Hayes Theatre Co

A home for Music Theatre and Cabaret in Sydney.

Hayes Theatre Co

Advisory Panel

The Open Submissions Advisory panel is responsible for screening applications, providing feedback to applicants and selecting projects for development as part of the Open Submissions Program – a subsidiary of Hayes Creative Development. 


Neil Gooding is an international theatre director, producer and writer. He was the originating Chairman and one of the founding members of Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney and was the head of New Musicals Australia. Neil produces and directs shows across the globe through Neil Gooding Productions, which he established in 2001.

Amongst numerous directorial credits, Neil was nominated in 2009 for a Helpmann Award and a Green Room Award for the Australian premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical!.  He was also nominated for a Sydney Theatre Critics Award for his direction of the Australian premiere of Dogfight. 

As Producer/Director Neil has created many productions including Sing on Through Tomorrow; LOVEBiTES; Love Letters, Truth Beauty And A Picture Of You and High Fidelity (Hayes Theatre Co); the national tour of Thank You for Being A Friend; Side by Side by Sondheim and Diciasette (starring Mark Vincent).

Productions that Neil has produced have been nominated for numerous Helpmann Awards, Sydney Theatre Awards and Green Room Awards. Internationally he has produced includes the New York productions of Church And State, Handle with Care; The 39 Steps (Union Square Theatre, New York); Alan Cumming’s one-man version of Macbeth (Broadway) as well as being a financial investor in It’s Only A Play and The Ferryman. Neil was also a producer of the hit Australian play, Holding the Man on the West End.

His producing credits in Australia include the multi Helpmann Award-winning Sweet Charity which launched Hayes Theatre Co, before going on to have a national tour; and the original tour of Breast Wishes – a new Australian musical which went on to complete a six-month regional tour in 2011.

Neil has also produced and directed some of Australia’s best musical theatre and cabaret performers including  The Divine Miss Bette starring Catherine Alcorn, I Get The Music In You an evening with Jan van de Stool; Lucy Maunder in Irving Berlin: Songs In the Key Of Black;  and Queenie van de Zandt’s multi-award-winning show, BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell, which was nominated for the 2018 Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Cabaret Production as well as winning 3 other prestigious theatre awards. He has also produced and directed Nicholas Christo’s cabaret shows Well Swung and The Fabulous Frances Faye, which was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Critics Award, and was presented in New York in 2009.

Early in his career, Neil was employed by Jacobsen Entertainment, where he was responsible for the financial administration of the Arena Productions of The Man from Snowy River Arena Spectacular, the Long Way to The Top concert series, De La Guarda and Dirty Dancing, as well as being the tour accountant on the road with Ja Rule & Ashanti in 2003. In 2005, Neil also worked for Delta Goodrem and toured Australia as her Tour Accountant on her Visualise Tour. Neil is also the author of the musical Back to the 80’s which is now produced hundreds of times around the world every year, as well as the recently released Popstars.


Sheridan is an actor, playwright and director, graduating from NIDA in 2006. Her musical Songs for the Fallen won Best Musical, and Outstanding Actress at the New York Music Theatre Festival and toured Sydney and Brisbane Festival, Arts Centre Melbourse and New Zealand.

She was a Griffin Studio member and directed and co-wrote Nosferatutu, or Bleeding at the Ballet for Griffin. Sheridan is also the director and dramaturg of the upcoming new musical Dubbo Championship Wrestling for Hayes Theatre Co. Recently Sheridan starred in Prima Facie at Griffin Theatre and received Best Actress from the Sydney Theatre Awards and GLUG Awards.

Sheridan has collaborated with the UK cult band The Tiger Lillies for the Biennale and appeared with John Cleese in the Just For Laughs Festival. Theatre credits include, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical; The Dog/The Cat; The Sugar House; Girl Asleep (Belvoir),  North by Northwest; The Beast; The Speechmaker (Melbourne Theatre Company) and The Detective’s Handbook and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Hayes Theatre Co).

She played Valerie Solanas and Judy Garland in Jim Sharman’s film Andy X. Television credits include Rake, All Saints, Wild Boys, Doctor Blake Murder Mysteries and The Justine Clarke Show.


Shaun is an award-winning NIDA and RADA graduate director who has worked across Australian premiers of new works to innovative revivals of treasure musicals. Drawn to stories of desire and heart, Shaun has received three Sydney Theatre Award nominations for Best Director, and won the Broadway World Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his 2016 production of RENT (Highway Run Productions) at Hayes Theatre Co.

This year has already seen Shaun direct: Irene (Neglected Musicals), The Rose & Disguise of Elizbaeth R (Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co), Considering Matthew Shephard (Sydney Philharmonia Choir), Mamma Mia! (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and soon he will direct the Australian Premiere of Amelie for Darlinghurst Theatre Company. 

