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:
NO PAY? NO WAY! LIVE READING
The cast and crew of No Pay? No Way! came together online for a live-streamed reading of the smash-hit comedy, written by Dario Fo, adapted by Marieke Hardy.
Over the past few weeks, STC Virtual has hosted some of this country’s most outstanding performers, sharing short excerpts of work that they love from their living room to yours. Now STCV enters its next phase with this exciting full-length event featuring a stellar cast of Helen Thomson, Catherine Văn-Davies, Glenn Hazeldine, Rahel Romahn and Aaron Tsindos.
No Pay? No Way! opened to a standing ovation at the Sydney Opera House earlier this year, with rave reviews. Unfortunately, we had to cut its season short. It’s such a joy to bring the original cast and creatives together, with a few special additions, directed by Sarah Giles, for this exciting play reading, streamed live from the cast members’ homes.
Watch a recording of the live event – available until Thu 4 June
STC VIRTUAL: ROUGH DRAFT #45
Tune in for a free live-streamed reading as part of our Rough Draft development series. The event will sample two plays in development: Chalkface by Angela Betzien and Marriage by Marieke Hardy – another offering from our STC Virtual program. Find out more.
Event live stream: Sat 13 Jun, 4pm
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: email@example.com 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 Ui, Chimerica 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.