Hayes Theatre Co Announces New Chair

After almost seven years in the role, Hayes Theatre Co has announced that chair Lisa Campbell will be stepping down and passing the baton to Fiona Allan, CEO of Opera Australia.

Hayes Theatre Co Executive Director Will Harvey said as a founding board member of Hayes Theatre Co Lisa Campbell has overseen dramatic growth in the reputation, scale and impact of the theatre.

Lisa’s inspirational leadership has attracted the brightest talent to Hayes, and in turn helped launch the careers of many of our current musical theatre stars, writers, and creatives. Lisa has also been instrumental in fostering support for Hayes, allowing the company to expand its activities and invest extensively in the development of new musicals.

“After an extensive search, led by the board, we’re overjoyed to welcome the extraordinary Fiona Allan to Hayes, where together with our incredible artists, supporters, board, and staff, we look forward to building on Lisa’s legacy,” Harvey said. Outgoing chair Lisa Campbell said, “Fiona is the perfect Chair for Hayes. Her long-term industry knowledge coupled with her enthusiasm for musicals and new work will place the Hayes in extremely good hands.”

“I am very pleased to be joining Hayes Theatre Co as the new Chair,” said Fiona Allan. “I admire the extensive work the Hayes is doing to promote new writing and create new Australian stories under the inspiring leadership of Co-Artistic Directors Richard Carroll and Victoria Falconer, and Executive Director Will Harvey.

“Hayes plays a vital part in Sydney’s and Australia’s cultural ecosystem, having provided early career support for hundreds of artists and creatives over the past ten years. My thanks to Lisa for her vision and stewardship of the Hayes over the last seven years.”

Co-Artistic Directors Richard Carroll and Victoria Falconer said, “Hayes Theatre Co has established itself as a vital industry force over the last decade, with a focus on talent, quality, and creativity right from the beginning.

Our ongoing success is very much due to the cultural leadership of Lisa Campbell, whose bold imagination and unflagging dedication has played such a huge part in defining the company’s first decade. We’re thrilled that she’s passing the torch to the equally inspiring Fiona Allan, whose outstanding record as an acclaimed arts leader in Australia and the UK, with an eye for innovation and a passion for new work, makes her a perfect fit for Hayes. We look forward to working closely with her, steering the company towards an even more successful second decade.”

About Hayes Theatre Co

Since opening its doors in 2014, Hayes Theatre Co has established a reputation for showcasing thrilling, innovative, and ambitious musicals, with new Australian writing rubbing shoulders with bold new productions of classic and contemporary international shows. Hayes has earned a place on the cultural map by developing, producing, and presenting the most compelling and mould-breaking musical theatre in Australia.

Named in honour of musical theatre luminary Nancye Hayes AM, Hayes captures the spirit of Off-Broadway in Australia, providing a dedicated and permanent home for small-scale musical theatre with big ambitions, and the Australian artists who will define our cultural expression for years to come. Through Hayes productions and a wide range of development activities, they provide opportunities for both emerging and established Australian artists to refine their skills, take creative risks and advance their careers.

Programming at the intimate venue incorporates musical theatre, cabaret, and any other performances that combine the arts of music and storytelling. Everything Hayes does is in service of the beliefs that Australian musicals and artists can rival the best in the world, and that together with the community they can build an audience of Australians who feel as passionately about Australian creativity.

The immensely popular musicals produced at Hayes have won three Helpmann Awards and 45 Sydney Theatre Awards. Many presented at Hayes Theatre have now gone on to further seasons at other venues, including: Sweet Charity, Little Shop of Horrors, Blood Brothers, Assassins, In the Heights, Violet, Heathers, Cabaret, Calamity Jane, American Psycho, HMS Pinafore, Rent, Spamalot, Dubbo Championship Wrestling, Godspell and Murder For Two.

Hayes is supported by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the NSW Government, through Create NSW. Hayes is made possible through the City of Sydney’s Accommodation Grants Program.


Fiona Allan

Fiona Allan is an eminent international performing arts leader. She commenced in the role of CEO at Opera Australia in November 2021 and since then has worked with the board on the creation of a new organisational strategy that reimagines Opera Australia as a performing arts company for a 21st century Australia. She has managed the transition of artistic leadership, in 2023 appointing new artistic director Jo Davies, the first female in the company’s history to hold the position.

Prior to joining Opera Australia as CEO in November 2021, Fiona spent 18 years working in the UK in senior artistic and executive leadership roles. Most recently she was Artistic Director & CEO of Birmingham Hippodrome, a large multi-genre arts centre which is also home to four resident dance organisations. Before that, she was CEO of Curve Theatre, a producing theatre creating new theatre and musical productions from its purpose-built rehearsal and performance spaces in Leicester, and touring these around the UK. Her first role in the UK was as Artistic Director of Wales Millennium Centre, the national performing arts centre based in Cardiff. Prior to moving to the UK, Fiona was CEO of the Sydney Film Festival.

Whilst in the UK she held numerous NED roles including as President of UK Theatre, Chair of the Midlands regional tourism board, and Chair of The Space digital agency. She currently serves on the Executive Council of Live Performance Australia.
Fiona’s lifelong commitment to new writing started at university, where she and a group of fellow music students would stage new music theatre pieces on a shoestring budget. In the intervening decades Fiona has been responsible for the creation of several new writing and incubator programs and the commissioning of dance, theatre and musical theatre works.


Lisa Campbell

Lisa is an award-winning producer, casting director and immediate past Chair of Hayes Theatre Co. Her production company, Luckiest Productions has produced national tours, international documentaries and live recordings for DVD and cinema release. They have won Helpmann and ARIA awards, as well as numerous Sydney Theatre Awards. She was the producer of Adelaide Cabaret Festival from 2009-2011, alongside her husband David Campbell, the festival’s Artistic Director. Lisa is a founding member of the Hayes Theatre Co.

As a Producer, Lisa has presented many successful musical theatre productions, including Sweet Charity (with Tinderbox Productions and Neil Gooding Productions), Little Shop of Horrors (with Tinderbox Productions), Only Heaven Knows, Miracle City and Merrily We Roll Along. For Hayes Theatre Co, she has been Executive Producer on A Little Night Music, Assassins and Caroline, Or Change.

In recent years, Lisa has worked extensively as a Casting Director – winning the CGA’s award for Best Casting of a Musical for her work on Moulin Rouge! The Musical. She is currently International Casting Director for Moulin Rouge!, overseeing all productions worldwide and Casting Director for the forthcoming Australian Tour of Beetlejuice.