When a true local icon reaches an impressive milestone like a 50th birthday, a celebration is in order! And for their 50th year the team at MSTYP has an ambitious goal… to raise $50,000.

For many who grew up on the North Shore, visiting Killara’s Marian Street Theatre and viewing one of their lively performances downstairs, was a rite of passage. Over the last 50 years, the Marian Street Theatre for Young People (MSTYP) has engaged with over 300,000 people in over 4,000 performances, with many more involved in the drama centre. Their graduates can be found throughout theatre companies and creative industries in Australia and internationally. They include Jordan Hare (actress in TV and film, including The Secret Daughter), Ava Madon (High 5 and The Pack down on ABC ME), Claire Nasher (poet), Linden Wilkinson (performer and playwright), Jim Southwell (performer and writer), Keith Agius (Bell Shakespeare, Sport for Jove), Terry Ryan (actor, puppeteer, writer), Kylie Harris (creator of Midnight Feast), and many more!

A Marian Street Theatre performance in 1980. CREDIT: FAIRFAX MEDIA

First opened as a community hall in 1906, the building – with significant upgrades – became a theatre in 1966. Plays featuring actors of the calibre of John McCallum, Ruth Cracknell, Jackie Weaver, Ron Haddrick and Nancye Hayes were performed to packed houses for the next 35 years. The Children’s Theatre began in 1967, with the first all-young people performance in 1969 under the helm of actor/director Audrey Blaxland. From 2001 to 2013, the theatre was used solely by Australia’s longest continually running children’s theatre, the Marian Street Theatre for Young People. In many cases, three or four generations of families have attended children’s theatre productions, or been involved in the development of them.

Above: Various productions by MSTYP over the years

In December 2013 Ku-ring-gai Council closed the doors of the theatre due to safety concerns, and it has remained unused ever since. Performances have subsequently moved to Knox Grammar School, and classes are held at locations in Gordon, Killara and Chatswood. In wonderful news for the community, Ku-ring-gai Council recently allocated $10.5 million to renovate and reopen Marian Street Theatre. Council Architectural designs will be by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.

The birthday celebrations for MSTYP will be held at the St Ives Wildflower Garden on Sunday September 15 from 4.00 to 6.30pm. It promises to be a big, fun afternoon celebrating all things Marian St Theatre for Young People – 50 years is a huge achievement for any theatre company, and especially for children’s theatre. As the team points out, “We’re an old company of young people!”

Enjoy interactive performances by MSTYP advanced classes in a beautiful setting. Meet friends you haven’t seen for many-a-show, and learn a song written for this event to celebrate our 50th year. Why not even dress up as your favourite character?

DATE:  Sunday September 15, 4.00-6.30pm

LOCATION: St Ives Wildflower Gardens, Mona Vale Road, St Ives

BRING: Your memories, a donation (if you want to give us a birthday present) and your imagination!

WEAR:  Something that reminds you of Marian St Theatre for Young People – dress up as your favourite character, or perhaps a fancy hat you wore in a show…anything that brings to life your memory.

Can’t come but want to support?

Attend the event online! This means we’ll send you photos and recordings from the event. It’s an ideal way to support MSTYP if you can’t be there for the event itself. You can also make a donation as a birthday present!

DONATIONS VIA: https://www.mstyp.org.au/support-us.html

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