• Jane Street

Jane Street exhibition

In 2009, NIDA celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Jane Street Theatre and the Jane Street Season of Plays with a series of archival photographic displays and digital galleries. Serving as a catalyst for the development and performance of original Australian work, the Jane Street Theatre marked a pivotal moment in the development of the Australian theatre scene and the emergence of many of our iconic plays and playwrights, each an example of our uniquely Australian voice and artistic perspective.

The tiny Jane Street Theatre, Randwick, was converted from a church hall in 1966, and the Jane Street Season of Plays was an early initiative led by the UNSW Drama Foundation and NIDA to support Australian theatre. From 1966 to 1982, there were 15 Seasons, totalling 36 productions that showcased Australian playwriting and experimental theatre, while providing opportunities for young professional actors and NIDA students in performance and production.

Over the years, the Seasons showcased many new playwrights, directors and actors, who went on to become important figures in Australian cultural life: Thomas Keneally, Tony Morphett, Alma de Groen, David Williamson, Bob Ellis and Michael Boddy, John Bell, Rex Cramphorn, William Yang, Aubrey Mellor, John Clark, George Whaley; Robyn Nevin, Gillian Jones, Kate Fitzpatrick, Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush and Kerry Walker.

Some interesting facts about the Jane Street Seasons include:

  • There was a resident company of young professional actors.
  • Seminal works include The Legend of King O’Malley and Don’s Party.
  • The Jane Street ghost was said to inhabit the church hall turned theatre, its presence noted by a sudden drop in temperature.

Read more about the Jane Street Season 1966-1982 or browse the galleries for some of the wonderful photographs taken by Robert Walker and others. Please contact the NIDA Library and NIDA Archives for access to the Jane Street holdings.

Jane Street Galleries

Learn more about Jane Street

Page functions

NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the sacred lands, from the mountains to the sea, on which we learn and tell stories.

The lands of the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.