Hayes Theatre Co is a not for profit company governed by a Board of leading industry experts. Named after Australian musical theatre legend, Nancye Hayes AM, the venue is dedicated to honouring the vast history of Australian Musical Theatre and its practitioners and developing the next generation of performers, creatives and producers.
In 2012, a group of independent producers of music theatre works came together with the idea of creating a permanent home for music theatre and cabaret in Sydney. They were successful in securing the tender for the space at the Reginald Murphy Hall formerly occupied by Darlinghurst Theatre Company who had relocated to the newly built Eternity Playhouse.
The doors to Hayes Theatre Co opened on 7 February 2014 with the first performance of Sweet Charity produced by Luckiest Productions and Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co. This inaugural production went on to be nominated for 8 Helpmann Awards, and winning 3 Awards for Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical, followed by a national tour in 2015.
Since then, Hayes Theatre Co has continued to build on this success presenting an annual season of 8-10 mainstage productions, a Cabaret Season and a number of one-off cabaret performances. By providing independent producers with a venue to mount productions of new and reimagined musicals Hayes Theatre acts as a co-presenter of each production staged at the venue. Several productions that began at Hayes Theatre Co have gone on to interstate transfers and national tours including Blood Brothers, Heathers and Little Shop of Horrors.
Productions staged at Hayes Theatre Co have been nominated for and won numerous awards at the Helpmann Awards, Sydney Theatre Awards and Glugs Awards. In a very short time, the company has gained national and international recognition for its contribution to the Australian music theatre industry.
Hayes Theatre Co is the home for the New Musicals Australia program designed to foster the development of writers and composers of new Australian musicals. Each year, a production is selected to go into full production after going through the development process offered through New Musicals Australia. The first of these productions was The Detective’s Handbook, book & lyrics by Ian Ferrington and music by Olga Solar, presented in 2016.
Artists appearing in the productions staged at Hayes Theatre Co are contracted on either a co-operative (profit share) or Award-rate paying basis. All productions directly produced by Hayes Theatre Co are on Award-rate contracts in accordance with the Live Performance Australia Award.
Hayes Theatre Co is made possible through the City of Sydney’s Accommodation Grants Program, and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
Nancye Hayes is one of Australian musical theatre's true triple threats, being a superb dancer, fine singer, actor, and now also a choreographer, director and teacher. She has performed and starred in numerous musicals in Australia such as Promises, Promises, Cabaret, Pippin, Irene, Nine, Sweeney Todd, Chicago, Annie, 42nd Street, Guys and Dolls, Follies in Concert and Showboat to only name a few.
Ms Hayes has received many accolades for her contribution to the Australian theatre scene which include two Helpmann awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Variety Club, the Green Room Awards Association and the Sydney
Theatre Awards. In 2011 Nancye was honoured to be a recipient of the JC Williamson Award that recognises outstanding contribution to the Australian Live Performance Industry and in 1981 her services to the performing arts were recognised with the Medal of the Order of Australia.