About ToI

Visual storytellers

Theatre of Image holds a special and unique place in the Australian theatrical landscape. As the title suggests, this company was founded by Kim Carpenter – a gifted designer as well as director – it explores more than any other company does the visual element in story telling on stage.

Sydney Morning Herald

Kim Carpenter’s experience of working with American visual theatre doyen, Robert Wilson, in New York inspired him to found ToI in 1988 as a visual theatre company.

By leveraging his previous visual productions eg Slice, Nimrod (now Belvoir) and Melbourne Theatre Company; An Imaginary Life, Belvoir; and Rapunzel in Suburbia, Marionette Theatre of Australia, ToI immediately secured partnerships to produce and present its first 4 major works including Swimming In Light … the world of Lloyd Rees (commissioned by Melbourne Festival; Sydney, Canberra, Caracas International Theatre Festival).

ToI’s The Happy Prince with Sydney Theatre Company/Sydney Festival in 1992 represented a turning point with the focus shifting to audiences of young people and families.

Banner image: Monkey … journey to the west

ToI has always acted as an engine-room for theatrical discovery, ingenuity and diversity. ToI commissions, nurtures, develops and workshops distinctive new work – made with a combination of diverse forms to tell a story.

ToI enables local experienced and emerging artists to collaborate, share and develop new skills and a heightened awareness of the multiple elements that go to make a piece of contemporary theatre.  ToI retains its special place in the Australian theatre landscape, making it a key portal for the profession at large – a gateway for writers, performers, directors, choreographers, composers, designers and crafts people with a wide variety of
skills and abilities.

In 2009, ToI changed from running an annual program and instead commenced an on-going program – producing special projects with high-profile artistic partners: The Book of Everything (co-produced with Belvoir; 4 year life); SNOW on MARS (Sydney Festival); Monkey … journey to the west (Brisbane Festival, Riverside Parramatta, Sydney Opera House, Canberra, Penrith, Wollongong, Melbourne Festival).

ToI has now shifted to focus to producing work for older audiences. Brett and Wendy is the first such production.

ToI’s reputation for artistic excellence is confirmed by the numerous awards it has received.

Image: Robinson Crusoe

About Kim Carpenter

Kim Carpenter AM is the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre of Image. He is an established director/designer having created productions for most major drama, dance and opera companies in Australia. His designs have embraced puppetry and digital arts as well as conceptual sets, props and costumes.

His art works and designs are represented in collections and exhibitions around the world. Kim is a former Co-Artistic Director of Nimrod Theatre (now Belvoir) and former Head of Design, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

He makes medium-to-large scale distinctive visual theatre often in collaboration with other companies including the Australian Youth Orchestra, Opera Australia, Kageboushi Theatre Company (Tokyo), Manitoba Theatre For Young People (Canada), Belvoir and Sydney Theatre Company.

He is a Churchill Fellow, recipient of 2 Helpmann Awards, holder of a Centenary Medal, 2 Sydney Theatre Critics Awards, 3 AWGIEs, member of The Order of Australia, 2013 APDG Award for Outstanding Contribution to Design.


Kim Carpenter receiving the Helpmann Award


Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto


Adele Weiss


Prof Di Yerbury AO

Artistic Director

Kim Carpenter AM

Board Members

John Kitney, Brent Duffy, Rob Adams, Prue Cox, Susie Gleeson-Byrne, Amy Lee.

General Manager

Neil Hunt

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