concourseAfter spending eighteen months working with Century Venues on a series of non-profit ventures for the company, including The Sydney Fringe and New Musicals Australia, Kris was brought in as a consultant for the six months prior to the opening of The Concourse, an initiative of Willoughby City Council and the cultural home of the North Shore.

The Concourse is one of Sydney’s leading entertainment venues home to a dynamic range of live arts and entertainment, and it incorporates a Concert Hall and theatre as well as rehearsal and studio space, conference facilities, and outdoor urban screen and a library with over 5,000 square metres of books.

The Concourse

Kris assisted with establishing the opening programming and producing the opening gala event at the Concourse, on September 17, 2011.


red hookIf it is August in New York, it must mean a whole new year of freshmen are descending on the city colleges.  Jenny Traylor is one of them, and she has moved here against her mother’s wishes, because her mom doesn’t realize it’s not 1978 anymore and NYC has become so safe it’s almost boring.

During Jenny’s Welcome Week at college, she gets invited to take part in the annual scavenger hunt, and the rules are simple: a clue gets sent to your cell phone, and you race to take your photo with the answer and text it back to receive the next clue.

But something is up. Someone is changing the rules and sending Jenny’s friends across the city and picking them off one by one.

Will Jenny be able to save them?  Will she want to? Don’t turn off your cell phones … because the hunt is on.


Red Hook – Movie Trailervia Metacafe

Red Hook – Movie Stills from RedSandMedia on Vimeo.


tos“You’re reading the official blurb, or short summary, of [title of show].  Blurb.  That’s a funny word. We spent a lot of time on this blurb so please read the whole blurb.

“[title of show] is a musical about two nobodies named Hunter and Jeff who decide to write a completely original musical starring themselves and their attractive and talented ladyfriends, Susan and Heidi.

Their musical, [title of show], gets into the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and becomes a hit.  Then it gets an off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre, and wins three Obie Awards!

Then (drumroll if you’ve got a drum) it’s announced that their musical is going to Broadway (hooray!) and people start seeing this blurb everywhere!  They read that The New York Times called [title of show] “DELECTABLE ENTERTAINMENT! A postmodern homage to the grand tradition of backstage musicals like Babes in Arms, Kiss Me, Kate and A Chorus Line.”

Fully intrigued, those people snatch up tickets and help make Hunter and Jeff’s life-long dream come true!”



“Delectable entertainment” – the New York Times
“In expert hands” – Associated Press
“Terrific. A kick-ass time” – The New York Daily News
“Sly, sassy, inspired” – Entertainment Weekly
“Wise, warm, irresistible” – The NY Sun
“A genuine treat” – NJ Star Ledger
“Immensely likeable” – The New Yorker
“A bottomless reservoir of fun” –
“Don’t miss it!” – Time Out NY
“An enjoyable romp” – Wolf Entertainment Guide
“A damn good show” – Edge NY
“A crowd-pleaser” – Variety
“Infectious joy” – WPKN
“A good dose of fun” – AM New York


ragsRags was Kris Stewart’s thesis show while studying at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth.

Stephen Schwartz and Joe Stein’s Rags opened and closed on Broadway within a few days, and it was a show that never had a definitive version. For this production, Kris referred to two versions of the original Broadway libretto and a concert script created by Lonnie Price, and it was the perfect thing to do in a training establishment, where they could spend a lot of time and put a lot of resources towards what is a very ambitious idea.

Kris really tried to create a world that spoke evocatively of that moment in history – the teeming masses downtown, the new world being created around them, the oppressiveness and the hope. The show is flawed, of course, but the talent and effort that we were about to focus in this environment made it a spectacular success.

rags reviews

“It is a heartening experience to see such a dynamic, innovative production as the WA Academy production of Rags … (visually) it is a masterpiece, with its railway pylons, smoking streetgates and forbidding corrugated iron barriers. Under Kris Stewart’s skilled direction the scenes are played with an extraordinary realism and power … Rags is a rare opportunity for Perth audiences to see a big Broadway musical that doesn’t cost an arm or a leg at the ticket office. Everyone deserves a standing ovation – not just members of the cast, but also the designers, managers and director.” CLYDE SELBY (June 13, 1998), “The West Australian”.


fluteplayerThe Flute Player’s Song is a new musical by Tony Troy, which Kris directed for the Gateway Playhouse in New Jersey in 2003.

This was a developmental production and the first time the work had been seen at this scale. It was a piece with a very warm heart – Tony was a guy who has had an interesting life, and there’s something deeply moving about this show.

