So long, farewell to The Production Company

“I started the company in 1999 to stimulate the industry” – Jeannie Pratt

The Production Company has woven its way into the fabric of Melbourne’s Musical Theatre scene since its inaugural season in 1999. It has succeeded “beyond [Pratt’s] wildest dreams”, according to a statement the entrepreneur made today, announcing the company’s 21st – and final – season for May 2020.

The Production Company’s announcement coincides with master-planning for a complete refurbishment of Arts Centre Melbourne venues, including the beloved State Theatre – home of The Production Company for its entire 21 years. This upgrade, which is the most significant redevelopment of Arts Centre Melbourne since its opening and is a central component of the Victoria Government’s vision to transform the Melbourne Arts Precinct, impacts on the State Theatre’s future availability.

Claire Spencer, CEO of Arts Centre Melbourne praised Pratt and her team for the two decades of theatre-making in Melbourne, saying “What a marvellous legacy Jeanne, Rachel and Ken leave for audiences and many, many performers after 21 years of glorious entertainment on our stages. Along with thousands of others, I’ve laughed, cried, danced and stood with an adoring State Theatre crowd applauding the remarkable parade of performers and creatives. I’m so delighted to be partnering with The Production Company team to present their final show next May”.

The Pratt Foundation has donated more than $12 million to musicals in Melbourne and although the May 2020 show will be The Production Company’s final season, Mrs Pratt said she wanted to find further ways to support the industry and encourage Australian composers and writers.

The Production Company will be greatly missed, both by those they entertained and by the hundreds of young performers that cut their teeth in their productions over the past 21 years.

The Company presents the Australian premiere of Ragtime at the State Theatre from November 2. More information and tickets are available on the website.

Full details of the final musical to be presented in association with Arts Centre Melbourne in May 2020 will be announced in November.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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