Genesian Theatre exterior view from street

Genesian Theatre. Photo courtesy the Genesian Theatre

Genesian Theatre Company at St John’s Church

Sunday 3 November 2019

420 Kent Street, Sydney

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William Munro

This small church is designed in a simplified Victorian Free Gothic style and features brick buttresses and sandstone detailing. The building’s eastern wall contains a series of stained-glass panels by John Falconer, one of Sydney’s earliest stained glaziers, who established his business in 1863. The building was originally consecrated in 1868 as St John’s Church. It served as both a church and a poor school until 1932, when it became the Kursaal Theatre, housing the Sydney Repertory Company. In 1938 it became the first Matthew Talbot Hostel, a shelter and support service provider for homeless men. The Genesian Players, a dramatic offshoot of the Catholic Youth Organisation, converted it into a theatre and performed their opening play there in April 1954. It has been home to the Genesian Theatre Company ever since.

Visitors will be able to view the theatre foyer and auditorium, explore the stage and tour the backstage area, including dressing rooms. There will also be brief talks throughout the day from theatre historian and archivist Grant Fraser.

  • Genesian Theatre Company, View of the auditorium from the stage.
  • Production photo from a recent Genesian production 'A Room With a View.'
  • View of the Genesian Theatre Company from Kent St.

On Sunday 3 November

What’s open?

Foyer, auditorium, stage, backstage areas and dressing rooms.

Talks, tours & more

Theatre historian and archivist Grant Fraser will offer brief introductory talks on the history of the building.

to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Toilets available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible
    The auditorium is fully accessible, however the stage and backstage area is accessed via stairs.

Opening hours

9am - 3.30pm

Last entry



420 Kent Street, Sydney

Entry via

Kent St