Melbourne Theatre Company
The Melbourne Theatre Company, popularly known as the MTC, is a theatre company whose productions are usually hosted in 2 venues within Melbourne’s Arts Precinct. The first venue is the Southbank Theatre, which is located at 140 Southbank Boulevard, in Southbank, Victoria. The second venue is the Arts Centre Melbourne, which is located at 100 Saint Kilda Road, in Melbourne.
Southbank Theatre is the primary home of the MTC, and it has 2 function spaces. Every year, it hosts up to 12 plays, plus other shows including play readings, and educational performances. Although it’s operated by the MTC, the Southbank Theatre is at times available to other theatre companies, so it serves as a stage for a very wide range of performances. The theatre was officially opened in 2009, and apart from its 2 main performance spaces, it has several function rooms, bars, foyers, and lots of backstage facilities (mostly changing rooms for performers).
There are 2 main performance spaces at Southbank Theatre: The Sumner Theatre, and The Lawler Theatre. The Sumner Theatre is the main theatre. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate an audience of 500 people. It was specially designed to offer an incredibly comfortable view of the stage, no matter where you are seated. The stage is highly flexible, and it makes it possible for producers to present any kind of theatrical performance, no matter how technically engaging it may be. The staging technology is highly advanced, which makes for hyper-realistic theatrical performances.
The Lawler is much smaller than The Sumner, and it can accommodate an audience of about 150 people. It’s the perfect venue for performances that are more intimate. It’s known within the Melbourne art scene as the go-to venue for producers who want to stage works that are more experimental; therefore, many emerging playwrights try out their works at this venue.
At the Arts Centre Melbourne, the MTC operates the Fairfax Studio and the Playhouse Theatre. The Arts Centre Melbourne has lots of other spaces (including State Theatre and Hamer Hall), but only the Fairfax and the Playhouse are under the management of the MTC.
The Fairfax Studio is a 376-seat theatre that offers an up-close and personal experience to the entire audience. It often stages highly immersive plays by producers from all over the country, as well as some international producers.
The Playhouse is the largest of all the theatre spaces under the management of Melbourne Theatre Company. It has a sitting capacity of 884. It often stages intense dramatic productions as well as musical theatre performances. It’s also known for staging contemporary dances and operas. Its foyer is lined with an amazing collection of indigenous murals and art pieces.
Since it was founded way back in the 1950s, the MTC has been a champion for Australian playwrights. Dozens of renowned writers have had their debut productions staged at one of the MTC’s theatres. By doing this, the theatre company has introduced many new outlooks and ideas to Australian society, and it has therefore been a major contributor to the country’s culture. To date, the MTC continues to stage the best theatre performances in Australia, and it upholds the highest international standards for theatre.
Every year, the MTC comes up with a list of plays to be staged for the entire theatre season. The plays are selected by highly experienced artistic directors to ensure that they are relevant to the audience, they draw on themes that are contemporary and relatable, and they are well scripted to ensure that they educate the audience. The theatre company has a very intensive vetting process, so you can be certain that any performance that it stages is going to be highly informative and entertaining. You can visit the official MTC website to find out more about their upcoming performances.
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Stuart also likes The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra