The Queensland Theatre Company is the state theatre company of Queensland, established by statute on 8 April 1970. It was originally styled the Royal Queensland Theatre Company. It was initially established as both a training and a touring company. Unlike the state companies in the southern states its name proclaims a commitment to the whole state rather than just to the capital city. The company's origin lay in a decision by the Queensland government in February 1969 to appoint a board to establish a state theatre company. The Australia Council had made a decision to fund a state company in every state. The board had to choose between the various options of promoting one of the local amateur companies to professional or starting a new company. The board failed to come to an agreement and the government intervened. The company granted statutory recognition in 1970 was the first federally funded professional theatre company in Queensland. It took up residence in the new 611 seat SGIO Theatre, renamed the Suncorp Theatre in 1986, near the central business district in Brisbane. The founding artistic director was Alan Edwards, an English actor. His regular performances were a feature of the company under his administration. The first production he directed was the musical A Rum Do. The next production Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come became the centre of public debate over blasphemy and bookings were cancelled. Controversy in relation to productions because of content or language had a negative effect on the box office over the first few years. For the first five years the company began each season with a musical and these were its best attended productions. As the company slowly established itself the audience base grew.

As a touring company QTC toured more than any other state company in its first twelve years. Until 1981 when funding was cut, the company toured one to three productions annually throughout Queensland and regularly to rural NSW. It also toured four theatre-in-education programs all across Queensland. The company also ran a series of training workshops and special activities. Responding to criticisms of conservatism in its programming, QTC formed QTC Tangent Productions in 1981 to mount experimental work in a converted office building. In 1985 the company opened the new Cremorne Theatre in the Queensland Performing Arts Complex with Cheapside by David Allen. As part of this event the company sought and received a royal charter, the only one in Australia's theatrical history. But the mood in the company changed over time and the title Royal was dropped from the company's name. Alan Edwards retired in 1988 and Aubrey Mellor was appointed artistic director.

Five Artistic Directors have led the Queensland Theatre Company over its history. Chris Johnson, who was artistic director until 1996, followed Mellor in 1993. From 1996 -99 Robyn Nevin was artistic director, since then Michael Gow has been the artistic director of the company. In 2002 the Queensland Theatre Company moved from its previous home in ‘The Shed’ to a new purpose-built site in South Brisbane. The new site brought together all sections of the company under one roof. The three-storey building has two rehearsal studios, a foyer and public bar, costume and props departments, administration offices, a box office and writing and production facilities. It is also next door to the company’s set construction warehouse.

Further reading:

Hedge, Douglas.  The Company We Keep - The First Ten Years of the Queensland Theatre Company. Brisbane: Ken Kennett, 1979.