The Ballarat National Theatre Film – Media Release

22 November 2013

The Ballarat National Theatre celebrates 75 years of history with the online launch of a short documentary film produced by Wind & Sky Productions.

The film features core members of the Ballarat National Theatre, past and present, and reflects on the significance and history of the company.

The film contains behind-the-scenes shots of the company’s 2013 season, which stages four productions a year in the SMB Courthouse Theatre in Ballarat. The film’s producers spent several months filming rehearsals, set construction and opening nights. ‘We hope we’ve captured the essence of a theatre company which has a strong traditional base but is full of energy,’ says Lucinda Horrocks, the film’s co-producer. ‘And the quality of their productions is pretty impressive.’

As part of the story, the film-makers took a step back in time and visited the site of the original theatre founded by the Ballarat National Theatre in Camp Street Ballarat, in the former ANA building. Sadly for the many players and theatre-goers of the time the venue, known as the ‘Little Theatre,’ closed in 1984. The building has since been renovated into office space for employment training. ‘There’s not much left of the Little Theatre now’ says Horrocks. ‘There used to be a picture palace up above and this tiny little theatre down below. Many local people still have fond memories of it.’

The Ballarat National Theatre was founded in 1938 and has been putting on live performances continuously since then. It is one of the few remaining drama companies founded by Gertrude Johnson’s Australian National Theatre Movement. ‘This is why it has such a grand-sounding name,’ says Horrocks. ‘It was part of a broader movement which emerged in the 1930s to foster and encourage excellence in the Australian performing arts.’

Ultimately the producers hope the film is a testament to community. ‘We like to celebrate volunteerism in Australia, but usually by that we mean sport or charity activities. This story is about a voluntary dramatic theatre group which has been doing amazing things for the community for 75 years.’

The film has been released online and can be viewed on the Ballarat National Theatre website ( and on the Wind & Sky Productions web site (

Film Link

About Wind & Sky Productions

Wind & Sky Productions is an independent film production company specialising in short documentaries.

Working mainly in digital video, they produce stories for smaller screens, web and digital formats. They are based in Ballarat in regional Victoria. They take on commissions and also produce self-driven projects where they develop story concepts, source funding, and bring together project partners and collaborators. Their remit is to produce stories which promote positive change and social responsibility.

Wind & Sky Productions’s work is often distributed online, projected at special events, viewed on plasma screen installations or produced on DVD.

More information about Wind & Sky Productions is available at


Lucinda Horrocks, Producer, Wind & Sky Productions,, (03) 5339 5469.


The Ballarat National Theatre

History of the Australian National Theatre

Article commemorating the BNT’s 70th anniversary in 2008

Gertrude Johnson in the Australian Dictionary of Biography


Private Lives (1959). Image courtesy of The Gold Museum.

Private Lives (1959). Image courtesy of The Gold Museum.

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