Our Programs

We Are For You. About You. With you.

Black Swan State Theatre Company has brought Western Australian stories and talent to the local, national and international stage for the past 30 years.

The last 12 months has taught us that Australian arts is resilient, and our communities have a fresh appetite to gather together and tell stories that matter. But we need your help to keep the sector thriving and full of opportunity.

Give a tax-deductible gift today to scale up our efforts to produce an annual season of exceptional theatre, deliver extensive education and regional engagement programs, commission WA stories and build creative development.

Support us with a tax-deductible gift

Great Theatre

For 30 years, Black Swan has been the home of Western Australian theatre. We are where Bran Nue Dae, The Sapphires and You Know We Belong Together were born. Where Tim Winton first staged his plays Shrine, Rising Water and Signs of Life.

We bring exceptional theatre to stages in Perth, Karratha and Mandurah. We introduce home-grown talent to national and international stages, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We give a home to new stories – Western Australian stories.

How you can support great theatre

This year, Black Swan will produce more than 100 performances and employ 150 artists – 40% of whom are new to the Black Swan family.

We will continue to bring you exceptional theatre, filling our seasons with new talent and new stories, and telling old stories in new ways.

We need you as a partner to keep quality theatre alive in Western Australia. The kind of theatre that can spark meaningful change, create opportunity and bring communities together.

How your gift will help


will employ a Stage Manager for a day


will pay for a performance to be audio described


will support an Audio Technician to mic up our actors


will supply two Actors with bespoke theatre costumes worthy of a world-class production


will employ a local WA Artist to design a set

Regional Engagement

Great theatre should be for everyone. For all Western Australian communities large and small, wherever they call home.

As the state’s theatre company, we run regional engagement programs to bring regional tours and live broadcasts to remote communities. Over the last 30 years, we have toured or streamed 51 productions to regional communities.

How you can support regional engagement

In 2021, we will bring the ground-breaking production Every Brilliant Thing to 11 communities across Australia, from Wagga Wagga in NSW to Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie in WA.

We will continue our partnership with regional communities and hope to reach more. We have appointed 23 Regional Ambassadors – from Broome to Esperance – who connect us with local expertise and talent and make our community engagement activities possible. Our Ambassadors help us share skills with regional artists and bring opportunities to regional communities.

We need your support to keep regional and remote communities part of our story.

How your gift will help


will fund a south-west Regional Ambassador to attend a Black Swan performance to contribute to their creative learning


will pay the travel costs for an Artist to visit a regional community for a week


will bring a Black Swan production to a regional WA town such as Narrogin, Katanning or Merredin

Creative Learning

Watching and taking part in theatre is where many kids build their confidence, their voice and explore who they are. It is a source of culture and identity.

We partner with teachers to improve the quality of drama education in WA schools. Our Teaching Artists provide training for WA drama teachers, coupled with quality teaching resources that align with the WA curriculum. We help teachers ignite student interest in the performing arts.

We provide work experience for students to introduce the next generation to the arts sector. Students in Year 10 to 12 can access industry professionals, backstage tours and masterclasses that introduce them to arts practices and career pathways. Our Student Ambassadors (be they in high school or university) gain access to exceptional productions and develop transferable skills.

How you can support creative learning

This year, our education program will reach 70 schools. We will tour productions in schools, run theatre workshops and provide subsidised student tickets and school subscription packages to help more students access the theatre.

Help students find a place in the arts and encourage a lifelong love of theatre.

How your gift will help


will provide a bursary for a student on a two-day work experience program


will sponsor a bus to take students on a theatre excursion


will fund a workshop at a WA school


will build teaching resources based on a Black Swan production

WA Stories

Western Australian communities need to tell and hear their own stories.

By drawing on the talents of emerging artists, we fill Black Swan’s theatre seasons with old stories told anew and new stories about who we are.

We prioritise new work and Australian writing. We commission new works from Australia’s leading playwrights that reflect the experiences of Western Australians. Over 30 years, we have commissioned over 60 new Australian works. In 2020, we were proud to help women writers bring new comedies to the stage through the Funny Girl initiative.

We help home-grown talent take the world by storm, from actors like Tim Minchin, Kelton Pell (The Circuit, Redfern Now), Clare Lovering (San Andreas, Hyde and Seek), Kate Mulvaney (Hunters, The Great Gatsby) to renowned directors like Matt Lutton (Artistic Director, Malthouse Theatre) and Adam Mitchell (Summer of the Seventh Doll and Every Brilliant Thing).

By supporting WA’s emerging artists, we bring the world to us, and us to the world.

How you can support WA stories

In our 2022 season, we will bring at least five Western Australian stories to the stage and support over 100 WA artists – from directors, actors, lighting, costume and set designers.

With your help, we will commission new works from Australian writers and invest in opportunities for our artists. You can help us give the Australian arts sector the support it needs to remain vibrant and sustainable.

Join with us to bring Western Australian stories and talent to new stages.

How your gift will help


will allow a playwright to print scripts and hear their work performed by actors


will fund Black Swan’s Literary Director to mentor a playwright for a day


will support a writer to collaborate with actors in a weeklong creative development workshop to work on adapting an award-winning WA novel for the stage


will fund the initial commission for a new work from an emerging playwright

Creative Development

We help artists establish their careers and access new opportunities as directors, writers, composers, actors, designers and stage managers.

Black Swan prioritises WAAPA graduates to encourage emerging talent from our own academy of performing arts onto the stage.

Our Resident Artists Program gives mid-career artists the opportunity to be mentored, for a year, by Black Swan’s Artistic Director, Clare Watson – to sharpen their skills and enliven our productions.

How you can support creative development

This year, we will offer five WAAPA Graduates in acting, creative and stage management their Black Swan debut, giving them the opportunity to be seen on the professional stage and kick-starting their careers.

Thanks to our supporters, we have also been able to mentor four incredible Resident Artists:

  • Julia Hales’ highly acclaimed You Know We Belong Together is her deeply personal account of her experience as an actor, daughter and person with Down syndrome. The play will hit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022 and was cited by Arts Access Australia as best practice for being disability led.
  • Ian Michael (Wilman Nyoongar) and Chris Isaacs are the writers behind York, an epic piece of truth-telling. Set on Ballardong country, it investigates the ways our history haunts us.
  • Ian Michael and Chloe Ogilvie (Yamatji Nhanda) have curated Maali, the state’s first ever multi-arts First Nations festival. Showcasing theatre, dance, music and more, the festival creates opportunities for cultural expression, learning, conversation and celebration.

Help create sustainable career pathways for Western Australian artists.

How your gift will help


will debut a WAAPA trained actor on stage for one night


will provide the opportunity for an actor, writer or director to participate in our resident artist program for a month


will gather a creative team for a week to create a new work