The Production Company, the treasured Melbourne theatre company founded by Jeanne Pratt in 1999, will present its final performance in May 2020.
Since 1999, the company founded by Jeanne Pratt AC with Ken Mackenzie-Forbes and Rachel Taylor, has produced 65 musicals for Melbourne.
The announcement comes as a complete surprise and shock to the entertainment industry. Their professionalism and world standard productions have made The Production Company one of Melbourne’s most respected theatre companies.
For the past 20 years, The Production Company has given work to actors, musicians, designers, and thousands of people across the entertainment sector.
Jeanne Pratt said in a statement, “I started the company in 1999 to stimulate the industry, create opportunities for local talent and produce quality entertainment at affordable prices. It has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams and as we plan our final curtain call, we’re doing so with pride, pleasure and wonderfully happy memories. We’ve so much to be grateful for – our loyal audiences, generous sponsors and patrons.”
Jeanne’s family charity The Pratt Foundation has donated more than $12 million to musicals in Melbourne and although the May 2020 show will be The Production Company’s final season, Mrs Pratt said she wanted to find further ways to support the industry and encourage Australian composers and writers. “The Pratt Prize for Musical Theatre, which we awarded during the company’s first decade, introduced some promising new Australian works and talents. I look forward to unearthing more,” Mrs Pratt said.
The Production Company has chosen May 2020 for its last production as its theatre home, The State Theatre in Arts Centre Melbourne, will begin renovations.
The final production for The Production Company will be announced in coming months.