Back in 1966, Sydney businessman and philanthropist Everest Reginald York Seymour left a significant bequest for, ‘…the construction of a building to serve as a centre for the cultivation, education and performance of musical and dramatic arts.…’.
The University of Sydney became the trustee of this bequest and the Seymour Centre was opened in 1975 on the main Darlington campus.
Designed by Allan Jack and Cottier and refurbished in 2000 by Lahz Nimmo Architects, the Seymour has become one of Sydney’s leading cultural hubs.
It has played host to some of Australia’s most famous faces, with Geoffrey Rush, Jackie Weaver, Judy Davis, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman (in her professional debut) and Mel Gibson all performing at the Seymour in their earliest roles.
Theatrical innovation and experimentation has always been part of Seymour’s activity with Sydney University Theatre Workshop staging radical student theatre performances in the 1970s and 80s.
The Seymour has also presented a remarkable array of local and international artists and companies, including Florence and the Machine, DV8, Royal Shakespeare Company, Complicité, Steven Berkoff, Robert Lepage, Seal, Neil Finn, Missy Higgins and Eddie Vedder. Belvoir’s award-winning plays Who is Sylvia? Or The Goat and Keating! The Musical were staged at the Seymour to great acclaim.
Since 2010, the Seymour has worked to forge its own identity as not only a significant cultural venue, but one that is also a true “university” performing arts centre, engaged in presenting performances that embrace experimentation, education, ideas and support for the artists of the future.
WHO WE ARE
At Seymour, we’re all about more.
More potential for provoking thought, more room for questioning, collaborating and creating, and more opportunities to bring contemporary performing arts to wide-reaching audiences.
We’re ideas people; producing performances, hosting major festivals, supporting independent arts sectors, passionately believing in our Arts Education program and aligning closely with the thought leaders and core values of the University of Sydney.
Accessible, intelligent and innovative: Think more, feel more.
WHAT WE DO
Seymour’s curated programs celebrate the connection between great ideas and great performance.
We commission, produce and present major performances from Australian and international artists, with a focus on showcasing leading independent theatre companies.
We enliven the artistic life of our City, through presenting partnerships with major cultural events such as Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
We champion learning while fostering the next generation of artists and audiences through our comprehensive Arts Education program for primary and secondary schools.
- Ballerina posing during construction of the York Theatre, 1974
- Everest Reginald York Seymour, date unknown