About Us – Company Bio

Co. Theatre Physical was formed in Australia in 1995 by Beth Kayes, who brought together designer/director Carlos Gomes, composer Hope Csutoros and a number of talented collaborators and performers to create Miss Havisham’s Dream, an outdoor aerial theatre show, commissioned by and premiered at Melbourne International Festival ’95.

Miss Havisham’s Dream toured to Australian and international festivals, as did subsequent outdoor shows Wonder Alice Wonder and The Wrestlers. While in Australia, Co. Theatre Physical also created and presented the following shows, directed by Carlos Gomes: Waltz #6, HER, and Landed, a show created with new migrants in an Intensive English Centre. Beth Kayes directed Tailing Out the show about the closure of the Newcastle steelworks. New Zealand director, Christian Penny, directed A House Across Oceans for Belvoir St– B Sharp season in 2000.

Co. Theatre Physical moved its base to Auckland and in 2005 and 2006 toured critically acclaimed A House Across Oceans to arts festivals throughout New Zealand. Co. Theatre Physical’s next original production OH BABY! was funded by Creative New Zealand and Arts Alive and premiered at Taranaki Festival ’09 and in August ’09 at Auckland’s Concert Chamber in association with STAMP at THE EDGE®. Following these seasons, OH BABY! toured to the Bay of Islands Festival ’10, Fuel Festival ’10, Nelson Festival ’10 and Auckland Fringe 2011.

Co Theatre Physical created and performed street and aerial shows Pla la la Parade and Vertical Pedestrians for THE EDGE® and Heart of the city’s ‘Random Acts of Christmas’ 2009 and 2010. In 2011 Co Theatre Physical performed an aerial show on the side of a skyscraper in downtown Auckland for the opening of the Rugby World Cup.

Co Theatre Physical also creates and presents shows for young people. In 2000 Beth Kayes and Kym Vercoe created and toured school show GO! An Olympic Journey with ‘Young Australia Workshop’, beginning a nearly two-decade relationship touring multiple school shows across NSW and New Zealand (with Co Theatre Physical producing the NZ tours). Theatre-makers/performers Eve Gordon and Katie Burson have also collaborated with Beth Kayes on many of these shows over the last 23 years. Co Theatre Physical has developed a reputation for shows which are educative, funny, and highly physical. Currently in repertoire is: preschool show Opposites World and two primary school shows Wild Feelings and Monarch. Written by Beth Kayes, both of these plays have won the Playmarket NZ ‘Plays for the Young’ for the 8–12-year-old age group: Wild Feelings won in 2023 and Monarch won in 2021.

Over the years, shows for general audiences continued to be developed and presented. Beth Kayes’ solo show Once There Was a Woman premiered at Q Theatre Loft for the Auckland Fringe 2017, winning ‘Judges Special Commendation for Performance’ and in 2019 was performed at NZ Fringe, receiving a nomination for ‘Outstanding Performer’. Public Places performance Road Cone Activation was funded by Albert-Eden Local Board and presented in public spaces across the suburbs of Albert-Eden in 2021 and 2022. For Summer at Q, at Auckland’s Q Theatre, Beth Kayes and Katie Burson created and presented the absurd, funny shows- Get out of my letterbox in 2020 and Wheel head in 2023.