The company was founded in 1972 by Morna Jones, a pioneer in Australian children’s television and theatre who believed that quality arts experiences were an essential part of childhood learning and development. Morna’s “Little Patch Theatre” provided enriching performing arts experiences for children and young people in South Australia. Following Morna’s death in 1982, Artistic Director Christine Anketell developed a relationship with the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust that saw the realisation of large-scale adaptions of children’s literature and the early genesis of Patch Theatre’s national profile.
Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s and under the leadership of Artistic Director Dave Brown, the company evolved into a highly regarded national and international touring company with a world-class repertoire of finely crafted, diverse, vibrant and challenging productions for 4-8 year olds. Collaborating with leading artists, Dave Brown developed a deep understanding of Patch Theatre’s audience and, in particular, an artistic knowledge expressed through the style, process and form of his works.
2015 marked another significant chapter in the company’s history as Dave Brown stepped down as Artistic Director after two decades and handed the creative reigns to Naomi Edwards. Naomi’s vision for Patch Theatre seeks to evolve the company’s world-renowned theatre making and presenting frameworks by strengthening the artistic expertise of our particular audience through collaboration with leading scientists and educators and collaborating with children in the creation of new works. She brings to the company new initiatives designed to connect the work of the theatre company to the classroom and home and to amplify its impact.
In 2019, Patch Theatre’s new leadership team of Geoff Cobham (Artistic Director) and Teena Munn (Producer) are bringing a fresh vision and an extensive set of skills to the reimagining of Patch, focussing on a totally new style of theatre experience that will put children and their curiosity first.