Ballarat National Theatre

Sat 1 April 2023

Given the date of publication, we must begin by confirming that this is NOT an April Fool's Day joke.Barkly Square

The BNT board has moved a motion to take up accommodation at Barkly Square from April to trial having a space to rehearse, meet and operate from.

Barkly Square used to be the Ballarat Secondary College Barkly Campus, located at 25 Barkly St, Ballarat East VIC 3350. The lease will commence at the start of April and the board will spend the months afterward until August, assessing if it is financially viable for us to continue utilising the venue in an ongoing capacity. We will organise a home warming of some kind for our current members once we get settled in the facility.

While it is not a theatre and not a venue for the storage of large items, it will give us space to craft props and store many items of that nature, as well as conduct workshops, rehearsals, meetings, and similar events. The board is also considering the option of members being able to hire out the space in the future, once we find our feet in the venue.

The space that we will be taking up residence in is an old classroom and one of many utilised on the site. Other tenants of the facility include The Ballarat Times, Voice FM, Ballarat East Neighbourhood House, Ballarat Men's Shed, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council, YMCA, and more. Barkly Square hosts quarterly seasonal markets which are contributed to by all the tenants. The facility includes a cafe that was previously run by A Pot of Courage but will soon be run by 1816 Bakehouse. In the centre of the facility is a courtyard garden that is overlooked on all sides by windows from classrooms and corridors. 

The venue is accessible via a ramp at the front door and ground-level entry at the side. There is ample parking out the front and a large car park at the rear. 

Our room is on the upper floor which can be accessed by stairs and elevator. 

We won't be set up for casual drop-ins at the site as we will be using it on an as-needed basis, but current BNT members can get in touch with the board with any inquiries.


9 Mar 2023

The Annual General Meeting is held in February. The date, venue and time of the AGM are sent out to members at least three weeks in advance at which nominations are requested for potential board members. Nominations must be completed and lodged with the Secretary seven days prior to the AGM.

The current board 2023 consists of the following:-

Board Members

President Liana Skewes
Vice President Sue Skewes
Secretary Cathy Adamson
Treasurer Robyn Ashmore
Marketing Manager Juliette Cavendish
Membership Manager Laura Hudson
Board member and marketing working group Sam Graffeo
Board member Megan J Riedl
Board member Evelyn Zeven


Liana Skewes

Liana Skewes

President Marketing Working Group
Robyn Ashmore

Robyn Ashmore

Cathy Adamson

Cathy Adamson

Sue Skewes

Sue Skewes

Vice Presdient
Evelyn Zeven

Evelyn Zeven

Board member
Megan J Riedl

Megan J Riedl

Board member
Juliette Cavendish

Juliette Cavendish

Marketing Manager
Laura Hudson

Laura Hudson

Membership Manager
Sam Graffeo

Sam Graffeo

Marketing Working Group


2023 Board Meeting Dates

Second Wednesday of every month
April 12
May 10
June 14
July 12
August 9
September 13
October 11
Nov 8
Dec 13
Jan 10

Sun 29 Jan, 2023

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This week BNT President Liana Skewes was named the Ballarat Citizen of the Year 2023 for her wide range of community work over the years, including for her work with Ballarat National Theatre. 

Some of Liana's volunteer work with us has included the establishment of Monologue Karaoke through our friends at Volta, which has made regular theatre accessible and given a space for the BNT community to connect outside of a theatre show. She has also led several internal administrative projects that have enabled us to digitise company processes such as our membership management system which has gone from being a paper form to an online portal. This was a challenging process that required lots of consideration for the varying needs of our membership, many of whom are not technology literate, and as part of the research into this change, Liana enabled us to discuss the process in depth with Bendigo Theatre Company.

She has championed digital archiving of our many years of photography, last year using those archives to create a calendar fundraiser.

Further fundraising efforts have seen us raise some funds with the Jane Austen High Tea last year and successfully applying for a $1000 grant for community groups from Metricon.

During the pandemic she directed our now internationally known Pride and Prejudice Podcast working with co-creator and BAF Alumna Olivia French and a collective of local, regional actors and theatre makers. The project was shortlisted as an honouree in the Webby Awards and the following it established has enabled BNT to create opportunities for further accessible audio productions.

During the production of the P&P Podcast, she researched and established us an online merchandise store that provides a small passive income stream for us, which was essential during periods of lockdown to contribute to the payment of the ongoing overhead costs for running the company.

BNT is one of several community groups/projects she was recognised for contributing to with the honour of becoming Ballarat Citizen of the Year. This year will see the continuation of several of her projects with us, including productions under the stage name Liana Emmerson, and we look forward to sharing these with our community.

1Mon 6 March, 2023

Auditions are now open for our November production of Julius Caesar directed by Shannon Nicholls.

View the Audition Pack here.

Book your audition here.

Audition dates: Fri 17 Mar, Sun 19 March.


Caesar is known by many to be generous, powerful, a brilliant tactician, and a wise leader.

He is also known to be ambitious.

Fresh from his victory over his political rival and fellow Consul, Pompey the Great, Caesar returns to Rome with dreams of seizing the absolute power that he believes he deserves.

Many Romans rejoice to see this happen, but there are some who do not. Some Romans look to an old custom; when one man seeks to make himself a king, it is every citizen's responsibility to see him dead.

Would this be an act of great treachery or great civil responsibility?

This is the story of the end of a centuries-old democracy and the birth of one of the most powerful Empires in human history.

Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's more unique plays; a story without a clear hero or villain, where the tension comes from the political backdrop of the Roman Republic's final days. A political thriller that tells the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of his conspirators. 

Tue 24 Jan, 2023

ATDW Dust and Ruin 1600 1200 px

Tickets for our April production of Dust and Ruin are now available to purchase through the website of Her Maj.

Dust and Ruin is directed by Alexandra Meerbach, who is also the playwright.

It is February 2029 and the world is on the brink of crisis. Water is scarce, the first nuke has been launched and each week, somewhere in the world natural disasters are occurring – brought on by climate change. A group of families have been pooling their resources, slowly building a bunker on some remote bushland to protect them all. To survive.
The eight families decide to spend a week in the bunker “just in case”. They drop the kids off first, because there have been riots in the nearby town (an hour's drive away) and they need to get supplies for the week ahead. But the parents do not return … not after two hours, nor three, nor four …

What’s happening outside the bunker?

How long do they stay?

Show dates

Fri 14 Apr - 7.30pm
Sat 15 Apr - 7.30pm
Sun 16 Apr - 2pm
Wed 19 Apr - 7.30pm
Thu 20 Apr - 7.30pm
Fri 21 Apr - 7.30pm
Sat 22 Apr - 2pm

Find out more about this production here.