ATL preserves a state-of-the-art archive of its playwright, performing, and stage production heritage


New York, NY - October 12, 2023: Based on the east coast of Australia, AUSTRALIAN THEATRE LIVE (ATL) is a not-for-profit arts organization that records and distributes Australian live performances. Through doing so, ATL is preserving a state-of-the-art archive of its playwright, performing, and stage production heritage (much like the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library). Their groundbreaking digital subscription platform ATL ON DEMAND launched in October 2022, expanding access to arts and culture while sharing Australian theatre with the world. This innovative platform hosts a growing catalog of the best of Australian theatre, allowing access to the work of the country’s greatest artists on an international stage.

Thanks to support from the International Cultural Diplomacy Arts Fund (ICDAF), the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Minister Tony Burke, and the Federal Office of the Arts, ATL is pleased to make its international debut in October/November 2023. Creative Director Grant Dodwell and Producers Lucy Clements and Emma Wright look forward to connecting with American audiences, education institutions, and arts professionals as they introduce ATL On Demand, and build an exciting new pathway for cultural exchange between Australia and the US. Through two public screenings, they eagerly await celebrating the global Premiere of Indigenous artist Dylan Van Den Berg’s WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE, a Griffin Theatre Company production, in November 2023.

WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE will make its US debut at the Australian Embassy in Washington (1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC), on November 13, at 6:00 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) followed by its New York debut as part of the Australian Theatre Festival (1350 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2400 New York), on November 16, at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.). The events are free and open to the public, and both screenings will be followed by live Q&A’s with Dodwell, Clements, Wright and playwright Dylan Van Den Berg. To register your interest in attending either screening, please fill out this form.

Additionally, having recently shifted its attention to servicing the education sector through ATL ON DEMAND: EDUCATION, ATL is excited to promote its newly launched education-specific subscription platform, as a tool for educators in primary, secondary, and advanced institutions working across the fields of Music, Drama, Dance, and Physical Education. The catalog includes 26 Australian digital live performances, spanning text-based theatre, physical theatre, opera, and circus. As part of their visit, ATL will share this education tool with American institutions, offering students and educators the opportunity to engage with Australian performance content, such as the poignant First Nations story WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE, a stunning and educative exploration of young, queer love and Country set in the midst of invasion.

“It is the best of theatre writing where you feel you ‘have learned’ but did not experience ‘being taught’. Subtle, clever, and straight to the heart.” ★★★★.5 — Dennis Clements, ArtsHub

Van Den Berg's WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE starring Callan Purcell as Ty & Guy Simon as Neddy is a story of first love told with a fierce poetic vision and razor-sharp wit. Presented in August/September 2022 by Griffin Theatre Company, before transferring to the Canberra Theatre Centre, and later winning the 2023 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Playwriting, this new Australian play deserves a permanent position in the international canon. 

“First love: voices breaking, words coming out in all the wrong ways, a mess of limbs and too-wet kisses, earnest declarations. Imagine two boys falling for the first time - the giddiness, the joy - in a context without shame. And then imagine that love threatened by invaders wanting to colonize their Country, their bodies, their love. That’s the world of Whitefella Yella Tree,” remarks playwright Van Den Berg. “I’ve written this play in the hope that you might reflect on the rich and real detail of lives that were disrupted when those ships hit the shore. The queer love stories that never got to be written.”

WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE ​ Co-Directors: Declan Greene & Amy Sole; Designer: Mason Browne; Lighting Co-Designers: Kelsey Lee & Katie Sfetkidis; Composer & Sound Designer: Steve Toulmin; Dramaturg: Andrea James; Stage Manager: Isabella Kerdijk; Intimacy Coordinator: Akala Newman (courtesy of Key Intimate Scenes); Community Engagement Consultant: Neville Williams Boney; Elder-in-Residence: Uncle Graham Simms.

WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE ​ Content Warnings: contains haze, loud noise, blinding lights, sex scenes, and weapons. It contains descriptions and representations of colonial violence.

Dylan Van Den Berg’s WHITEFELLA YELLA TREE will make its US debut at the Australian Embassy in Washington (1601 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC), on November 13, at 6:00 p.m. (doors open at 5.30 p.m.) and its New York debut as part of the Australian Theatre Festival (1350 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 2400 New York), on November 16, at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.). To register your interest in attending either screening, please fill out this form.

Running Time: 87 minutes



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Media Kit with Photos



DYLAN VAN DEN BERG (Playwright) is a playwright and dramaturg, and Griffin Theatre Company’s current Literary Manager. A Palawa person from the northeast of Lutruwita/Tasmania, Dylan’s work explores Black identity by pivoting narratives that are already part of our national consciousness to embolden Indigenous perspectives.

Dylan is currently under commission at the National Theatre of Paramatta and the Belconnen Arts Centre. He is a 2021 Studio Artist at Griffin Theatre Company and a member of Sydney Theatre Company’s Emerging Writers Group. With ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Dylan trained as a dramaturg through the BlackWrights Program with Kamarra Bell-Wykes.

In 2021, his play Milk premiered at The Street Theatre and won the NSW Premiers Award Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting. In 2020, his gothic revenge drama Way Back When won both the Griffin Award and the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award was highly commended for the Max Afford Award, and was shortlisted for the Queensland Premiers Drama Award and the Patrick White Playwrights Award. It was developed through Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s ‘Next in Line’ program.

