The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust
The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust
Supporting the Arts in Australia by Australians and for Australians since 1954.



Within the first year of its formation, The Trust had secured and refurbished The Majestic Theatre in Newtown, renaming it The Elizabethan Theatre. The theatre opened in July 1955 with Terence Rattigan’s ‘The Sleeping Prince’ and was followed in September by ‘Medea’ starring Judith Anderson and produced by The Australian Drama  Company. Ray Lawler’s highly successful ‘Summer of the Seventeenth Doll’ was presented the following year in 1956 and was the first commercial play to be seen in Australia and later in London and New York.

The Trust Players, directed by Robin Lovejoy, had their first season in 1959, but as large scale touring proved uneconomical, local companies were instead formed in each state.

Australian Drama Company

The Old Tote Theatre Company

Performing Lines

National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA)

The Bell Shakespeare Company

Entrepreneurial Division

In order to contribute to the enrichment of Australian culture, The Trust’s entrepreneurial division presented internationally renowned artists and companies not just to major capital cities but also regional Australia. The division was also responsible for other cultural exchanges such as seminars, workshops and masterclasses in conjunction with visiting companies.


Hedda Gabler - Royal Shakespeare Company (1975)

Ensemble Nipponia