Celebrating Australian Theatre in The Hills

The inaugural Pioneer Play Festival took place as part of the launch season of Castle Hill’s new Pioneer Theatre. The festival ran over two days from Friday 23rd to Saturday 24th November. A curated program of competitions, productions, staged readings, workshops and interactive sessions brought together theatre professionals, families, schools and community from across Sydney. Under the theme of Australian Voices the festival celebrated the creative potential of The Hills Shire with an exciting new contribution to the development of original Australian theatre.

The festival returns to the Pioneer Theatre in mid-2020 under a refreshed name and with an extended program for local theatre-lovers. The new festival will feature a returned performance of Gravity Guts, a national playwriting competition for adults and a local competition for young writers, an expanded education program and much more. If you’re interested in finding out more, becoming involved, or pitching your show or program to the festival please contact us or sign up to our email news.


The Pioneer Play Festival, focusing on theatre craft, is an exciting new opportunity to showcase the creativity, inclusion and arts capacity of The Hills Shire. Local artists will benefit from the building of skills, networks and performance opportunities, and our residents will have a great new opportunity to experience original Australian work in the beautiful new Pioneer Theatre in Castle Hill.

Dr Michelle Byrne, Mayor of The Hills Shire


The Pioneer Play Festival and Playwriting Award are made possible by the generous support of locals and local businesses.

Our Australian Cultural Fund campaign raised over $2000 including major contributions from BilbyBags and InTouch Massage – and without your love of theatre and willingness to help we would not be able to produce the first theatre festival in North-West Sydney and contribute to a brilliant new annual event exclusive to The Hills!

Are you able to support the future of the festival? Please contact us if you are willing to help with time, or money. Every contribution and volunteer makes our world bigger and better.

And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

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