After its season at the Gateway, it played at NYMF, with a lovely production directed by Tesha Buss.


virginsDean Bryant and Mathew Frank’s Virgins was originally titled The Virgin Wars and was commissioned by the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne, following on from the success of Prodigal Son the previous year.

Matt and Dean eventually expanded this one act musical into a full evening that was nominated for a number of Green Room Awards before playing at NYMF 2006. You can find out information on that at Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank’s website,

Kris has been lucky enough to direct it twice. Most recently was in September 2010 with students from the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, as part of a program focusing on Australian musicals. Before that, he directed the original production as part of Next Wave.





Skylight insertAfter graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Kris spent two years at Melbourne Theatre Company, working with Roger Hodgman, the Artistic Director of the time and a mentor of his. Here, he worked as an assistant director on a number of productions (including Assassins and A Little Night Music), and directed educational works or re-staged touring productions.

After assisting Roger on an earlier production, Kris directed David Hare’s Skylight for Sydney, Adelaide and country Victoria. It was challenging, because he was soon new to the company and a recent graduate, but it was a great opportunity to work with some extraordinary actors.


“Hard edged and realistic, (with a directorial presence that is) characteristically invisible and all pervasive, Skylight reconfirms how ideas can be brought, so satisfyingly and entertainingly, to life in the theatre.”  TIM LLOYD (The Adelaide Advertiser)

“Melbourne Theatre Company’s triumphant production of David Hare’s Skylight has ignited the stage at the Space Theatre … this all-new production is directed with a sure hand by Kris Stewart; deftly supporting the text and guiding the characters whilst not obstructing an onlooker’s capacity to interpret for themselves … Enjoy Skylight, enjoy the reaction it provokes – but be wary of how revealing your response could be.” SCOTT TRELOAR (Rip It Up magazine)

“David Hare’s Olivier Award-winning play Skylight deftly covers sweepingly profound issues of public and private morality without ever losing humour or pace … with seamless direction, this is first-rate theatre; enjoyable, yet thought-provoking enough to keep you mulling over it for days.”  JACKIE TRACY (The Adelaide Sunday Mail)


ITWKris has twice directed Into The Woods; firstly in 1999 at the Conservatorium of Music in Queensland, and then in 2010 at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney with the cast of em>Wicked.

For CQU, it was a great opportunity to try some ideas out on one of the classics in the canon – any great musical should be as open to reinterpretation as any great play.

Here, Into the Woods was treated as if we were looking at a production of As You Like It, a similar text in which the forest in a magical, fearful place. For this production, the staging concept was based around a suburbs and city setting, so that the “forest” was this fearful, urban environment.

In 2010 it was staged as a fundraiser for the Rob Guest Endowment, and it was a tremendous challenge. Working around his and the cast’s daily demands on Wicked, Kris crafted a fully-staged production that utilised the enormous resources available to the Wicked Creative Team.


” … it speaks inestimably of all involved that this production of Into The Woods is truly a first-class job … Director Kris Stewart elicited remarkable performances from his principals.”  NEIL MOLLOY The Brisbane Courier Mail

“Wicked cast presents magical night in the Woods … an extraordinary night in the theatre … from the moment MC Bert Newton arrived on stage to host the evening (with his usual glorious professional aplomb) it was clear the night was going to be exciting and magical. (…) allowed this most magnificent work to shine and glow in a superbly textured, utterly beguiling night of theatre. It was simply an incredible night that will long be remembered by those lucky to be in attendance.”  LES SOLOMON Aussie Theatre.



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



H2$Kris directed this for the Production Company in Melbourne – they’re similar to Encores in NYC, and Australia’s only non-profit that focusses on musical theatre.

The idea was to have a lot of fun with it, playing it as one big cartoon and keeping it in period (which was defined as about 20 minutes before the sexual revolution).

It featured quite a few Australian TV stars, who enjoyed the chance to parody their personas, plus a number of Australia’s best musical theatre performers.



“SUCCEEDS, AND HOW! This splendidly vivacious staging, the first of this year’s season of musicals from the Production Company, is directed with a fine sense of cynicism and good timing by Kris Stewart … there must have been challenges for Stewart, but he consistently surprises and uses the space to best advantage … wonderfully full realisation.” MICHAEL SHMITH (May 9, 2001), “The Age”

“BUSINESS BOOMS … The standard of Production Company musicals continues to astound … bubbles with personality and sparkle … a fine show, stellar cast and precise direction by Kris Stewart augurs well for this year’s Production company season.” CATHERINE LAMBERT (May 13, 2001), “The Herald Sun”