About Merrigong Theatre Co

Merrigong Theatre Co manages one of Australia's busiest, most dynamic regional venues - Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in Wollongong, about an hour south of Sydney. Merrigong is also a vibrant theatre company in its own right - producing, presenting and touring exciting contemporary theatre and supporting the development of a diverse range of independent theatre-makers.


Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) was opened in 1988 and consists of three performance spaces: the 515 seat IMB Theatre, the 206 seat Gordon Theatre and the 80 seat Bob Peet Studio. In addition to being the home of Merrigong Theatre Company, IPAC also operates as a venue for hire, hosting numerous commercial and community performing arts events throughout the year.


Merrigong presents a diverse annual season of theatre, dance and children's programming. Our theatre and dance subscription packages include work sourced from Australia's finest performing arts companies (such as Sydney Theatre Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre), self-produced work acclaimed international productions, and innovative contemporary work from new companies.


In 2006, Merrigong began producing full-scale productions in-house for presentation in our theatre subscription season. Since then productions have included Van Badham's Camarilla (2006), Athol Fugard's Valley Song (2007), and Marcel Dorney's Thieves Like Us (2008). In 2009, the Company produced four short works under the title 4 Plays About Wollongong, which was the first project developed all the way from commissioning through to production. In 2010, we produced Caleb Lewis' Death in Bowengabbie (winner of the Judge's Commendation for Best Writing at the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival), which was adapted from a one-man show into a work for a cast of four.

In 2011, Merrigong commissioned and produced The Dapto Chaser, a play by Mary Rachel Brown, and for the first time partnered with acclaimed Sydney-based company version 1.0 to co-produce The Table of Knowledge. In 2012, Merrigong again commissioned and produced a new Australian work, Charcoal Creek by award-winning playwright Marcel Dorney.


Merrigong has begun to regularly tour work to other venues around the country and in 2009 Merrigong undertook its first Australian tour of an overseas production, Kahlil Ashanti's Basic Training, which toured to 13 venues across the country.

In association with our London-based producing partner Richard Jordan Productions, Merrigong toured Canadian Rick Miller's MacHomer to Brisbane, Sydney, Bathurst and Wollongong in 2010, and in early 2011 co-produced a new touring version of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Funk it up About Nothin', which opened in Chicago in January before commencing a 6 week Australian tour. In 2012, we toured Scotland's Traverse Theatre's Midsummer (a play with songs) to the Sydney Opera House, La Boite (Brisbane), Canberra Theatre Centre as well as Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.


Through the Make It @Merrigong program, Merrigong is committed to commissioning and developing new Australian works for future productions, and to supporting the development and presentation of the work of local independent artists through new and established performance platforms and regular development opportunities.

If you'd like to discuss artist's opportunities, please contact Anne-Louise Rentell on (02) 4224 5910 or arentell@merrigong.com.au 

Click here to download a PDF of Merrigong Theatre Company's 2012 Annual Report [3.9MB]

Image 1: Jillian Burfete, JQ, Jackson Doran, Postell Pringle, GQ and Ericka Ratcliff in Funk it up About Nothin'
Image 2: Creative development - Van Park The Musical. Photo: Liane Pfister
Image 3: Catherine Moore in Charcoal Creek