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 Theatre of Image officially closed January 2021.
Kim Carpenter AM is now a visual artist who also does special projects.
The most recent project was The Happy Prince for The Australian Ballet in collaboration with esteemed choreographer, Graeme Murphy AO, Composer Christopher Gordon (Mao’s Last Dancer, Master And Commander) and Lighting Designer Damien Cooper.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’s reputation for artistic excellence is confirmed by the numerous awards it has received.

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

Former Ambassadors

Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto

Former Patron

Adele Weiss

Former Chair

Prof Di Yerbury AO

Former Artistic Director

Kim Carpenter AM

Former Board Members

John Kitney, Rob Adams, Susie Gleeson-Byrne, Amy Lee.

Former General Manager

Neil Hunt

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