Sydney Theatre Company and Michael Cassel Group have entered into a ‘first look’ agreement that could see STC productions toured around Australia and around the world. The first agreement of its kind in Australia, it gives Michael Cassel Group the first rights to transfer or remount STC productions.
The first production to come under this agreement is The Picture of Dorian Gray. Written and directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams, it stars Eryn Jean Norvill, who plays all 26 characters with the help of multiple live cameras and some pre-recorded video. The show premiered to sold out audiences and received a five-star review from Limelight, with Editor Jo Litson writing, “The Picture of Dorian Gray is unlike anything I’ve ever seen on stage. It dazzles and constantly surprises. It captures Wilde’s wit and wickedly astute insights, and presents them in exhilarating fashion for contemporary audiences… Genius.”
The STC has a history of touring productions overseas, to great acclaim. Recent shows such as The Maids, Waiting For Godot and A Streetcar Named Desire have been critically praised, and in 2006 the company took Hedda Gabler starring Cate Blanchett to New York.
The Michael Cassel Group has become a significant presence in Australian theatre, mounting productions of major shows including Hamilton and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The company recently opened a New York office, headed by a former creative development director at Disney Theatrical Group, Jane Abramson.
Williams said of the new relationship, “I am so thrilled to be partnering with the visionary Michael Cassel and everyone at MCG as we look to take STC productions to new audiences in Australia and overseas. I continue to be inspired by the brilliant work of Michael and his extraordinary team and I’m very much looking forward to working together, developing new work, and creating new opportunities for our artists.”
Sydney Theatre Company Executive Director Patrick McIntyre said,“This partnership with Michael Cassel Group creates enormous cultural and market development opportunities. STC has a long history of regional and national touring, but taking work overseas has remained more sporadic owing to our distance from key markets. This arrangement will not only help us expand audiences for our work locally via commercial remounts, but also to access MCG’s broader international networks so we can grow audiences for Australian theatre makers worldwide. The possibilities are tremendously exciting.”
Michael Cassel Group Producer and CEO, Michael Cassel said of the announcement, “As Australia’s pre-eminent theatre company, STC has a wonderful legacy of creating compelling, ground-breaking theatrical productions. The brilliant Kip Williams and his talented team clearly share our passion for creating incredible theatrical productions that inspire, engage and entertain. This innovative agreement allows us to be able to pursue opportunities for these productions to be shared with a greater audience, on stages in Australia and around the world. I look forward to working closely with Kip, Patrick and the entire STC company in producing original productions that showcase Australian talent and theatrical creativity for an international audience.”