MTC will end the year with a box office record, the largest subscriber base of any theatre company in the country and an abundance of artistic triumphs at home and abroad.
MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said, ‘It’s been a huge year for MTC – we’ve produced 12 mainstage productions including four world premieres of new Australian works, been on tour around Victoria and Tasmania, and seen past MTC hit productions remounted for national and international tours in Australia, England, Denmark, Canada and Scotland.
‘On top of this, we extended our investment in Australian artists with the launch of the largest and most sophisticated playwright development scheme ever undertaken by a theatre company – MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers Program. We also continued our landmark Women in Theatre Program; Cybec Electric play reading series with nine Asian-Australian playwrights; and our NEON NEXT workshops,’ Mr Sheehy said.
2017 will close with record box office takings for MTC, coming in just under $14 million – significantly ahead of any previous year – along with increased philanthropy, and the largest theatre subscriber base in the country of over 20,000 subscribers.
‘This is a terrific result and one we are of course thrilled with. This success, however, is not a luxury but a necessity, with ever-rising costs and government funding limited or diminishing in real terms. Our final financial result will be known early next year when 2017 is fully accounted for. At this stage, despite our generating increased revenue, the environment is still incredibly tough, and we expect to break-even across all operations, which is pleasing though indicative of the enormous pressures faced by the state’s flagship theatre company,’ Mr Sheehy said.
2017 saw sell-out performances of Born Yesterday, Three Little Words, Minnie and Liraz, Macbeth, The Father and Vivid White. Macbeth alone welcomed thousands of new theatre-goers, seeing more than 50% of tickets purchased in-season by people new to MTC.
Throughout the year, MTC productions won nine awards across the Green Room, Helpmann and Australian Writers Guild Awards in categories including Best Production, Best New Writing, Best Director, Best Set and Costumes, Best Digital Design and Best Play for Young People. MTC was the only state theatre company to be awarded at this year’s national Helpmann Awards.
MTC’s 2015 production of What Rhymes with Cars and Girls toured Victoria, Sydney and Brisbane, while three shows born at MTC played on the world stage. North by Northwest received four and five-star reviews in England before touring to Canada; Lilith: The Jungle Girl enjoyed a successful season at the legendary Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh; and 2014 dance theatre production Complexity of Belonging had the honour of closing the prestigious European Capital of Culture Festival in Denmark.‘We are incredibly proud of the year we’ve had and are delighted that so many people – artists and audiences – joined us on the journey. 2018 is set to be just as big and exciting, beginning with the extraordinary international production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time in January,’ Mr Sheehy said.