Belvoir Street Theatre had its beginnings as The Nimrod Theatre in Surry Hills, Sydney. In 1994 it was re-branded and became ‘Belvoir Street Theatre’ and now has a firm place as one of Australia’s most celebrated theatre companies. Belvoir engages Australia’s most prominent and promising playwrights, directors, actors and designers to present an annual artistic program that is razor-sharp, popular and challenging. Belvoir has been the watering hole of many of Australia’s great performing artists such as Geoffrey Rush, Cate Blanchett, Susie Porter, Richard Roxburgh, Max Cullen, Bille Brown, David Wenham, Deborah Mailman and Catherine McClements.
In 2011 The Balnaves Foundation came on board to fund Belvoir’s Indigenous theatre program. Each year The Balnaves Foundation will provide the financial underpinning for Belvoir to present a work in the ‘Belvoir St Upstairs Theatre’ that is led by an established Indigenous artist (as writer and/or director) and tells an Indigenous story. The Foundation will also provide funds for the ‘Belvoir St Downstairs Theatre’ to produce a work led by an emerging Indigenous artist (as writer and/or director) who will be mentored by a senior Company B Belvoir artist. Belvoir will offer a range of access programs in conjunction with both productions, including free performances for the unemployed and school matinees.
The Balnaves Foundation strongly believes that theatre has the ability to connect Indigenous culture and history with current social debate in an impactful and relevant way.
In 2017, the two Indigenous works will be Which Way Home and Barbara and the Camp Dogs.
Which Way Home is written by Katie Beckett, and is directed by Rachael Maza; Barbara and the Camp Dogs e Drover’s Wife is written and performed by Ursula Yovich and Alana Valentine.
The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award, a $25,000 award for the creation of a new play by an Indigenous playwright. In December 2012 the inaugural award was made to Nakkiah Lui, whose play This Heaven was part of the Belvoir's 2013 season. In 2013 the winner was Jada Alberts, for her work Me and Jungali. In 2014 Leah Purcell won the award for her radical adaptation of Henry Lawson's The Drovers Wife in which she reimagined the wife as an aboriginal woman. In 2015, Katie Beckett won the award for her play about the new stolen generation. In 2016, the award was made to Ursula Yovich.
To purchase tickets, or for more information on Belvoir St Theatre please visit www.belvoir.com.au
Dec 18, 2016
Playwright and actor Katie Beckett wrote her new play Which Way Home in a hurry. It felt urgent. If she didn't get a move on, there was a chance her dad, Les, whose parenting inspired Beckett to write the play, wouldn't live to see it.
Sep 21, 2016
Growing up in southwestern Queensland, young Leah Purcell was soothed to sleep by her mother reading Henry Lawson's short story The Drover's Wife.
Sep 12, 2016
When Leah Purcell was a kid, she loved westerns. "I grew up on them," she says. "Spaghetti westerns. The Magnificent Seven. John Wayne in Hondo. I'd always be barracking for the Indians." Forty years later, Purcell, an award-winning actor, writer and director, is drawing on that love of American frontier drama for her very Australian new play The Drover's Wife.
Sep 12, 2016
The Aboriginal actor and writer radically retools Henry Lawson's short story into a bush thriller with elements of her own family history.
Jun 15, 2016
About 2½ years ago, Ursula Yovich travelled to Darwin for her mother’s funeral and encountered a different world. As the eldest child, many decisions about the funeral fell to her, even though she struggled to comprehend the indigenous traditions involved.
Mar 1, 2016
Now in its fifth year The Balnaves Award has become one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, be it for Indigenous or non-Indigenous writers. The calibre of entries and winners has consistently proven the depth of talent in the Indigenous theatre industry.
May 27, 2015
The high rates of Indigenous children removed from their families and taken into care will be dramatised by this years winner of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright's Award.
Feb 20, 2015
Playing at Belvoir, Nakkiah Lui’s second full-length play, confronts on more than one level.
Feb 20, 2015
Playing at Belvoir, Nakkiah Lui requires your attention and she gets it with theatre’s most basic tools; a story.
Feb 20, 2015
There’s a lot more going on with Nakkiah Lui’s Kill The Messenger than first meets the eye.
Feb 10, 2015
Balnaves Foundation’s Indigenous Playwright awardee Nakkiah Lui’s play, Kill the Messenger, spotlights the complex nature of racism in Australia.
Jan 2, 2015
Radiance - the play that revolutionised indigenous theatre in Australia
Aug 21, 2014
Belvoir's ongoing commitment to Indigenous theatre has supported numerous successful and entertaining productions.
May 31, 2014
Award-winning stage and television performer Leah Purcell is turning her focus to youth suicide and the ramifications for the family left behind in her latest play, 'Brothers Wreck' at Belvoir.
May 28, 2014
Actor, director and playwright Leah Purcell wins award for her proposed radical new stage adaptation of Henry Lawson's short story The Drover's Wife.