Kris Stewart has worked widely, both as a freelance theatre director and as an artistic director.

As a director, Kris has directed 30+ productions for companies such as Opera Australia, the Sydney Festival, the State Opera of South Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, The Broward Stage (Miami), International Management Group, Next Wave Festival, The Jacobsen Group, The Gateway Playhouse (New Jersey), The Production Company, Playbox and Handspan Visual Theatre.

Largely focussing on new music theatre, Kris’ work has been recognized with the $100,000 Jujamcyn Theaters Prizethe Sir Keith Murdoch Prize for Leadership and Innovation and a Churchill Fellowship. Kris is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theatre’s Director’s Lab and completed his post-graduate study at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

To find out more, click through to the Directing page, where you can find our more about a number of shows that Kris has directed, including the Trocadero Dance Palace, Into the Woods, Virgins, My One and Only, Life’s A Circus and many others.


trocThe Trocadero Dance Palace was created to be a featured event at the 2011 Sydney Festival, and is returning as part of 2012 Festival First Night.

Kris was approached by the festival artistic director Lindy Hume, who wanted to create a show about the Trocadero, which was an iconic building on George Street, Sydney from the 40’s through to the late 60’s. It was an enormous dance hall, and generations of Sydneysiders met their husbands and wives on the Trocadero dance floor.

Eventually, it fell to the inevitable tide of development in Sydney – but the show Trocadero Dance Palace that Kris created for the Festival imagined a fictional present where the Trocadero remained the centre of Sydney’s dance culture. It featured an all-female big band (which the Troc was famous for), as well as four vocalists, featured dancers, aerial artists and an enormous dance floor. It was about creating an environment, and thousands of audience members turned out in costume, a mix of cutting-edge contemporary wear and jet-age fashion. With music that swung from Christina Aguilera to Paul Anka, and the Scissor Sisters to the Andrews Sisters, it was a tremendously exciting and successful event.






“70 minutes of complete and utter excitement,” the Daily Telegraph

“An unambiguous success,” Lindy Hume in the Australian newspaper



TSL_PosterAs well as those shows that I have listed here on the site (and have photos of) there are dozens of other things that I have directed across my career, from the time before I did my post-graduate study at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, through the five or six years after graduation that I worked as a director in Sydney and Melbourne, prior to relocating to NYC.


“…The Shrinking Ledge is impeccably presented and plenty of fun … Writer, director and cast seize upon the fun unleashed by the erosion of boundaries between reality and fiction. Kris Stewart’s direction is crisp and assured and is aided by excellent lead performances … ”  HELEN THOMSON (The Age), on The Shrinking Ledge.

“In The Shrinking Ledge, Nicholas Flanagan leaps into the wide blue yonder … This writers nightmare shatters the english
language and makes us look for – and find – glittering shards of meaning.  The Shrinking Ledge is bursting with puns that are grotesque and brilliant and unbelievably sick. Skilled direction by Kris Stewart keeps things consistently taut and punchy.” CHRIS BOYD (The Herald Sun) of The Shrinking Ledge.

“Those seeking entertainment with a tantalising mixture of intellectual stimulation and emotional gratification should not miss this production. The Dark Side’s Sondheim retrospective is an exhilarating demonstration of director Kris Stewart and the cast’s comprehensive understanding of this man’s work … Very, very impressive. I walked away from a night of musical theatre the type of which will hopefully be repeated soon by this company. Musicals like Me and My Girl are fine, but it is a real treat to experience something that makes you feel good and sets you thinking at the same time.” DAVID O’BRIEN (The Adelaide Advertiser) on No One Is Alone.

“The 12 talented actors are some of the strongest to step on to an Adelaide stage … Director Kris Stewart’s reputation is already high following his acclaimed, award-winning production of Merrily We Roll Along, and he has created another tremendous piece of musical theatre here. His work will be very much missed.” KRISSIE SCUDDS (Rip It Up Magazine) on No One Is Alone.

“ROLL UP, ROLL UP: IT’S A HIT! The S.A. Youth Theatre Company vividly brings to life Stephen Sondheim’s sophisticated and challenging Merrily We Roll Along. A teeming cast respond gratifyingly to the difficult task of realizing this superbly constructed, beautiful, witty and poignant show … But the real star does not appear on stage – Director Kris Stewart helms this astonishingly ambitious show, extracting extraordinary detail and credibility from his huge cast … uncompromising in his quest to realize this typically arresting and challenging show. This show deserves an audience. Merrily Roll Along!!” JAMES MULLIGHAN (The Sunday Mail) on Merrily We Roll Along.

“Any director of this show risks upsetting it’s delicate balance if staging isn’t undertaken with sufficient care. Mercifully, director Kris Stewart gets it right almost every time, making this production a little gem … The Fantasticks is an entertaining, thoughtfully directed, cunningly presented, musically satisfying treat.” PAT WILSON (The Advertiser) on The Fantasticks.