by | Oct 27, 2023

Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre is making magic happen again, presenting a whopping marathon event this December to raise funds for its future, with 24 hours of non-stop play readings by Melbourne’s own ensemble live streamed to your home.

The big little theatre will host The Great Red Stitch LOCK-IN live from its Cromwell Road venue and live-streamed online from 8pm on Tuesday 19 December to 8pm Wednesday 20 December, as part of its end of year fundraising campaign, AMPLIFY, which has officially launched this week.

The initiative is designed to bolster the power of theatre and its ability to amplify diverse voices and spark important conversation. With help from the community, AMPLIFY will create a more sustainable environment that will nurture innovation, cultivate new artistic talent, and create space to take creative risks in Melbourne’s independent arts scene.

For 22 years, the ensemble-led theatre has remained a constant force in the world of independent and professional theatre in Melbourne and Australia. While providing employment and career progression for hundreds annually, the theatre continues to keep artists at the core of its philosophy and practice since its inception. The INK playwriting program is evidence of this, steered by Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell, it offers opportunities for theatre-makers at all stages of their careers in the development and presentation of new Australian works.

Now, in a feat of creative endurance, the Red Stitch ensemble are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work as they invite the wider community into their rehearsal space to take part in this story and help raise $50,000 to support its future.

“As we set our sights on 2024 and beyond, our strategic focus is on sustainability,” said Red Stitch Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell.

“Sustaining the momentum we’ve built is no minor task, and we’re keenly attuned to the ever-shifting social and economic landscape. This is a pivotal moment for us, and we require our community’s support as much as ever. The LOCK-IN is about getting back to where it all begins for us; actors in a room reading the words from the page.”

Everyone is invited to watch the LOCK-IN event online at any hour and cheer from the comfort of your own home as the ensemble read a range of new and classic works on their feet with whatever props and practicals are on hand, and with whichever actors are still standing!

The jam-packed program will include:

  • Live ‘ad-breaks’ to hear about what the ensemble do, their plans for the company’s future, and their response to the challenges facing live theatre post-Covid.
  • The chance to watch some of Red Stitch’s newest and most seasoned actors working on impulse – with only a script, a minimal prop table and 24 hours to bring to life a range of dramatic works including ambitious contemporary and classic texts!

It’s time to join forces, so save the date and get ready to donate!


Date & time: From 8pm on Tuesday 19 December until 8pm Wednesday 20 December

Venue: Online event

Tickets: Those who choose to make a donation of any amount will receive a link to log in and view the event online at any hour during the LOCK-IN. 

A full schedule of the plays being performed will be available closer to the event.

 For more information and to donate to the cause visit  

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