The Escapists are a collaboration of award-winning contemporary independent theatre makers who value strong stories and an aesthetic that remixes traditional approaches to theatre and performance. The Escapists are nationally-recognised Brisbane theatre-makers Keith Clarke, Jonathon Oxlade, Matthew Ryan, Lucas Stibbard, Neridah Waters, and Sarah Winter.

The Escapists aim to diversify the type of productions presently expected in theatre seasons and in doing so, attract the next generation of audiences and makers. Working beyond the conventions of the dominant text-based paradigm, they aim to produce adventurous high-quality performances that truly celebrate imagination, theatricality, and the joy of play. The Escapists offer a highly stylised and hybridised form of populist entertainment, drawing on an anarchic attitude to bring a startling and adventurous approach to theatre making.

Their second principle aim is to deepen and expand each practitioner’s approach to contemporary production, searching for new ways for artists from across a broad range of performance disciplines to collaborate and create stories and experiences for a new audience.

The group strongly believes in the collaborative theatre-making process, from which they draw a very rich, reflexive, fun and critically aware aesthetic.

Their work has included the critically acclaimed, Helpmann Award nominated boy girl wall, two sell-out seasons of Elephant Gun at Brisbane Powerhouse’s World Theatre Festival, the infamous Attack of the Attacking Attackers! and their current works-in-progress Suburbia – being developed as a Work in Residence with Metro Arts, partnered with Brisbane Festival and Packed, a co-production with HotHouse Theatre.

Working as individual freelance artists within other supported infrastructures, the Escapists have worked across the sector with a diverse range of companies and festivals, including; La Boite Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane Powerhouse, Bell Shakespeare Company, Sydney Opera House, The State Theatre Company of South Australia, Australian Theatre For Young People, Hothouse Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre, Kooemba Jdarra, Metro Arts, Backbone Youth Arts, Queensland Arts Council, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Zen Zen Zo, Circa, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts, UNIMA, Kite Theatre Company, Windmill Performing Arts, Arena Theatre Company, Out Of The Box Festival, Stage X Festival, Shout Out Loud Youth Festival, Noise Festival, The Brisbane Festival, Straight Out Of Brisbane Festival, River Festival, Livid Music Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, The International Performing Arts For Youth Showcase – USA, Imaginate Festival – UK, The Australian National Playwright’s Conference, American Repertory Theatre, England’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Theatre Network in Canada, Hans de Visser Productions in the Netherlands, Singapore”s Necessary Stage and the Traverse in Edinburgh.

The Escapists are supported by Metro Arts through Maps for Artists, a joint initiative of the Australia Council and Arts Queensland, providing management and producing services to independent artists in Queensland.




The Escapists Promotional Video

Elephant Gun by The Escapists is available to tour




2014 Creative Development / Packedco-produced by Metro Arts and HotHouse Theatre

2013 Work in Residence / Suburbia

2011 FreeRange / Neridah Waters is Dodgy

2010 Season of the Independents / boy girl wallco-presented by Metro Arts and The Escapists

2009 Season of the Independents / boy girl wall – co-presented by Metro Arts and The Escapists





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