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Playbox Theatre Playbox Theatre i(A79709 works by) (Organisation) assertion (a.k.a. Malthouse Theatre; Playbox Theatre Company)
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'In late 1976, Hoopla Theatre Foundation was conceived by [...] Carrillo Gantner, actor and former General Manager of the Melbourne Theatre Company, Graeme Blundell and Garrie Hutchinson, both from the Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory. [...] In 1977, Hoopla! found a home at the Playbox Theatre in Exhibition Street, Melbourne. The name change soon followed. The primary policy of the Playbox Theatre Company was to focus on new Australiana theatre writing, while also introducing audiences to some of the most stimulating new writers from overseas whose work had not yet been produced in this country.

'By 1984 the company's reputation had grown to the point where seven Playbox shows were on tour around Australia in the one year. Then in February of that year, with audiences doubling annually, with a recently refurbished main theatre and a well earned reputation as the leader in contemporary Australian drama, the Playbox theatre was destroyed by fire. [...] The company began looking for a new home and scheduled productions went ahead first at St. Martin's Theatre, later in 1984 at The Studio Victorian Arts Centre and occasionally at other venues around Melbourne such as The Universal Theatre in Fitzroy and LaMama in Carlton.

'In 1986 Playbox Theatre Company became the recipient of an extraordinary gift - John Elliot, head of Elders IXL which owned Carlton and United Breweries Ltd, donated the late 19th century Barrett Brothers & Burston malting house in Sturt St South Melbourne, to be converted into a two theatre complex. The CUB Malthouse, redeveloped under the supervision of theatre designer John Beckett, had its first production in March 1990 and opened officially in August of that year.'

With the 2004 departure of Aubrey Mellor as artistic director and the appointment of Michael Kantor in his stead, Playbox Theatre Company changed its name to Malthouse Theatre. (The new name took efffect in 2005.) 'Malthouse Theatre' was chosen 'after much consultation with the board, staff, friends and representatives from the company's subscriber base'.

(Source: Playbox Theatre website,

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2020 recipient RISE $550,000 : Support for 'Stages', a flexible performance hub that will deliver a yearround performance..
2019 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Multi-Artform MPA Collaborative Projects $97,538
2017 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships

Multi-Artform Collaborative Arts Projects - Organisations $94,000.00

Last amended 23 Apr 2021 14:08:54
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