As resident company at the custom-designed, fully accessible Lendlease Darling Quarter Theatre, we curate an annual season of theatre for young people in school holidays and term time, presenting Monkey Baa plays and work from other Australian and international companies.
Three actors sitting in a Darlinghurst coffee shop on a wet and windy April morning in 1997 seems an unlikely place for the birth of a theatre company, but that’s exactly where the seeds of Monkey Baa were first sown. During its first tour of The Bugalugs Bum Thief (adapted from the book by Tim Winton) in 1998 in a long wheelbase van, the cast lugged a heavy set into classrooms, libraries and community halls across Australia, performing to over 15,000 young people. And with that Monkey Baa Theatre Company was born.
Since then, we have been creating inspiring, award-winning theatre for young audiences. Creative Directors Eva Di Cesare, Sandra Eldridge and Tim McGarry have adapted over 18 classic Australian stories for the stage, with the common thread through all our work that young people’s interests are valued and respected. From 2018 Eva and Sandie begin a new journey with the company moving into its 21st year!
We believe Australian stages should be filled with stories that represent all the extraordinary cultures living in this land, and that it’s important to create work that offers young people a truly multifaceted reflection of the world we all inhabit.
Unlike other theatre companies offering work for young audiences, we take a “whole of childhood” approach, creating plays and arts education programs for ages 3-18 and providing professional development opportunities for teachers. We strive to ensure that young people, wherever they are located and whatever their economic circumstances, have the opportunity to share in fantastic theatre experiences that reflect their own lives.
We are Australia’s widest-reaching touring company, having conducted over 25 national tours to 135 regional and remote communities across every state and territory of Australia, four international tours and over 2,500 performances, and engaged with 1.2 million young people.
2017 Sydney Theatre Awards – Special Award for 20 years of outstanding achievement
2017 Drover Award – The Peasant Prince Tour of the Year
2016 Sydney Theatre Awards – The Peasant Prince
2016 Glug Award – The Peasant Prince
2015 Drover Award – APACA Touring Legend
2015 Glug Award – The Unknown Soldier
2014 Glug Award – Pete the Sheep
2011 Glug Award – Hitler’s Daughter
2010 Helpmann Award – Thursday’s Child
2010 Glug Award – FOX
2007 Helpmann Award – Hitler’s Daughter
2007 Drover Award – Touring Excellence
2006 Drover Award – Audience Development
To share uniquely Australian stories, with young people at the heart of everything we create.
To be a company that exhilarates young minds and reveals a world of infinite possibilities; a place where theatre becomes an intrinsic part of a young person’s life.
Penny Cook (Chair)
Wendy Miller (Treasurer)
Eva Di Cesare (Creative Director & Producer)
Sandra Eldridge (Creative Director)
Jeremy Miller (Executive Director)
Melanie Griffith (Education Manager)
Laura Watson (Operations Manager)
Jeremy Page (Production Manager)
Liz Raleigh (Marketing Manager)
Jacqueline Hornjik (Acting Marketing Manager)
Emma Khamis (Company & Venue Administrator)
Melissa Hynd (Bookkeeper)