Andrew UptonAmateur License Form


Andrew Upton was the Co-Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) from 2008 to 2012, and acted as sole Artistic Director from 2013 to 2015. He is currently working on an English adaptation of A Flea in Her Ear, to premiere at the STC in October 2016 and has directed Speed-The-Plow, starring Rose Byrne, for the STC .

In 2006, Andrew made his directorial debut for the theatre with his translation of Dissident, Goes Without Saying for Wharf 2Loud. He went on to direct David Mamet’s Reunion later that year and in 2007 he directed Ruby Moon. Andrew has also directed and adapted for the STC The White Guard, starring Miranda Otto, and Cyrano de Bergerac; and he directed A Long Day’s Journey into Night starring William Hurt, as well as Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Endgame, both starring Hugo Weaving.

Andrew’s other work for the STC includes his adaptations of Don Juan, The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, Hedda Gabler, co-adaptation Face to Face, and his original plays Hanging Man and Riflemind. Andrew co-wrote The Maids with Benedict Andrews which premiered at the STC in 2013 and was performed as part of the Lincoln Centre Festival at the New York City Centre in 2014, he adapted Maxim Gorky’s Children of the Sun which was performed at the STC in 2014. The Present, his adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Platonov, had its world premiere at the STC in August 2015 .

Andrew has also written for the screen, most recently the short film Reunion as part of the compendium feature adaptation of Tim Winton’s The Turning. He co-wrote the feature film Gone for Working Title Films and has also adapted for film Foucault’s Pendulum, Amongst Thieves and Duplicate Keys. Under his production company banner, Dirty Films, Andrew wrote, directed and produced the short film Bangers and the feature film Stories of Lost Souls, and Associate Produced the award winning feature film, Little Fish. Andrew also acted as Executive Producer for the 2015 film Carol.

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The Cherry Orchard

Adapted from the original play by Anton Chekhov

Ranyevskaya returns more or less bankrupt after ten years abroad. Luxuriating in her fading moneyed world and regardless of the increasingly hostile forces outside, she and her brother snub the lucrative scheme of Lopakhin, a peasant turned entrepreneur, to save the family estate. In so doing, they put up their lives to auction and seal the fate of the beloved orchard.

Set at the very start of the twentieth century, The Cherry Orchard captures a poignant moment in Russia’s history as the country rolls inexorably towards 1917.

full length play
7 males
5 females

Cyrano de Bergerac

Andrew Upton and Marion Potts’ highly acclaimed translation of Edmond Rostand’s classic tale was adapted by Upton for the Sydney Theatre Company in 1999.

Dating from 1897, the story describes the misadventures of the valiant and tragic Cyrano, whose enormous nose prevents him from securing the adoration of the demure and much-admired Roxane. Instead, Cyrano expresses his love by writing billets-doux on behalf of his gorgeous but vapid soldier-friend Christian, which are duly delivered to Roxane in Christian’s name. It doesn’t help that Roxane was Cyrano’s childhood friend, or that Christian’s wit is as slow as Cyrano’s is fast. Will our Quixotic chevalier win the heart of his beloved, or he be stymied by his own self-loathing?

The STC production of Cyrano De Bergerac made its debut to enormous critical acclaim and commercial.

full length play
10 males
3 females

Don Juan

Adapted from a new translation of Moliére by Andrew Upton and Marion Potts.

Don Juan has a self-appointed mandate from Heaven to follow his desire wherever it leads. Faced with the delicious agony that the world might not hold enough women to conquer, he swings over the crevice of damnation with all the agility of a high wire act.

full length play
9 males
4 females

Hanging Man

The three sons of a legendary Australian painter come home for their mother’s funeral, but as always, it’s their father’s ghost that haunts them. Surrounded by his achievement, they begin grappling over their father’s legacy including a masterpiece from ‘The Barbarians’ series.

Enter Allyson, the ruthless publicist of a famous ex-pat Australian actress. Allyson is on a mission. To buy the painting for her employer and take it overseas. And nothing is going to stop her. But it becomes clear that their mother had her own plan for the painting.

Hanging Man examines the identity of a family and above all, the anxiety of identity at the heart of this country.

full length play
3 males
2 females

Amateur rights currently available only in New South Wales

Hedda Gabler

Adapted by Andrew Upton from the play by Henrik Ibsen.

