Our Story

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Bell Shakespeare is Australia’s national theatre company specialising in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Established by renowned Actor/Director John Bell, what began in a circus tent in Sydney in 1990 has grown into a theatre company with unrivalled reach and impact, delivering mainstage productions and an education and outreach program to every state and territory, ensuring classic theatre experiences are accessible to all Australians.

We are Bell Shakespeare

We ensure Shakespeare’s work lives and breathes in theatres, schools and communities throughout Australia, where his words can be truly appreciated.

We value the beauty of Shakespeare’s ideas, language and imagery. His work helps us find modern perspectives on timeless truths.

We believe Shakespeare and other great works are not stuck in the past. They are the lens through which we can explore and question the present and imagine the future.

These plays are not static. They’re constantly helping us make sense of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. And we’re not static either. We’ve been travelling the country for 30 years, bringing classic theatre to Australia, looking for new ways to inspire, imagine and ignite.

Shakespeare and the other classic plays we present challenge our beliefs and urge us to see ourselves in a new light. Their ability to discover the things that make us human inspires us to make work that challenges preconceptions and encourages new interpretations and contemporary parallels – work that speaks to every age.


To be one of the world's most distinctive Shakespeare companies, transforming the way audiences experience the works of Shakespeare in performance.


To inspire and engage audiences by bringing Shakespeare's timeless works to life through innovative and artistically excellent productions and globally recognised education programs.


To harness the power of storytelling and create a more empathetic, inclusive, and connected world.


Shakespeare's writing challenges us to reach beyond our grasp and gives us the wherewithal to imagine our future. If we can learn anything from Shakespeare and the great storytellers of the past, it is that we hold within ourselves the power to make choices about who we want to be. We believe our greatest resource is our capacity to imagine and to transform: to picture a different world, to know that it can be one of our own making.


RESPECT – We treat all people with dignity. We respect language and storytelling as a means of expression. We honour and value all cultures and backgrounds, and bring people together to engage critically, creatively, and constructively.

IMAGINATION – We value the power of imagination as the heartbeat of our creativity. We encourage ingenuity, reinvention, and transformation.

KNOWLEDGE – We use Shakespeare as a vehicle for transformative learning and believe Shakespeare's works are a rich companion as we journey through life.

– We are ambitious and driven, tackling all challenges with a willingness and enthusiasm to succeed. We believe without risk, there is no reward.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

Troilus And Cressida


At Bell Shakespeare, we choose sustainable work practices across all aspects of the Company’s operations. As a national company constantly on the move, we are committed to assessing and reducing our carbon footprint with a firm vision for the future.

At our headquarters, we ensure the best possible practices are implemented in our offices and rehearsal/production premises. This includes energy reduction, responsible waste management, and the use of green products within the office.


  • Assess and calculate our annual carbon footprint and reduce that footprint
  • Review our ways of communicating with our patrons and increase our electronic capacity including invitations, letters and newsletters
  • Use paper stock that is at least 50% recycled
  • Recycle and reuse existing sets, costumes and props where practical.
  • Create environmentally responsible theatre productions
  • Encourage and implement Company-wide behavioural change