Performance in Victoria

Find information about theatrical performers, performances, theatre companies and venues. Includes everything from drama, opera and dance to circus, puppetry and readings.

Subject librarian

Katie Flack's picture
Katie Flack
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Australian theatre history

A timeline of highlights from Australian theatre history can be found online.

The book, The playbill and its people: Australia's earliest printed document describes Australian theatre in the late 1700s.


This guide will help you research live performance in Victoria. It covers performances, performers, companies and venues. It will also help you find information about Victorians who performed interstate or overseas.

The guide will assist you if you are a theatre studies student, historian, curator, director or genealogist researching family history.

The Library's Theatre Programme Collection is a major resource. One of the oldest and largest collections in Australia, it is particularly useful for people studying the performing arts in Victoria. In addition to programmes it includes brochures, handbills/playbills and publicity material. It covers any event with an element of live performance from drama, opera and dance to circus, puppetry and readings. It can be searched through our catalogue.

The Library's catalogue also contains references to many other resources on live performance in Victoria. These vary from the libretto for the pantomime Djin Djin (1895) and the script for the play Do not go gentle (2011), to posters promoting performers such as Paul Kelly (1996) and papers (1814-1965) covering the theatrical career of actor and theatre manager, George Selth Coppin (1819-1906).

This guide is a perpetual work in progress. If you find errors or can suggest other information sources or approaches to the topic please contact me.

Click on the tabs above to get started.


George Coppin's life in theatre, H8306

State Library Victoria