A woman sits at a keyboard and smiles at the camera.
Portrait of Winifred Atwell, London: Rimis, between 1950 and 1970, nla.obj-144625849

After the end of the Second World War J.C Williamson Theatres Ltd brought American musicals to Australia.

Black and white photograph of a woman dancing
Hal Williamson, Evie Hayes as Annie Oakley in the J.C Williamson Production of Annie Get Your Gun, 1950, nla.obj-154327796

However, there was also a renewed push to tell Australian stories, and to establish national performing arts companies. Australia had long had a vibrant amateur 'little theatre' scene, which was perhaps more experimental than mainstream companies, but the federal government increasingly invested in the performing arts.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s came what was known as the 'New Wave'.

Multicoloured poster for the 1970 Adelaide Festival of the Arts.
Kenneth Rowell, Adelaide Festival of Arts, 6–28 March 1970, nla.obj-133748736, Courtesy Victoria Rowell

Confident and provocative Australian voices and companies challenged attitudes and prejudices. The opening of the Sydney Opera House on Bennelong Point in 1973 gave Australian performing arts a dramatic centre stage.