About Us

Tamarama Rock Surfers (TRS) are Australia’s leading independent new writing theatre company.  We are committed to the development and presentation of new Australian work.  Through our two iconic Sydney venues; The Old Fitzroy Theatre & The Bondi Pavilion Theatre, we aim to provide access to for artists and audiences alike. The Rock Surfers’ goal is to give emerging theatre artists a leg up into the Sydney theatre scene, create community hubs for independent artists and show case the very best new Australian work.

The Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company is a twofold operation. Firstly, Tamarama Rock Surfers is a production company and have produced dozens of new Australian works at The Old Fitzroy Hotel, Stables Theatre, and The Opera House. It has produced work of such notable Australian playwrights as Brendan Cowell, Toby Schmitz, Sue Smith, John A D Fraser and Suzie Miller.

Secondly, TRS manages the Old Fitzroy Theatre and The Bondi Pavilion Theatre, acting as a parent company for literally hundreds of young, independent Australian theatre companies and thousands of emerging artists since we began in 1997.

To date it has showcased work to over 90,000 punters and presented over 140 shows, including the premieres of over 50 new Australian plays.

Each year the Old Fitzroy Theatre hosts up to 12 main stage productions and The Bondi Pavilion hosts six main stage productions. Alongside main stage productions both venues have Late Session shows, scratch nights, playreading nights, mini festivals, community events, hire functions and drama workshops.

Submissions open annually, inviting independent companies to pitch their shows for the main stage season in both venues. (The 2012 submissions are open till July 4th 2011).

Here at TRS, we pride ourselves in supporting the next crop of talented, hungry, emerging theatre practioners. The line up that you see on a TRS season will be the names that fill the main stages of the best theatres in Sydney, Australia and beyond in years to come.


Leland Kean- Artistic Director/CEO

Leland is the Artistic Director of Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Company LTD (TRS). He has over ten years directing, dramaturgy, design, producing and venue management experience which includes eight years with TRS and the Old Fitzroy theatre, four of these as artistic director. Since graduating from the NIDA directors course in 1997 his career has been dedicated to the development and production of new Australian writing and contemporary performance practice. Under his tenure as Artistic Director Leland has been responsible for the Programming and presentation of over 40 main stage productions and five annual programs, 2005 ‘A Season of Heaven’, 2006 ‘Blow it Up’, 2007 ‘Season of Rock’, 2008 ‘A Wave of Words’ and 2009 ‘Fragments from the Fringe’. His directing credits include Rock, Paper, Scissors by John Ad Fraser, THRALL by Sue Smith, Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somereset by Stephen Carlton, This Blasted Earth – A Christmas Miracle with Music by Toby Schmitz music by Tim Minchin, Cu*t Pi by Toby Schmitz, Harrys’ Christmas by Steven Berkoff (TRS), Woyzeck (0ne Man Prod.), ATM (Sydney Festival 2002), Happy New and Men by Brendan Cowell (Rogue Star Prod.) Where the Wild Things Are (Naked Eye Prod.), Blasted by Sarah Kane (NIDA) and How to Act Around Cops by Logan Brown(Shaman Prod.). He was the associate director on Cross Sections by Suzie Miller (TRS) in 2004 and for the return season at the Sydney Opera House in 2005. He is a regular dramaturg with key organisation Playwriting  Australia, a committee member of the Critical Stages touring program and a tutor of the NIDA Directors Course.

Phil Spencer- Associate Artistic Director

Since graduating in 2007 from the University of Glasgow, Phil has worked professionally as a writer, director & performer in both the UK and Australia. His Theatre credits include – The Great Apeth (The Horse’s Mouth Festival), Boxing Day (Tin Shed, MakeBeLive & TRS. The Old Fitzroy Theatre, Sydney), Bluey (Sydney Theatre Company, The Old Fitzroy Theatre. Battersea Arts Centre, London. The Arches, Glasgow), Mike (ATYP, Sydney), Kansas (The Home Brew Festival 2010, Sydney), Yolk (Brand Spanking New, Sydney), Fit For A King (Brand Spanking New & The Arches), Cardboard Castle (Imagine Festival, Sydney, The Arches & Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Shop Lifters of the World (Carriageworks, Sydney), Collisions Can Be Painful (West End Festival, Glasgow). Rock, Paper, Scissors by John AD Fraser (TRS, The Old Fitzroy Theatre), Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens by Tennessee Williams (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow), Rigmarole co-written with Kieran Hurley (F.W.A.M.), The Dream Life of Louise Michel (F.W.A.M.), Fewer Emergencies by Martin Crimp (Citizens
Theatre) and Shit & Sugar (F.W.A.M.). Phil founded Cut & Paste (a bi-monthly scratch night at the Old Fitzroy Theatre), The Horse’s Mouth Festival (an autobiographical performance festival) and co-founded Home Brew (a micro music & theatre festival). Phil is also co-artistic director of Tin Shed Theatre Company.

