Sydney Theatre Company unveils 2023 season

For the first time since the pandemic began, Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams has announced a full season of 16 productions for 2023 which he says will “see the Company operating at full steam and offer an amazing breadth of theatrical experiences”.

The 2023 Season features new Australian writing, with ten plays written by Australian playwrights and six world premieres of new Australian work. It will also feature new international offerings, with the Australian premiere of two plays from overseas, as well as a few classics and the return of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

“As an artform, theatre has the singular ability to combine intimate connection with grand scope and, in 2023, we are escaping to far-flung locales and journeying deep into the human experience,” Williams says.

“I wanted to curate a season of stories that would take audiences into new environments and experiences outside of themselves, that would show them something new or allow them to identify or empathise with an experience beyond themselves – be it on an expedition to Antarctica, China at the turn of the 20th century, on the shores of Gadigal land in January 1788, through to the heart of Parliament House a decade ago. I also wanted to create a season that will contain the most incredible acts of live performance, from some of Australia’s best actors.”

Williams says the 2023 Season will begin on an “outrageously funny, bombastic” note with former STC Patrick White Playwrights Award-winner Lewis Treston’s Hubris & Humiliation. Presented as part of Sydney World Pride, this modern homage to Jane Austen will mount a critique of the institution of marriage and poke fun at contemporary values around money, property and class. 

This will be followed by performances from Claudia Karvan (Bump) and Don Hany (Offspring) in Edward Albee’s electric The Goat or, Who is Sylvia?. Directed by Mitchell Butel and co-produced by State Theatre Company South Australia, this is a provocative and funny piece that Williams says “examines societal taboos and asks questions about love, sex and what’s permissible”. 

Following the Australian mainstage premiere of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun in 2022, Bert LaBonté and Zahra Newman will return to perform in August Wilson’s Fences – another iconic African American work that has yet to see the Australian mainstage – under the direction of STC Resident Director Shari Sebbens. 

John Bell, Peter Carroll, Vanessa Downing, John Gaden and Brigid Zengeni will star in Patricia Cornelius’ Do Not Go Gentle; and Justine Clarke will give a theatrical entree into the life of our first female prime minister in Julia, written by Joanna Murray-Smith and co-produced by the Canberra Theatre Centre. 

Former STC Patrick White Playwrights Fellow Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl) returns with a stage adaptation of the first ever Chinese-Australian novel The Poison of Polygamya co-production with La Boite Theatre, and STC Richard Wherrett Fellow Ian Michael will have his mainstage directing debut with Nick Payne’s Constellations starring Devon Terrell (Barry) and Catherine Văn-Davies (Playing Beatie Bow).

Following their critically-acclaimed work together on No Pay? No Way! in 2020, Helen Thomson and Sarah Giles return for Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and Sigrid Thornton will also return in a new adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull from former STC Artistic Director Andrew Upton. 

Pip Williams’ best-selling novel The Dictionary of Lost Words has been adapted for the stage by South Australian playwright Verity Laughton in a co-production with State Theatre Company South Australia, and Jane Harrison’s recently updated The Visitors will have a fresh production as part of the Sydney Opera House’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Brooke Satchwell (The Twelve) will make her STC debut in Ella Hickson’s time-bending epic Oil directed by STC Associate Director Paige Rattray, Melbourne Theatre Company will co-produce a production of Aleshea Harris’ breakout hit Is God Is, and Eryn Jean Norvill will return for a limited encore season of her performance in Kip Williams’ adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Former Patrick White Playwrights Fellow Tommy Murphy has written an adaptation of Nevil Shute’s On the Beachto be directed by Kip Williams, and the last of our postponed productions from the pandemic – shake & stir’s Fantastic Mr Fox – will  see the Roslyn Packer Theatre stage during the April school holidays. 

Explore STC’s 2023 Season and ticket information at sydneytheatre.com.au/2023

HUBRIS & HUMILIATION
By Lewis Treston
Director Dean Bryant
With Henrietta Amevor, Mathew Cooper, Roman Delo, Celia Ireland, Melissa Kahraman, Andrew McFarlane, Ryan Panizza 
20 JAN – 4 MAR | WHARF 1 THEATRE

THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
By Oscar Wilde
Adapted and directed by Kip Williams
With Eryn Jean Norvill 
3 – 18 FEB | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

Edward Albee’s
THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA?

Director Mitchell Butel 
With Don Hany, Claudia Karvan 
(more cast to be announced)
2 MAR – 25 MAR | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE 

August Wilson’s
FENCES

Director Shari Sebbens
With Bert LaBonté, Zahra Newman 
(more cast to be announced)
25 MAR – 6 MAY | WHARF 1 THEATRE

JULIA 
By Joanna Murray-Smith
Director Sarah Goodes
With Justine Clarke
30 MAR – 13 MAY | DRAMA THEATRE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Roald Dahl’s
FANTASTIC MR FOX

Adapted for the stage by shake & stir theatre co
Adapter Nick Skubij
Director Ross Balbuziente
(Cast to be announced)
19 – 30 APR | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

DO NOT GO GENTLE
By Patricia Cornelius
Director Paige Rattray
With John Bell, Peter Carroll, Vanessa Downing, John Gaden, Brigid Zengeni
(more cast to be announced)
23 MAY – 17 JUN | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

THE POISON OF POLYGAMY
A play by Anchuli Felicia King
Adapted from the book by Wong Shee Ping, translated by Ely Finch
Director Courtney Stewart
With Ray Chong Nee, Merlynn Tong, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Gareth Yuen
(more cast to be announced)
8 JUN – 15 JUL | WHARF 1 THEATRE

ON THE BEACH
By Nevil Shute
Adapted for the stage by Tommy Murphy
Director Kip Williams
(Cast to be announced)
18 JUL – 12 AUG | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

CONSTELLATIONS 
By Nick Payne
Director Ian Michael
With Devon Terrell, Catherine Văn-Davies
29 JUL – 2 SEP | WHARF 1 THEATRE

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
By Oscar Wilde
Director Sarah Giles 
With Helen Thomson
(more cast to be announced)
5 SEP – 14 OCT | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

THE VISITORS
By Jane Harrison
Director Wesley Enoch
With Luke Carroll, Beau Dean Riley Smith, Dalara Williams
(more cast to be announced)
11 SEP – 14 OCT | DRAMA THEATRE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

IS GOD IS
By Aleshea Harris
Co-Directed by Shari Sebbens and Zindzi Okenyo
With Henrietta Amevor, Clare Chihambakwe, Masego Pitso, Cessalee Stovall, Cleave Williams, Darius Williams, Patrick Williams, Grant Young
15 SEP – 21 OCT | WHARF 1 THEATRE

THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS
Adapted by Verity Laughton from the novel by Pip Williams
Director Jessica Arthur
(Cast to be announced)
26 OCT – 9 DEC | DRAMA THEATRE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

OIL
By Ella Hickson
Director Paige Rattray
With Jing-Xuan Chan, Callan Colley, Charlotte Friels, Brooke Satchwell, Anne Tenney
(more cast to be announced)
4 NOV – 16 DEC | WHARF 1 THEATRE

THE SEAGULL
By Anton Chekhov
Adapted by Andrew Upton
Director Imara Savage
With Sigrid Thornton 
(more cast to be announced)
21 NOV – 16 DEC | ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE


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