Black Swan State Theatre Company is Western Australia’s Flagship Theatre Company and one of Australia’s foremost theatre companies.
Since its inception in 1991, Black Swan has earned both critical and popular acclaim for its world premiere productions and highly distinctive (re)interpretations of international theatre classics – all of which are infused with the unique culture of Western Australia. These have included such landmark productions as Bran Nue Dae, Sistergirl, Tourmaline, Corrugation Road (winner of the prestigious The Age Critics’ Award), The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea, Cloudstreet (Perth, Sydney, London and Dublin seasons) The Odyssey and The Sapphires (Perth, Canberra, London and Korea seasons).
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kate Cherry, Black Swan has also created the Rio Tinto Black Swan Commissions, a new commissioning program investing into WA’s creative future and showcasing Western Australian stories. The Company also runs professional development programs for emerging Western Australian artists and emerging writers.
Black Swan has been a Resident Company in the new State Theatre Centre of Western Australia since its opening in January 2011. In its first year of performing in the State Theatre Centre, Black Swan presented the world premiere of Rising Water, the first piece written by Tim Winton specifically for the stage. In the same year, Black Swan was the first Australian theatre company to broadcast a live stage performance, when Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Kate Cherry, was broadcast in real time to audiences across regional Western Australia. Since then live broadcasts to regional WA have become an annual event for Black Swan, complementing the Company’s annual regional touring and workshop programs.
Performing in its new home at the State Theatre Centre has resulted in a surge of popularity for Black Swan: In 2011 alone, over 52,000 people attended a Black Swan production at the new theatre, with many more attending a Black Swan performance at national or international venues. In 2013, Black Swan was part of the Fringe World Festival with a smash hit production of the hipster comedy The Motherf**ker with the Hat in the State Theatre Centre’s Studio Underground, followed by an extremely popular Heath Ledger Theatre season of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, which was seen by over 8,500 paying patrons.