As a director Shaun’s musical theatre credits include: The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), Sweet Charity (WAAPA), The View Upstairs (Invisible Wall Productions and Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co), Carmen; Live or dead (Oriel Group). #VAL (His Majesty’s Theatre). You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Hayes Theatre Co), Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (WAAPA), Wicked (Freerain Theatre) and Only Heaven Knows (Luckiest Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co) which received 9 Sydney Theatre Award nominations including Best Director of a Musical. Shaun has also directed the Australian premiere’s of Jess and Joe Forever (Sugary Rum Productions at 25A, Downstairs Belvoir) ; Tennessee William’s  Baby Doll (Ensemble Theatre) and I Am My Own Wife (Redline Productions). 

As the recipient of the Sandra Bates Directors Award 2017. Shaun directed on Neville’s Island and Lip Service (Ensemble Theatre) He was also Assistant Director on the London production of A Christmas Carol (The Tabard Theatre) and Once We Lived Here (Kings Head) where he was Resident Director.

Shaun co-created Light the Night, an annual benefit concert for leukemia research, which he produced and directed for 10 years.


Phillip Scott is a writer, actor, composer, pianist, best known for the Sydney Theatre Company’s annual Wharf Revue. His cabaret’s include the award-winning solo show Reviewing the Situation, Mario (with Blake Bowden), Newley Discovered (with Hugh Sheridan) and No Cabaret for Old Men (with Jonathan Biggins). He was also co-writer and composer for the musicals Safety in Numbers and The Republic of Myopia.

With Trevor Ashley, Phil has co-written adult pantos including: Fat Swan, Little Orphan Trashley, The Bodybag and The Lyin’ Queen. Phil recently played Dr Pangoss in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Sydney Opera House and was Musical Director/Arranger of Torch Song Trilogy for Darlinghurst Theatre Company. With Catherine Alcorn, he appeared last year at Hayes Theatre Co in 30 Something which was set on New Year’s Eve 1939.

Phil has published four novels and is also a music reviewer for Limelight Magazine.


Katherine began her award-winning career in theatre in 1982 and in 2006 was awarded The ANPC Award for her substantial contribution to the Australian theatre industry. Theatre credits include: A Change in the Weather (1982), Tonight We Anchor in Twofold Bay (1985),  A Sporting Chance (1987), Darlinghurst Nights (1998), Diving For Pearls (1991), Barmaids (1991), Fragments of Hong Kong (1995), King Tide (2007), Navigating (1997), This Hospital is My Country (2000), Kayak (2001), Mavis Foes to Timor (2002) and Harbour (2004). Katherine’s productions continue to enjoy successful seasons in Australia’s major theaters today.

Katherine has written and script produced for seasons 4, 5 and 6 of the acclaimed TV series A Place To Call Home (2017 Logie for Most Outstanding Television Drama) as well as being a writer and associate producer on the upcoming series Back To The Rafters for Amazon Prime Video and Fremantle Media. Other recent screenwriting credits include House Of Hancock (Winner, 2015 AWGIE; Nominated, 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) Schapelle; Blackjack (Winner, 2007 AWGIE) and a number of Halifax FP episodes (Nominated, 2002 AFI Award best screenplay – Telemovie; Nominated AWGIE; Nominated, 1998 AFI Best Screenplay – Telemovie; Nominated, 1998 AWGIE); Killing Time; East West 101 (Nominated, 2009 AWGIE); Satisfaction (Nominated, 2008 Logie, Most Outstanding Drama Series); Wildside; Grass Roots (Nominated, 2001 NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Scriptwriting); Fallen Angels; Snowy and GP (Winner, 1993 AWGIE; Winner, 1993 NSW Premier’s Literary Award). Katherine is also the Australian co-writer of the Canadian-Australian co-production Answered By Fire, which won the Gold AWGIE in 2006.

Other credits include documentary series Darwin’s Brave New World and feature documentaries Unfolding FlorenceThe Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst and Women He’s Undressed, both directed by Gillian Armstrong.


In 2020 Darren recently directed Joseph and His Amazing Dreamcoat in Tokyo, the remount of Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam for NTofP at Belvoir Street Theatre and Merrigong Theatre, Double Delicious for The Sydney Festival and CAAP.  He performed as the Sultan in Disney’s Aladdin touring New Zealand, Adelaide and Singapore.

Other productions he has directed include the world premiere of The Great Wall, for Glowstick Productions in Singapore, Miracle City for Hayes Theatre and Theatre Division, A Murder Is Annunced for Louise Withers and Associates, Letters To Lindy for Merrigong Theatre, Ghost The Musical for Toho productions in TokyoDiving For Pearls and Ladies Day for Griffin Theatre, The Serpent’s Table (co-directed with Lee Lewis) for CAAP and Sydney Festival.

Darren’s outdoor events and musicals include Associate Director for the 2019 Abu Dhabi National Day, Betty Productions UK, Artistic Director for The City Of Sydney Chinese New Years Parade for two years, Segment Director for The Closing Ceremony Of The 15th Asian Games In Qatar, Artistic consultant on the Opening of The National Gallery of Singapore, Associate director for The Cairo Pre-Show Celebrations, Miss Saigon 2007-2014 (Australia, Japan, Korea, Amsterdam, West End) and Mamma Mia 10th Anniversary Tour in 2009. 

Darren won the Broadway Regional Award for best Director of a play: Diving For Pearls and also was nominated for Miracle City for best outstanding main stage production in 2017.

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