The Lilydale Athenæum Theatre Company Inc.
39-41 Castella Street, Lilydale VIC 3140


coming soon

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
A comedy by Richard Alfieri
Directed by Alan Burrows
9 November to 25 November 2017
Matinees: Sunday, 12 November and Sunday, 19 November
More information and booking details


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The Lilydale Athenaeum

From 1888 onwards the people of Lilydale have constantly re-invented the Athenaeum building to fit in with the community's ever changing needs. As a result it has been a Mechanics' Institute, a library, a community hall, a performance stage, a lecture hall, a place of worship, a meeting room, a cinema, an indoor sports stadium, a roller skating rink, a military drill hall, a work room, a venue for political forums, a polling booth, a ballroom, a concert hall and even a museum.

Since 1975 it has been the home of the Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre Company, regarded as one of Victoria's best non-professional drama companies.

Lyrebird Awards 2016
28 February 2017

The ATC received nineteen nominations for its 2016 productions, and these resulted in four Lyrebird awards.

Two awards were for our outstandingly successful production of Yes, Prime Minister.

Robin Le Blond received the award for "Best Lighting in a Comedy", and Graham McGuffie received the award for "Best Set in a Comedy".

Claire Hanley received the award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy" for her performance in The Vicar of Dibley.

Matt Phillips received a "Highly commended performance in a Drama" award for his part in Breaker Morant.

Our congratulations go to all nominees and winners.

N.B. This article was updated in July 2017 as it had mistakenly omitted two of the four award winners.

New Life Members appointed
19 December 2016

At the ATC Christmas Party on 11 December three new Life Memberships were awarded.

By a unanimous vote of the Board, Life Membership was conferred on Maria Fleming, Angela Caldwell and Jean Steel.

The award citations were announced by the Chairman, Richard Longmore, and presented by the Hon. Tony Smith MP. Tony also presented Lesley Bailey, our Front of House Manager, with a Yarra Ranges Community Service Award.

Maria Fleming first came to the theatre in 1978 as a young actress in The Loudest Whisper. Geoff Page directed the play and Maria played Catherine.

Over the years she has done everything from making savoury toppings for the after show suppers to stage-managing. She has worked front of house, painted sets, organised Christmas parties and attended working bees. She served on the board for a number of years and was the coordinator for new volunteers. Maria bought genuine warmth, fun and an easygoing nature to the theatre and is truly deserving of this special honour.

Angela Caldwell took over the role of minute secretary to the Board as a short-term favour to Pat Lyall. The short term turned into a considerably longer term and Angela retired only this year. She has witnessed and recorded many eras of this remarkable company, which has not been easy considering the vibrant debates and cross talk at Board meetings that have to be minuted (or not as the case may be!).

This has required a lot of discretion. Her years as a legal secretary have also provided the theatre with ready access to legal advice and especially to her lawyer husband Bruce. Angela's contribution to the theatre has been enormous and we are truly grateful for her service.

Jean Steel has been an ATC volunteer forever. When Catherine Handley was Front of House Manager she became illand Russell Johnson asked Jean to take over. Her cheerful manner was in keeping with the friendly welcome that was the hallmark of the ATC, and over the years she has put in many hours of work for the benefit of the ATC and its patrons.

Poor health forced her to stand down for a while, but now we are pleased to have her back on the marvellous front of house team. Jean's contribution to the theatre is ongoing and she has really earned this honour of life membership.

2016 LyreBird Awards
ATC gets nineteen nominations
5 December 2016

The Lilydale ATC received nineteen nominations for 2016 LyreBird awards. These included nine for The Vicar of Dibley, four for Breaker Morant and six for Yes, Prime Minister.

Both The Vicar of Dibley and Yes, Prime Minister were nominated for "Best Production - Comedy", and Loretta Bishop was nominated as "Best Director of a Comedy" for The Vicar of Dibley.

The Awards will be announced on 11 February 2017.

The nominations we received were:

  • Best Sound in a Comedy: Nick Ryan - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Sound in a Drama: Nick Ryan - Breaker Morant
  • Best Lighting in a Comedy: Robin Le Blond - Yes, Prime Minister
  • Best Lighting in a Drama: Derek Hartwick - Breaker Morant
  • Best Set in a Comedy:Graham McGuffie - Yes, Prime Minister
  • Best Set in a Comedy: Alan Burrows and Doug Bennet - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Costumes Comedy: Sylvia Carr and Margaret Bailey - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Costumes Comedy: Sylvia Carr - Yes, Prime Minister
  • Best Costumes Drama: Sylvia Carr and Margaret Bailey - Breaker Morant Highly Commended Performance in a Drama: Matt Philips - Breaker Morant
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Claire Hanley - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Angela Glennie - Yes, Prime Minister
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Andrew McIver - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Andy Fry - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Actress in a Comedy: Loiuse Steele - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Actor in a Comedy:Phil Lambert - Yes, Prime Minister
  • Best Director of a Comedy: Loretta Bishop - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Production - Comedy : - Vicar of Dibley
  • Best Production - Comedy : - Yes, Prime Minister

Third matinee peformance
1 July 2016

Given the popularity of our Matinee performances, it has been decided that, in future, there will be an extra Matinee on the second Saturday of each season (in addition to the regular evening performance).

Also, from 2017, Opening Night will change from Wednesday to Thursday.

The extra Matinee will be in addition to our regular Matinees on the first and second Sunday of each season.

Other performance times will not change.

An update on our updates!
20 June 2016

A number of projects have been completed over the last twelve months, all of which will add to the smooth running of our productions.

Just over twelve months ago all the auditorium and foyer lighting was switched to LED globes; this has reduced our electricity bill and also done away with the need for constant globe replacement. Over twelve months, not one globe has had to be replaced!

A major working bee in January saw the cleanup and disposal of a great number of props and materials no longer needed, as well as sparking a cleanup of our costume store which is continuing.

A new sink has been installed at the side of the stage, which will be a great improvement for our set painters. They have also had a clear-out and disposed of quantities of old paint and painting equipment.

As part of the continuing maintenenance of the building, Council contractors have installed a new fire door and rebuilt the fire stairs on the right hand side of the auditorium.

A new system has also been installed to improve backstage communication during shows and currently the heating and air conditioning arrangements in the auditorium and elsewhere are being reviewed with a view to improvements and upgrades. Stage light and sound wiring are also being reviewed.

Volunteers wanted!

We are always looking for new Front of House volunteers. We would also like to hear from anyone with experience in advertising and publicity who could spare some time to help us. Please see the volunteers page for more information.

Are you interested in performing with the ATC? Check our auditions page for details of any upcoming auditions.

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A monumental three-volume encyclopaedia that details the complete history of Lilydale’s most important heritage building, ‘The Athenaeum’...More...

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Chandon Winery Partnership

Chandon is proud to be associated with the Lilydale Athenaeum Theatre, another well-loved icon of the Yarra Valley community.

Established by French Champagne house Moët & Chandon in 1986, we are renowned for making premium méthode traditionelle sparkling wines and some of Australia's s most highly regarded cool climate still wines.

A visit to our Yarra Valley winemaking home is a truly unique wine tourism experience combining premium food and wine with the most spectacular view in the Yarra Valley.

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