About Us

Our Story

Elderslee Foundation, a community organisation, purchased a warehouse in Tuggerah Straight in 2018 and transformed it into Red Tree Theatre, an arts and community centre that includes Elderlsee@Tuggerah, as well as 6 multipurpose spaces. Initially slated to open in early 2020, the global pandemic delayed the opening until February 2021.  

Red Tree Theatre offers rehearsal, office, and meeting spaces, training rooms, exhibition space, and a 130-seat theatre that can be used for performances, concerts, productions, as well as seminars, presentations, and conferences. The foyer and entrance area host art exhibitions, and The Monkey Bar is a space for celebrating openings and award ceremonies, as well as interval refreshments during performances. Over the past three years, the venue has become a popular destination for community members, with over 10,000 visitors annually. It is a welcoming, relaxed space where people can come together to share their interests and passions, address community issues, and foster creativity.

How we got our name?

The Elderslee Foundation was inspired by “The Red Tree,” a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. This richly illustrated book tells the story of a lonely red-headed girl who is followed by a red leaf from a red tree, which represents her feelings and worries, as she journeys through a dark world. Amidst the darkness, a small red leaf, symbolizing hope, can be found in each illustration. At the end of the book, the girl stands smiling at a beautiful red-leafed tree growing in her bedroom.

The Elderslee Foundation recognizes the connection between cultural participation, the arts, and well-being. By naming our main performance space Red Tree Theatre, we are taking our place in the creative community of the Central Coast and striving to encourage social connection, community cohesion, and positive contributions to the health and well-being of the community. We commissioned a local artist, Grant Maloney, to create an evocative and dramatic painting for the foyer of our center, which patrons see upon entering the space. This beautiful artwork serves as a reminder of our shared humanity and the powerful connection between the arts, hope, and well-being.

History of Elderslee Foundation

The Elderslee Foundation was established in the 1970’s to oversee the running of Elderslee Retirement Village at Bateau Bay, on the NSW Central Coast.

In 2012, the Foundation sold the retirement village in order to generate sufficient funds to establish a Well-Being Centre to support the residents of Elderslee Village and the other retirement villages in the Bateau Bay area. This ageing-in-place initiative was supported by the Old People’s Welfare Council (OPWC), who contributed a substantial amount of funding to the project.  The Elderslee Foundation embarked on a lengthy process of planning, advocating and lobbying to bring this project to fruition. Despite assurances from State and Local Government that the project was both valuable and supported, it became apparent that the issue of land purchasing/leasing was not going to be resolved any time soon, and the Foundation made a decision to cease further work on the project.

As the retirement village was sold to fund the Well-Being Centre project, the Board decided to give the money back to the Central Coast community through projects and activities that enhance the well-being of older residents, utilising the proceeds of this sale and the OPWC’s support (who agreed with the new direction and to Elderslee Foundation administering their funds).  Whilst maintaining significant support for older people, Elderslee Foundation subsequently broadened its focus to financially support projects focussing across all age groups. These funds have provided considerable support to a variety of agencies on the Central Coast.

Our People

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Past Productions

At Red Tree Theatre, we are proud of the diverse range of productions we have brought to life over the years, each one a unique expression of our passion for storytelling and the performing arts. From classic plays to bold contemporary works, our past productions reflect our commitment to artistic excellence and our unwavering dedication to bringing our audiences unforgettable theatrical experiences. Join us as we revisit some of the highlights from our past, and discover the magic of Red Tree Theatre for yourself.