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. This inaugural production went on to be nominated for 8 Helpmann Awards, winning 3 Awards for Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. The show then embarked on a national tour, including acclaimed seasons at Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Since the beginning, Hayes Theatre Co has established a reputation for showcasing thrilling, innovative, and ambitious musicals and cabaret. Hayes is a place where new Australian writing rubs shoulders with bold new productions of classic and contemporary international shows; where you can see barnstorming performers and musicians threaten to burst out of the theatre, then return to experience an intimate one-person show that casts a magic spell and breaks your heart. Hayes has earned a place on the cultural map by developing, producing, and presenting the most compelling and mould-breaking music theatre in Australia.

Named in honour of musical theatre luminary Nancye Hayes AM, Hayes Theatre Co 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. Hayes occupies a unique and vital position in the Australian music theatre ecology. Through our productions and a wide range of development activities, we provide opportunities for both emerging and established Australian artists to refine their skills, take creative risks, and advance their careers.

The programming at our intimate venue incorporates musical theatre, cabaret, and any other performances that combine the arts of music and storytelling.  Everything we do is in service of the beliefs that Australian musicals and artists can rival the best in the world, and that we can build an audience of Australians who feel as passionately about creativity in the art form as we do. We are committed to changing the dominant narrative: that with rare exceptions, only imported productions of musicals can be commercially successful in Australia.

Productions at Hayes have been nominated for and won numerous awards at the Helpmann Awards, Sydney Theatre Awards and several other awards ceremonies in Sydney and around Australia. Since our first production, Sweet Charity, embarked on a national tour, several further productions that have begun life at Hayes have transferred to other theatres or had national tours – including Assassins, In The Heights, Blood Brothers, Heathers, Violet, Little Shop of Horrors, H.M.S Pinafore, Rent, Godspell, Dubbo Championship Wrestling, Spamalot, American Psycho, and Calamity Jane. In a short time, the company has gained national and international recognition for its unique contribution to the Australian theatre industry.

As we celebrate the last 10 years and look with excitement to the future, we’d like to thank our audience members, who never fail to show enthusiasm and curiosity, to delight in new experiences, and to see musical theatre differently.


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.

Hayes Theatre Co is proudly funded by the NSW Government, through Create NSW and the Creative Capital program.