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Garry McQuinn

Advance Awards The Arts Category Finalist

As a maverick of global stage productions, Garry McQuinn operates at the heart of untold stories and new audiences. Adept at strumming the tension between the creative and commercial worlds, Garry has been instrumental in opening the world of commercial theatre to Australian talent. Before winning a scholarship to NIDA’s Production Course, Gary spent his youth playing semi-professional football and surf-lifesaving. His move from the steelworks blast furnace floor to the theatre floor happened when immigrant co-workers encouraged Garry to apply to the national theatre school. Garry has championed quintessentially Australian stories such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Tap Dogs, taking them from Broadway, to the West End and right around the globe.  As far back as 1995, Garry was involved with taking indigenous storytelling in the form of Ningali, to the Edinburgh Festival and the Southbank. In 2014 Garry launched the UK and Canadian productions of The Two Worlds of Charlie F, written and performed by combatants in the wars in the Middle East. Last year, Garry produced the Australian hit Songs For Nobodies on the West End and earned a prestigious Olivier award nomination. He is also the international producer for major West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the French production of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show both of which he takes to Australia in 2022. Garry’s belief in fostering Australian talent has resulted in a four-decade relationship with NIDA;  educating, providing scholarship funds and membership of all academic and governance boards.  He currently serves as a member of the NIDA Foundation Trust, the principal fund-raising body. 

Leveraging a degree in Dramatic Art, a law degree, and an MBA, Garry has spearheaded the evolution of theatre in new and emerging markets. He is the lead producer and managing partner responsible for driving Priscilla’s international success, to date, the show has played to almost 6 million people in 135 cities around the world. Garry’s list of credits includes The Rocky Horror Show, Noises Off, Steaming, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Boy From Oz, Blood Brothers and Showboat. As joint Managing Director of Back Row Productions, Garry toured many international shows including Tap Dogs, Slava’s Snowshow, Mums the Word, Gumboots, Fosse, Shaolin Monks of China, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Jerry Seinfeld, Cats and Circus OZ.  Garry continues to challenge standard assumptions and accepted paradigms. His impressive list of upcoming works including musicals based on Puberty Blues, Starstruck and Fay Weldon’s She-Devil shows a strong commitment to telling Australian stories globally and championing talented writers.