Sally Richardson creates visually arresting and exciting new theatre + dance works that seek to re-imagine Australian stories.

Sally Richardson


Sally Richardson devises, develops and creates contemporary performance works. She is passionate about shaping an Australian performing arts culture that engages with our ever-changing society. For the past 25 years she has worked as a writer, director, dramaturg & performer in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading performing arts companies and independent artists, and in 2001 founded Steamworks Arts.

As a writer and director, Sally explores the re-creation and telling of stories. Taking inspiration from classic and contemporary texts, real life encounters and her own writing she creates powerful works going straight to the core of the Australian psyche.

Sally is continually developing the possibilities of what theatre is and could be. Her work is ever-evolving, always questioning and delves into new forms of expression. Working across genre, each new performance takes form through an open and collective exchange of ideas with artists from various backgrounds including circus, dance, theatre, writing, music, and the visual arts. From the intimate to the large scale, her ability to envisage and direct hybrid performances with multiple artists has been widely recognised, including the winning of a prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children for The Promise in 2009.


Sally Richardson  | Writer/ Director

For the past 25 years Sally has worked as a writer, director, dramaturg in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading performing arts companies and artists. Her work has been a winner/finalist for Helpmann Awards, Green Room Awards, Equity Guild Awards, Ausdance Awards, Blue Room Theatre and Dance Australia Critics Choice Awards amongst others. Her production of The Promise for the Flying Fruitfly Circus received a prestigious Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children in 2009. Sally is a past recipient of an Australia Council Dramaturgy fellowship (2006) and a Creative Arts Fellowship from the WA Department of Culture and the Arts (2008). She was a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council (2001-5), and is Artistic Director of Steamworks Arts (2001-). Sally was a board member of Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (2007-10), and has worked for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company since 2010. She is currently a peer assessor for DCA WA & The Australia Council.

Theatre productions include: Savage Grace, Nocturne, Medea 05, Miss Julie, Decadence, Alice, and The Danger Age for Steamworks, Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Belvoir, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Deckchair Theatre.

Dance/ theatre productions include: The Drover’s Wives for the Perth International Arts Festival, Shanghai and Beijing International Festivals, I am Njinsky, Loaded (National Tour), So Do You Come Here Often? (Mobile States), and Standing Bird 1 + 2, for Fringeworld 2012 and The Blue Room Theatre which has been a finalist for nine performance awards to date including winning Most Outstanding Performance by a Female dancer (2013 Ausdance WA Awards)

Puppetry productions include: H20 for the Perth International Arts Festival; Splat! and The Magic Garden with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

Circus productions include: Rhapsody and Lucy and The Lost Boy for the National Institute of Circus Arts, and SNAP for Southern Edge Arts.

Recent projects include Mermaid X (Strut), Rites: Dying to Dance (Fringeworld 2014, Runner Up – Best Dance) and The Unknown Soldier (Stages WA).

Sally is currently artist in residence/Guest director at NAISDA (NSW) undertaking skills development in Cultural Leadership funded by the Australia Council Theatre Board.


..she has created a multi-layered synergy of music, dance, adapted text and visuals that provides a compelling insight into our past – and present cultures. The West Australian

Some dancers are born to perform alone. Jacqui Claus is one of these rare creatures and Sally Richardson’s Standing Bird owes much to her strength as its soloistThe final section of the work is triumphant, and this was reflected by enthusiastic applause as Claus took her bow on opening night. (standing bird, 2012) The West Australian

This is a beautiful piece, superbly directed by Sally Richardson… Almost everyone on this cream of a team has been nominated for major awards, so it is not surprising that this performance captured the imagination and the emotions of the audience. Exceptional merging of music and movement. Fabulous rendition by Jacqui. (standing bird, 2012) Theatre Australia