heather Mitchell performing Noël Coward

Two icons of theatre — the extraordinary wit of Noël Coward and the inimitable talent of Heather Mitchell — come together for a bit of light entertainment. In this episode of Sydney Theatre Company Virtual, audience favourite Heather Mitchell, who has been gracing our stages for more than three decades, brings us an acerbic little gem from one the greatest comedic minds of the 20th Century.


Shari Sebbens performing The 7 Stages of Grieving

Our Richard Wherrett Fellow Shari Sebbens is back with another excerpt from one of Australia’s great Indigenous plays. Here she performs a monologue from The 7 Stages of Grieving by Wesley Enoch and Deborah Mailman. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this groundbreaking work and it’s a wonderful reflection on resilience, kinship and autonomy, tracing the history of Indigenous Australia since colonisation. Our Associate Director Paige Rattray directs Shari in this short piece ‘Plea’.


Tim Minchin performs a scene from Hamlet

Last seen on our stage in 2013 in Tom Stoppard’s hilarious Shakespeare-riffing, tragicomedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Tim Minchin returns in our new STC Virtual series with a soliloquy from Hamlet. Here he brings his remarkable insight and humour to ‘O, What A Rogue And Peasant Slave Am I’ — an iconic monologue of inner conflict and self awareness.


Helen Thomson performs a scene from Mary Stuart

Fresh from her role as the matriarch Antonia in riotous comedy No Pay? No Way!, Helen Thomson revisits her towering performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Kate Mulvany’s brilliant adaptation of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart. Although there is no record of Mary and Elizabeth ever meeting, this short scene imagines a confrontation between the two queens. Here, Elizabeth charts her path to the throne, and reflects upon her time locked away in prison and the women lost to the bloody power struggles of Tudor England.

 

Charles Wu reading a selection of prose and poetry

Charles Wu is one of Australia's most exciting young actors, seen in recent years at STC in The Resistible Rise of Arturo UiChimerica and Mosquitoes. As we contemplate our new way of living in isolation, Charles and Resident Director Jessica Arthur have selected a few excerpts of prose and poetry — by Mary Shelley, Giovanni Boccaccio and Emily Dickinson — that offer us a sense of hope and strength and connect us, across history and adversity, to each other. In this latest episode of STC Virtual, Charles performs these passages from his own seclusion to yours.

 

Kate Mulvany reading from Ruth Park’s The Harp in the South

A classic Australian novel read by one of its most loving admirers. For the second instalment of STC Virtual, beloved actor, screenwriter, and playwright Kate Mulvany reads the opening passage from this iconic story of old Sydney: The Harp in the South by Ruth Park. Kate adapted the book – a beautifully drawn tale of community, family and class struggle set in Surry Hills in the early 20th Century – for our 2018 two-part production, directed by our Artistic Director Kip Williams. Join Kate as she introduces us to the raucous, often moving and utterly human world of the Darcy Family.

 

Shari Sebbens performs a scene from Black is the New White

For the first instalment of STC Virtual first Shari Sebbens, our Richard Wherrett Fellow, performs a scene from audience favourite Black is the New White by Nakkiah Lui, directed by Associate Director Paige Rattray. This excerpt is a comedic meltdown by the character Rose, but it’s also a brilliant example of the incisive dissection of politics and identity that characterises Nakkiah’s writing.

Stay tuned for more content coming soon

We're in the process of developing more content, stay tuned for regular releases.  

Streaming archival productions

You might be wondering why we’re not streaming archival productions, and it’s a natural question. Theatre is an artform of the now. Every performance is different and helps us define and explore a particular moment in time. The experience can heighten our empathy and help us gain insight into how we collectively navigate our shared situation.
 
Our performances are recorded for archival purposes – to document the work for posterity and to have a record to guide any remounts. They are not recorded at anywhere near the quality that would be required for public viewing. We also do not have the rights from playwrights and other artists to make them publicly accessible. In any case, the purpose of STC Virtual is not to replace theatre to mimic the experience of a show, but to enable a continuing, personal connection between artists and audiences. A connection that is relevant for who we are and what we are all going through together now. It is also an opportunity where we can continue to provide our artists with some employment.

The future of theatre is in our hands

Our STC Virtual series is a key initiative in keeping our community of artists and audiences connected. We need your help to keep this community strong, both now and in the future. Donate now.

Or consider a donation to the Actors Benevolent Fund of NSW, an organisation that responds to immediate needs of artists in crisis. Donate now