Performing Arts Collection

The Performing Arts Collection holds prestigious and unique collections that celebrate South Australia’s enduring performing arts history.

Established by Premier Don Dunstan in 1979, the Collection celebrates its 40th birthday in 2019. Over the last forty years the Collection has evolved to become one of the most significant and comprehensive archival and object rich performing arts collections in Australia. The Collection continues to preserve, record and display objects from past drama, dance, music, opera, circus and theatre with an eye on tomorrow.

Significant collections include Dame Judith Anderson, Fewster and King, Robert Helpmann, Australian Dance Company, State Theatre Company and State Opera of South Australia. Event files dating back from 1858 to today immortalise theatre ephemera and share storerooms with artwork, costumes, costume renderings, set models, theatre furniture and décor.

Adelaide Festival Centre is home to the Performing Arts Collection. It is an evolving resource that can be accessed by appointment only.

Image: Twelfth Night, 1999 donated by State Theatre Company of South Australia. Performing Arts Collection AFC. Photograph by Grant Hancock