Australian Classical Theatre production image collage

“Under the direction of Stewart Morritt, ACT has already explored the official canon of Australia’s writing … As searing and immediate an experience as live theatre is able to provide” — John Bailey, The Sunday Age

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About Us

Australian Classical Theatre (ACT) started its life in 1999 as Petty Traffikers, and has since built a reputation for innovative adaptations and award winning productions of works by C.J. Dennis, Henry Lawson and Barbara Baynton. Our recent change of name reaffirms our policy whilst expanding the scope of our work to include international classical works. We continue our commitment to touring this work as widely as possible in search of new audiences.

Stewart Morritt, founder of Australian Classical Theatre

What We Do, Who We Are

Australian Classical Theatre is a theatre company rediscovering Australia’s cultural heritage by performing theatrical productions of classic works from its literary canon. Our primary purpose is to tell Australian stories that have broad appeal and tour them to as wide an audience as possible.

Working with material that has stood the test of time and proven itself to be the finest from the most reputable writers gives prime importance to the actor’s craft and skill.

We are unique in style of presentation and in choice of script, adding much to the diversity of theatre practice in Melbourne, Victoria and Australia.

We also commit to producing great classical scripts from around the world, particularly the works of William Shakespeare.

ACT is headed by Artistic Director Stewart Morritt, an accomplished actor of stage, television and film.

Stewart trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art under Shakespeare guru Judith Gick. His love of The Bard has seen him work with the English Shakespeare Company, Australian Shakespeare Company and in the West End.

Australian Classical Theatre presents The Sentimental Bloke


Our latest production—teaming up with Charlie Ranger and Nicholas Waxman—is A Sunburnt History - The First Fleet, performed as part of the 2013 Melbourne International Commedy Festival. This follows on from the 2012 production of A Sunburnt History - The True Story of Burke and Wills, described as a “whip-smart, razor-sharp version of the controversial Burke and Wills expedition”.

Previous productions include I Take Your Hand In Mine, The Sentimental Bloke, The Drover’s Wife, Ginger Mick at Gallipoli and The Chosen Vessel.

More information about past productions is available on the Profile page, and a selection of company reviews is available on the Reviews page.

Image from Australian Classical Theatre's Stateline interview

Interview with ABC TV's Stateline

An interview with ABC TV's Stateline program, back when we were known as Petty Traffikers.