Other recent work includes Whitefella Yella Tree (Griffin Theatre, 2022 & Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric readings, 2021), The Camel (Fringe at the Edge of the World, 2020), an adaptation of Barbara Baynton’s The Chosen Vessel (The Street Theatre: Early Phase Development Program, 2020), Apprehended (ArtsACT Homefront Funding, 2020), Why am I a Fish? (Short+Sweet, 2020) and Blue: a misery play (The Street Theatre: First Seen Program, 2017).

His short plays and other writing have appeared in Island Magazine (2020), BITE Magazine (2021), and an upcoming anthology published in the USA by the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (2022). Dylan studied drama at ANU and the State University of New York.


DECLAN GREENE (Co-Director) is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and works as a playwright, dramaturg and director. As a director, his credits include: for Griffin: Dogged, Green Park; for Malthouse Theatre: Wake in Fright; for Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company: Blackie Blackie Brown; for Sydney Theatre Company: Hamlet: Prince of Skidmark; for ZLMD Shakespeare Company: Conviction. As a playwright, his work includes Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’, Melancholia, Moth, and Pompeii L.A. Declan co-founded queer experimental theatre company Sisters Grimm with Ash Flanders in 2006, and has directed and co-created all their productions to date, including: for Griffin 1ndependent and Theatre Works: Summertime in the Garden of Eden; for Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company: Calpurnia Descending; for Melbourne Theatre Company: Lilith: The Jungle Girl; and for Sydney Theatre Company: Little Mercy. He was previously Resident Artist at Malthouse Theatre.


AMY SOLE  (Co-Director) is a proud Wiradjuri/Worimi person. Amy is a playwright, director, actor, dramaturg, producer and advocate. They are Creative Associate at Ilbijerri Theatre Company and a recent graduate of MFA (Directing) at NIDA and hold a Master of Theatre (Playwriting) from VCA. Their theatre credits as director include: Darlinghurst Theatre Company: Benched. Their theatre credits as assistant director include: for NIDA: God’s Country, Metamorphoses; for Sydney Opera House: RENT. Their credits as writer/director include: for Kings Cross Theatre: Doing; for NIDA: Burning. Their credits as writer include: for 11bijerri Theatre Company: Nan’s Place. Amy regularly directs developments of new works, most recently Phoebe Grainer’s Sugarcane for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award and Dylan Van Den Berg’s way back when at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. They are also Creative Director of Big Blak Bang, a festival of First Nations storytelling and Artist-in-Residence at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Co-Founder of Puddle or Pond Theatre Company, and a sitting Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee.


AUSTRALIAN THEATRE LIVE (ATL) is a not-for-profit and a registered charity with DGR status, based in Rozelle, NSW, on the lands of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, to whom they pay their deepest respects. ATL captures and distributes Australian live performances for audiences across the country and the world, making theatre accessible to audiences regardless of location, income, or ability, and promoting local theatre companies, playwrights, performers, and creative technicians to develop their live-performance industry. 

Over the past eight years of business, ATL has gone above and beyond to support and innovate within its local arts sector. They work hard to translate the ephemeral nature of theatre to something more permanent, creating a rich and diverse archive of Australian performance (for historians, researchers, educators, art lovers, and enthusiasts alike to enjoy), ensuring that local live performance is afforded the same opportunities as their overseas counterparts.

ATL’s partners include 25a, Act 2 Distribution, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Bontom, Circa, City Recital Hall, Digital Canteen, Erth Visual & Physical Inc., Gravity & Other Myths, Griffin Theatre Company, Kurinji, Malocchio Productions, National Theatre of Parramatta & Riverside Theatres, New Ghosts Theatre Company, Pinchgut Opera, Real Play Media, Red Line Productions at the Old Fitz, Revidd, SATheCollective, Soft Tread Enterprises, State Theatre Company South Australia, Sydney Festival, Sydney Theatre Company, Windmill Theatre Company.


GRIFFIN THEATRE COMPANY (Griffin) is the only theatre company in Australia exclusively devoted to the development and staging of new Australian writing. Located in the historic SBW Stables Theatre, nestled in the heart of Kings Cross, NSW, Griffin has been Australia’s home for the exploration of new stories since 1978. They are the launch pad for new plays, ideas, and writing—work that is bold, visionary, and risky. Plays like Prima Facie, Holding the Man, and City of Gold all had their world premieres at Griffin before going out to capture the national imagination. In the words of their longest-serving Artistic Director, Ros Horin: “We are the theatre of first chances. We are passionate about nurturing emerging and established practitioners alike. We pride ourselves on connecting a vast community of artists, audiences, and supporters who consider our theatre their creative home. We tell the stories that will help us know who we are as a nation, and who we want to become.”

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★★★★★ ​ ATL ON DEMAND “has enormous appeal to a broad range of theatre lovers, and to a wider audience who are already accustomed to seeing their favorite live events on TV… 5/5 star rating for convenience, ease of use, value for money, quality of video/sound recording and diversity of a high caliber of Australian content." ​ — Sydney Theatre Reviews
"[U]ntil now it hasn't been possible to see some of the great productions from Australia, a land rich in talent and imagination and with no shortage of truly outstanding actors, directors, and breadth of vision. Into this sad void has stepped Australian Theatre Live (ATL) [with] a new and exciting subscription platform… This is ideal for the theatre-lover stuck at home in isolation, too far from the city, students, the deaf, those unable to physically get to a theatre, and viewers who just want to watch great staged plays and events at home." — Weekend Notes
“From getting a taste of Michael Gow’s Away, a stunning, meaningful, and beautiful reimagination by Sydney Theatre Company, to Norm and Ahmed, a gut-wrenching, seat-gripping classic Aussie piece, and even, The Wharf Revue; ATL’s platform is the start of something new, something exciting for Aussie theatre - making it more accessible than ever.” — Playwave

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