John has a notable career working with some of Australia’s most respected theatre companies. For WAAPA John has directed Richard III, Unidentified Human Remains and Blood Will Have Blood (2011). At NIDA John directed Reg Cribb’s The Return, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, Closer, Attempts on her Life, Hamlet and The Greek Trilogy. For B Sharp, John directed Sarah Kane’s play Blasted and Lawrence Mooney’s Sink or Swim. John was Assistant Director on The Lieutenant of Inishmore with Neil Armfield at Belvoir Street (2004) and with Julian Meyrick on Doubt at the STC (2006). John directed a critically acclaimed sold-out season of Mark Ravenhill’s play Some Explicit Polaroids at Darlinghurst Theatre and Patricia Cornelius’ highly successful play Love at B Sharp (2006). Some Explicit Polaroids and Love were both nominated for Best Independent Production at the 2006 Sydney Theatre Awards. John was Assistant Director to Richard Cottrell on Ying Tong – A Walk with the Goons for the Sydney Theatre Company which went on to tour nationally across Australia.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010 John directed the Actors at Work Program for the Bell Shakespeare Company touring extensively to schools across Australia. For Parramatta Riverside, John directed Suzie Miller’s All The Blood And All The Water and the highly acclaimed Far Away for Black Swan Theatre Company before directing the world premiere of the new musical Risky Lunar Love, by Luke Milton at Sydney’s CarriageWorks. In 2008 John spent three months in New York assisting Edward Albee on a workshop of his new play Me, Myself And I, before working with Cicely Berry at the National Theatre in London. For Griffin Stablemates, John directed Tiger Country and in 2009 Neil LaBute’s The Distance From Here. John also collaborated with Ross Mueller on a new production entitled This Highway Home with a creative workshop held in 2010.
In his first season as the Artistic Director of Barking Gecko Theatre Company, John wrote for the stage and directed The Amber Amulet adapted from Craig Silvey’s children’s book, which premiered in 2011. In the same year, John directed a stage adaptation of Shaun Tan’s children’s book The Red Tree, which was adapted by John with designer Gypsy Taylor and premiered at Barking Gecko Theatre Company in 2011 and re-produced for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival.
In 2012 he also directed Susie Miller’s Driving Into Walls for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival. Under his direction, Barking Gecko Theatre Company has been nominated for eleven Helpmann Awards, including Best Children’s Presentation. Following the success of Driving Into Walls, the production toured to the Sydney Opera House and Parramatta Riverside Theatre in June 2013. In 2013, John has directed Hamlet as part of a multi-year partnership with the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. In addition he adapted and directed Wolf Erlbruch’s children’s book Duck, Death And The Tulip as part of the 2013 Perth International Arts Festival and directed an adaptation by Tom Holloway of Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy, as a co-production with the Sydney Theatre Company for which he received the Performing Arts WA Award for Best Director (previously WA Equity Awards).
In 2014, John Sheedy and playwright Suzie Miller returned to Perth International Arts Festival with a sequel for Driving Into Walls called onefivezeroseven, whose script was drawn from interviews with teenagers across Australia, and later in the year John directed a sold out season of Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Craig Silvey’s best-selling novel Jasper Jones. In 2015, John Sheedy adapted and directed The Rabbits, a co-production of Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company presented by the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival featuring Kate Miller-Heidke.
John Sheedy is a multi-award nominated Australian Director whose work has been staged extensively throughout Australia. In 1998, John completed his Bachelor of Dramatic Art at the National Drama School in Melbourne before completing his Masters of Dramatic Art (Directing) at National Institute of Dramatic Arts in 2002. In August 2010 John became the Artistic Director at Barking Gecko Theatre Company, delivering his last season for the company in 2015.