Another Summer gone. A six month honeymoon with her academic husband. And now Hedda is home to an oversized house, a life of debt and herself… a fierce free spirit terrified of scandal and gossip … an exhibitionist who can’t bear to be seen … a terrible knot of contradictions and complications. And then the brilliant philosopher Lovborg comes back into Hedda’s life.

Hedda Gabler - the woman - is Ibsen’s most magnificent creation.

full length play
4 males
4 females

Face to Face

Adapted by Andrew Upton and Simon Stone for stage from the film by Ingmar Bergman. Something is wrong with Jenny but not even she can understand what. She is a woman with both a family and a brilliant career as a psychiatrist. She is intelligent, educated, well adjusted and capable. So, why can’t she sleep at night? And why is it that when she does she is plagued by vivid, terrifying dreams?

When something violent and disturbing happens, Jenny finds her response even more alarming than the incident itself. Shaken to the core, she realises that she has ceased to feel anything: no love, no joy, no fear. And so begins Jenny’s gradual disintegration and a psychological journey through dreams, the past and eventually the present.

full length play
7 males
6 females


Sung at a funeral and a wedding today. The full gamut of the human experience from the ridiculous to the utterly pointless. A restless bunch of young radicals hang out, have sex, dance, drink, moan and philosophise at the home of a prosperous decorator.

While Pyotr, a sometime student of law, falls for the lovely, loose-living lodger, his sister carps on about the tedium of life, lusts after Nil - who’s blind to her charms but in pursuit of the servant - and botches her own suicide. In this house everything fades quickly. Tears, laughter. Everything. Dissipates. The last sounds ringing out over the lake. Then nothing. A banal hum. A household falls to pieces as the personal and political turmoil of pre-revolutionary Russia gathers pace.

full length play
7 males
6 female


John was once the frontman in one of the world’s biggest bands, Riflemind. Now John and his wife Lynn are safe from the world in their walled country house. Money and anonymity, however, won’t protect them from themselves or their past. As a comeback tour nears, a weekend of music-making is planned. As soon as the band and associated spouses, lovers and hangers-on arrive, it’s a rock’n’roll circus.

With their apparent affluence, preposterous egos and rock-god lifestyle, each of them struggles to find redemption. Over this weekend they will open old wounds, lose their way, play great music and, perhaps, stumble into a more certain future.

full length play
5 males
2 female

Through the Looking Glass

Adapted from the book by Lewis Carroll. Libretto by Andrew Upton, composed by Alan John. This opera adapts Through the Looking Glass as a double narrative, exploring the writing of the story, and Alice Pleasance Liddell’s subsequent lifelong identification as Carroll’s creation, through the strange landscape of Carroll’s fantasy. The Opera follows Alice through the writer’s projections, a confusing mirror-world in which she loses her identity, even her own name; a world in which she exists only as a figment of someone else’s imagination.

full length play

Uncle Vanya

On a dilapidated, remote farm Uncle Vanya and his niece Sonya have worked slavishly to sustain an estate in decline. And so it has been for years. Now Professor Serebryakov and his beautiful young wife, Yelena, have returned to visit. Adding to the chaos and disruption are the constant visits of the charismatic Astrov. Lunch is no longer served at lunch time - now it is procrastinated until dusk - work is forgotten and the long, cool nights have become sleepless.

From this hotbed of disarray grow three consuming love affairs, each of which is destined to wither in disappointment before it has reached bloom.It is in this climate of frustration and hopelessness that the Professor chooses to unveil his shocking plan to sell the estate. Faced with an uncertain future, Vanya is provoked into an act of violence which is as humiliatingly unsuccessful as his attempts at romance.

full length play

The White Guard

Adapted by Andrew Upton for stage from the book by Mikhail Bulgakov.

Set in the Ukraine, where the Russian Revolution is sweeping towards Kiev, the play follows the Turbin family as they gather in their home to prepare for the Bolsheviks’ arrival. With the city in chaos, the time has come for its residents to fight or flee. Turbin brothers Alexi and Nikolai have resolved to stay and fight for The White Guard but with Russia broken up into pieces, battling to pull it back together will not be a straightforward task.

As the men ready themselves for the fight, their consistently pragmatic sister Lena strives to maintain calm and order in a home as chaotic as the streets outside. Friends dash in, opportunistic suitors swing by and a sweet, bumbling family member descends unannounced. However, amid all of these arrivals, Lena will also be confronted with a painful and conspicuous departure…

full length play 15 males* 1 female

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