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Merrigong Season 2021


Welcome to Merrigong Season 2021!

Last year, Merrigong was forced to cancel over 500 performances, leaving our stages empty and taking away the life blood of the performing arts – you, our audience. So it is with incredible excitement and confidence that we can announce a new Theatre Season to immerse yourself in.

Welcome to Season 2021!

Fill your year with experiences that will make you laugh, warm your heart, and take you to places that you never expected. From well-loved Australian icons to a thrilling American satire, from atmospheric musicals to high-flying adventures, and from your car seat to the poolside – there is no shortage of thrills and spectacles coming your way… You’ll also see the return of a couple of works that didn’t get the chance they deserved in 2020, alongside bold new premieres.

Note from the Artistic Director / CEO


Perhaps, as they say, it takes a village to raise a child, but I know for certain that

it takes a whole community
to save a theatre company.

On March 18, 2020, theatres around the country were closed by Government order. Overnight, like a tap being turned off, the lifeblood of the performing arts – audiences (and the box office revenue they generate) – disappeared.

Here at Merrigong, we saw the cancellation of more than 500 performances, and a catastrophic drop of more than $3.5m in annual operating revenue. What happened next? When the seriousness of Merrigong’s situation became widely known, an outpouring of support rose up like a wave to carry us safely to the shore:

  • More than 350 individuals in the community made tax deductible donations to Merrigong (a registered charity), many of you choosing to convert tickets to cancelled shows into donations. Dozens of people supported the company financially to a level where they are now recognised as ‘Inner Circle’ donors – see the honour list on page 4 of the Merrigong Season Brochure;
  • The company received significant COVID-related support from all three levels of Government – local, state and federal for both 2020 and 2021;
  • Our wonderful sponsors stood by us, continuing their support even though much of the benefits they would normally receive as sponsors could not be delivered;
  • And Merrigong staff contributed through several months of reduced pay.

These financial sacrifices and contributions, as well as the incredible messages of support and encouragement from you, our audience, have sustained us as a team, and woven a new bond between Merrigong and the community we serve. Witnessing in such a direct way how much you value the theatre, has inspired us to redouble our efforts to better serve our community.

Over the many months of closed venues, we had to fight hard for the survival of our company, our jobs, and to provide opportunities for numerous artists doing it tough. But this dark period also provided us with a rare opportunity to think about what we might do differently when the time finally came to once again invite audiences into our theatres.

The unexpected pause in the normal rhythms of work and life delivered a point of clarity that returning to “business as usual” is neither possible nor desirable. The question burning in our minds at Merrigong over those months was:

How do we do better for our community,
our artists and our team?

Back in October 2020, when we switched off our ‘ghost light’ and tentatively reopened our venues, we answered this question with some commitments (you can find them on our website). All our planning for the future is now infused with these commitments to do better. And now as we share our 2021 Season with you, we hope you’ll discern some subtle shifts in the way we intend to work – reinvigorated, with a new sense of the value of what we do, and an even stronger bond with you, our loyal audience.

Simon Hinton
Artistic Director / CEO
(On behalf of the Merrigong team)

Switching off the ‘ghost light’.

Coming Up…