The Company

amanda headshot

Sophie Lampel

Essential Theatre is run by Artistic Directors Amanda LaBonte and Sophie Lampel and was founded in 1999. Initially we aimed to produce work to entertain, inspire and provoke audiences. In the early stages we were awarded and recognised as a prominent young theatre company producing new works, including our self penned play ‘Triple Acorn’ which saw us invited to attend a Writer's Festival in NSW.

With a desire to maintain longevity in this challenging industry 2003 saw us develop our incredibly successful program, Shakespeare in the Vines. This unique tour of Shakespeare's much loved works has reached regions across 6 states of Australia and the North Island of New Zealand. We are now a leading national touring theatre company known for its professional, creative and dynamic presentations of Shakespeare.

We are a proud independent company that continue to offer fabulous opportunities for actors, designers and directors. In recent years we have also nurtured our desire to produce new work, seeing us stage ‘A Stranger in Town’ at fortyfivedownstairs in 2011 and ‘Julius Caesar’ as part of the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals in 2016/2017 - later this year we will premiere 'Julius Caesar' on the international stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!   

With 18 years experience behind us we are thrilled that we are still standing, standing strong, and excited about what the future holds for us.