Getting to know White Box Theatre

Collaboration, community, and theatre for all

Intelligent, entertaining, and thought-provoking, White Box Theatre productions play an invaluable part in our Seymour Season, consistently sparking conversation about the big issues we face today.

White Box’s latest show, Before the Meeting – a raw, wryly funny look at addiction and recovery – is no different, and before it opens later this week, we thought we’d take a look behind the curtain and find out more about this acclaimed independent theatre company.

Creating work that needs to be seen

Led by Sydney-based creative duo, Kim Hardwick and Martin Kinnane, White Box is guided by a deep belief in the power and importance of theatre.

Kim and Martin are strong advocates for theatre for all, not just for the entertainment and wonder it sparks at an individual level, but for the way it fosters empathy, brings people together, and raises awareness about important, timely issues.

Kim sums it up beautifully, saying White Box was formed ‘simply to create work that we (actors, designers, and all the collaborators) believed needed to be seen.’

A name that's fit for purpose

When thinking about a name for their new theatre company, Kim and Martin found themselves contemplating the collaborative nature of theatre – its many moving parts and the variety of people and skills that come together to form the final product.

In the end, the name ‘White Box’ was inspired by one particular element of the collaborative theatre-making process – set design.

During the set design process, the designer will usually present a scale model of the set to the company. This initial design is called a ‘white card model’, and is a simple rendering of what the space will look like, with minimal detail and decoration.

‘That image resonated,’ Kim says, ‘because in some respects, directors, composers, and actors all have their own version of the white card model.’ That is, all creatives on a project begin with an idea that has the potential to become a remarkable score, costume, or performance – and ultimately, all these ideas contribute to a memorable final production.

Theatre that sparks conversation

White Box is driven by a desire to make theatre accessible for all, and, as Kim says, to ‘widen the understanding of theatrical value beyond an elite bubble of knowledgeable voices and shiny resources.’

Kim and Martin are also passionate about the role theatre plays in wider social discourse, and about its power to stimulate conversation and debate on a broad range of issues.

Reflecting on White Box’s production history at the Seymour alone, these values are clearly visible, with The Campaign (2020) chronicling Tasmania’s decades-long gay law reform campaign, The Shifting Heart (2018) a moving tale of immigration and identity, and Nick Enright’s Blackrock (2017) an intimate and hard-hitting exploration of the social forces behind masculine violence.

And now, in 2022, White Box will present Before the Meeting, a powerful new work about the cost of addiction and the oft-rocky road to recovery.

Remarkable new drama

White Box can’t wait for audiences to experience their Australian premiere production of Before the Meeting.

‘Several people in my life are challenged by their relationship with alcohol, and when I first read Before the Meeting it struck me as a very authentic and truthful depiction of those challenges,’ says Kim.

‘I ended up in tears because the depth of courage it takes to wake up every day and meet the world for these people is not only inspiring but agonising. It’s a play that draws you in with humour and then reveals an underbelly that is vulnerable and heartbreaking.’  

Don’t miss Before the Meeting, playing 20 May to 11 June.


Image credit: Jasmin Simmons

16 May 2022

Don't miss the Australian premiere of White Box Theatre's Before the Meeting, an extraordinary drama about ordinary lives from acclaimed US playwright, Adam Bock.

Buy tickets

Don't miss the Australian premiere of White Box Theatre's Before the Meeting, an extraordinary drama about ordinary lives from acclaimed US playwright, Adam Bock.

Buy tickets

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