Sophie Alize Finnane – Associate Producer

Sophie Alize Finnane has been associated with TRS since 2004, producing shows in association with TRS at The Old Fitzroy Theatre and working as Production Manager on TRS shows. Sophie completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media Production) at University of Western Sydney in 2003 with a double major in Media Production / Cinema History, and History Politics and Philosophy. Sophie’s first encounters working in association with TRS came whilst working as Producer for Paddington Arts Club Inc (PACI). It was then that she was struck by TRS’s passion for new Australian work and dedication to helping new young artists get their work on stage. Sophie’s credits with Paddington Arts Club Inc at The Old Fitz include: ‘Forest Blue’, ‘Megan Moystn-Brown’, ‘Shiny White Diamonds’ and ‘And At That Moment Everything Changed’. Sophie went on to work for TRS as Production Manager on ‘Thrall’ and ‘Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Sommerset’, and, along side Jen Hamilton, she produced the enormously successful The Chronic Ills of Robert Zimmerman AKA Bob Dylan (A Lie) A Theatrical Talking Blues and Glissendorf.

Leonie Tillman – Company Manager

Leonie has worked as a dramaturg and producer and as a script reader for Parnassus Den. In 2009, she advised on the Tamarama Rock Surfers’ season and her recent credits include working on the Colour Blind Project; a short Australian Play festival (Project Dramaturg); and the Minds Eye (Bell Shakespeare) development process for the hip-hop version of As You Like It (Dramaturg). Other work as a Producer includes the Australian production of Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Chris Chibnall with Tamarama Rock Surfers. She also worked on Lynda Ng’s Endless Blue at the PlayWriting Australia National Script Workshop (Graduate Dramaturg), mentored by Chris Mead and Sam Strong.

Lucinda Gleeson – Venue & Box Office Manager

Lucinda has worked for TRS for over five years and is also a freelance director and performer. Lucinda directed The Chronic Ills Of Robert Zimmerman AKA Bob Dylan (A Lie) A Theatrical Talking Blues & Glissendorf by Benito di Fonzo (Bicycle User Group) The Old Fitzroy Theatre Late Session 2009. This show received the opportunity to be workshopped at Parramatta Riverside in 2009 and again for Albury’s Hothouse Theatre ‘A Month In The Country’ programme in 2010 and then toured to the Adelaide Fringe, The Old Fitzroy Theatre and to Byron Theatre. Later in the year it was picked up by Critical Stages and enjoyed a season in the Downstairs Theatre at The Seymour Centre for BITE, 2010. This production will tour regional NSW throughout 2011. Lucinda was Assistant Director for Leland Kean’s production on Rock, Paper, Scissors by John AD Fraser and for Iain Sinclair on Rope (The Bondi Pavilion Theatre). She is an actor and a graduate of the Ensemble Studios. As an actor her credits include Poster Girl (Gemeinshaft Dogs), Love Death & Madness, (HGR), Five Feminist Micro-Dramas (Art Is A Weapon), The Loaded Bra (Travelling Light), Material Girls (Any Road/Theatre South), Halel el Mashakel (Pesto Manifesto), Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Cut Theatre), Dole Diary (Naked Theatre Co), All In The Timing (Sidetrack), Whale Music, Under Milkwood, Never In My Lifetime and A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg (The Rep Theatre Co), Sex Acts (Big Eye), The Actor’s Nightmare & Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, (Studio One), The Bald Prima Donna (The George Moore Theatre Co), and Love Silhouettes (Lantern). Lucinda has also toured in productions to the International Schools Theatre Association, Austria, and to the Yakumo International Theatre Festival, Japan. Lucinda has appeared in various short films, and her television credits include Home and Away, All Saints, and Love My Way. She is a member of Sydney Playback Theatre.

Zoe Norton Lodge – Associate Artist

Zoe is a co-founder of Bambina Borracha Productions, with whom she has produced five seasons of theatre. Since it’s inception in 2007, Bambina has won the People’s Choice Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival (Words They Make With Their Mouths, 2010) and been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award (Beyond the Neck, Belvoir St Theatre, 2009). In 2010 Zoe put on a one woman production of Under Milk Wood, which played at The Sidetrack Theatre, Marrickville and The Melbourne Fringe Festival. Since graduating from an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Technology (2010) Zoe has been working as a writer and editor. Recent publishing credits include the 2010 UTS Anthology I can see my house from here (2010), Seizure (2010), Going Down Swinging (2011) and The Penguin Plays Rough Book of Short Stories (2011). Zoe is tremendously excited about joining the TRS team as Associate Artist.

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