History

Scouting for Shows

Australian producers have long trod the paths to the West End and Broadway to import plays and musicals for the local market. Impresario J.C.

Hidden World of Musical Society Memories

In the performing arts archives of the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation, an autograph book provides a glimpse into amateur musicals in the first half of the 20th Century, reports archivist Susan Mills.

Australian Performing Arts Collection Treasures Revealed

Historically significant performing arts costumes and objects, ranging from Kylie Minogue’s gold lame hotpants to Dame Nellie Melba’s La Traviata bodice, will be made available to the public to view in 2023 through a $2.2 million project to upgrade and expand Arts Centre Melbourne’s Australian Performing Arts Collection (APAC). 

Image above: Schematic design drawing by Williams Ross Architects. 

The Make-up Box

Coral Drouyn remembers an icon of show business, and a part of her own family’s history.

Gilbert and Sullivan in Australia

Unpublished

Gilbert and Sullivan theatre programmes track the rise of J.C.

Theatre Treasure

A diary belonging to Australia’s most influential theatre entrepreneur has been recognised by a United Nations organisation for its heritage significance.

In February, the 1909 diary of J.C. Williamson was admitted to the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register alongside past treasures such as Captain Cook’s Endeavour journal and Indigenous art.

Reunion Day – a Play Revived

The cast at the reading of Reunion Day

A play by Peter Yeldham. Playreding at AFTRS Theatre. Entertainment Quarter, Sydney. 26th June 2022

Carol Wimmer reports on the history of this Australian play, banned in the 1960s, and its recent re-discovery

Counting Pennies on Stages Past.

Archivist Susan Mills provides an insight into the way Australia’s grandest theatre organisation paid its actors and their fight for better conditions during a golden era for the performing arts.

The past is a vast tangled web of connections and context. Indeed, every type of record and ephemera gives us the whole picture of performing arts history.

The Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation Archives preserves photographs, programmes, scripts, and designs, but just as important are theatre administration records.