Zeal Theatre Australia


ZEAL THEATRE is an internationally renowned touring theatre company dedicated to producing original plays for theatres, schools and festivals. Founded in 1989 by actor/writer/director Stefo Nantsou, ZEAL has produced over 50 plays, specialising in exploring complex social issues for a broad range of cultural and ethnically diverse audiences. ZEAL’s methodology blends live music, a rigorous physical theatre style and sees the actor as a multi-skilled story-teller. Their no-frills approach to theatre making and a consistent focus on telling contemporary stories with energetic passion has earned them worldwide success.

ZEAL THEATRE have performed their plays throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Asia, South Africa & New Zealand, including seasons at the National Theatre in London, The Duke on 42nd St in New York, Theatre Kazemoko in Tokyo and De Krakling in Amsterdam. The success of their touring regime and the critical acclaim of their productions has resulted in numerous international collaborations with many theatre companies including Teatret Neo in Denmark, Arad Goch Theatre in Wales, Kolibri Theatre in Hungary, TheaterHaus in Germany, Muz Theatre in Holland, Pacific Underground in New Zealand, Ellis & Bheki in South Africa, and Theatre Grimsborken in Norway. 

ZEAL plays have now been produced in over 30 countries, with the ZEAL collaborators Stefo Nantsou and Tom Lycos having directed their plays in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Norway, Turkey and Wales. 

ZEAL THEATRE has engaged in long term relationships with numerous theatre companies and touring operators around Australia including Sydney Theatre Company, Regional Arts Victoria and Queensland Arts Council. Zeal has also been a regular resident company in a range of educational training centres and universities around Australia including NAISDA Aboriginal Dance Academy, Griffith University on the Gold Coast and Swinburne University in Melbourne. Stefo has also been resident director at STC (2009-2013) and has regular collaborations with Shock Therapy Productions on the Gold Coast, Bankstown Arts Centre in Western Sydney, Australian-Macedonian Theatre of Sydney as well as working with Ilbijerri Theatre in Melbourne and Goolari Media in Broome. 

ZEAL THEATRE has received numerous awards for their plays throughout Australia and Europe, were nominated for a Green Room award in New York for their most successful production The Stones and were awarded the prestigious ASSITEJ International President's Prize for "Excellence in the profession of Theatre for Children & Youth" in Montreal, Canada in 2005. 

ZEAL have three published books of plays; “The Forwards & The Apology” by Stefo Nantsou (PlayLab Press, 2009), and “The Zeal Theatre Collection” (Currency Press, 2011) & “Zeal Theatre Vol 2” (Currency Press 2018) both by Stefo Nantsou and Tom Lycos. Their play The Stones has also been published by Yale University Press in the U.S.A., Sakyejul Publishing in South Korea and by the Macedonian Literary Association ‘Grigor Prlichev’ in Macedonia.

In 2024 ZEAL will perform their 50th production Meltdown at the Opening Doors Festival in Abeystwyth, Wales.

ZEAL THEATRE highlights include…

JOYRIDE performed 600+ times around Australia and New Zealand 1992-96

TATAU: RITES OF PASSAGE co-produced with NZ’s Pacific Underground, sell-out seasons in Sydney and Auckland 1996

THE STONES performed 1500+ times worldwide by the original creators Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou 1996-2022, now translated and produced in over 30 counties, published in Australia by Currency Press in 2011, also published in USA, South Korea and Macedonia 

THE FORWARDS also produced by Kolibri Theatre in Hungary, directed by Stefo Nantsou 2006, and Matilda Award-winning co-production with Shock Therapy in Brisbane and Gold Coast 2016-18, published by Playlab Press 2011

THE APOLOGY also produced by Teater Neo in Denmark, directed by Stefo Nantsou 2007, published by Playlab Press in 2009

AUSTRALIA V SOUTH AFRICA co-production with Ellis and Bheki from Durban, performed in Sydney, Adelaide & Grahamstown Festival in South Africa 2008

TABOO also produced by TheatreHaus Frankfurt in Germany & Teater Grimsborken in Norway, both directed by Tom Lycos 2009-10, published by Currency press 2011

SIDE EFFECTS performed around Austalia and Europe 2002-08, also produced by Teater Grimsborken in Norway as SIT STILL! directed by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou 2013

BRAT CAMP also produced by Kolibri Theatre in Hungary, directed by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou 2014

KING HIT touring Australia 2013-22 and Opening Doors Festival in Wales 2014, also produced by Arad Goch in Wales directed by Tom Lycos 2015, published by Currency Press 2018 

Contact ZEAL at zealtheatre@gmail.com or (61) 421 887 003