"A director whose name every theatre lover should commit to memory is Stephen Nicolazzo...theatre craft at its most masterful. Nicolazzo is somehow capable of simultaneously summoning the savage and the sublime, revealing wrought, raging truths, and dark, sexual impulses, wrapped in the smoothest satin"

Maxim Boon, The Music


Stephen Nicolazzo is a Melbourne based theatre director. He studied at The University of Melbourne (Creative Arts) and National Institute of Dramatic Art (Directing).

Stephen is the founder of Little Ones Theatre, an independent company focused on innovative queer theatre-making. Little Ones was established in 2007 and has had sell-out seasons across Australia. Their productions are bold, brash and energetic interpretations of queer classics that celebrate a highly theatrical aesthetic. Little Ones Theatre is Nicolazzo, designers Eugyeene Teh, Katie Sfetkidis and Daniel Nixon.

He is a Green Room Award winner for Best Direction (The Happy Prince, 2017) and has been nominated for three Green Room Awards for Best Direction in the Major Companies and Independent categories (The Moors, 2017, Dracula, 2015 and Psycho Beach Party, 2013). Stephen was also the recipient of the Besen Family Artist Program award in 2009 with Malthouse Theatre and in 2015 he received a PlayKing funding award to work in Singapore with Alfian Bin Sa'at and Wild Rice Theatre Company.

In 2020, he will be directing his second collaboration with Christos Tsiolkas and Dan Giovannoni based on Tsiolkas’ debut novel Loaded. It will premiere at Malthouse Theatre as part of their 2020 season.

In 2019, Stephen’s multi-award winning production of Merciless Gods returned at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Midsumma Festival and the multi-award winning The Happy Prince toured to Sydney at Griffin Theatre Company. He also directed choreographer Joel Bray’s new work for Yirramboi Festival, Daddy, which will tour to Brisbane Festival and Live Works for Performance Space at Carriageworks. Stephen also became a member of the 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab in New York City.

In 2018, Nicolazzo made his Melbourne Theatre Company mainstage debut with a twisted revival of Mike Leigh's cult classic, Abigail's Party, created a follow-up to The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose at Theatre Works and returned to Red Stitch Actor's Theatre with a new revival of Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams.

In 2017, Stephen directed Green Room Award winning stage adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas' short story collection, Merciless Gods, by Dan Giovannoni at Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney and at Darebin Arts Speakeasy in Melbourne, both seasons selling out and garnering critical acclaim. Stephen also directed the Australian premiere of Jen Silverman's play, The Moors at Red Stitch Actor's Theatre.

He directed Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince- a queer fairy tale as part of the Midsumma Festival at La Mama (which played to a sold out season and won two Green Room Awards) and a re-imagining of Ash Flanders' Playing to Win (also for Midsumma Festival) at The Arts Centre Melbourne.

In 2016, he toured his production of Dangerous Liaisons to Brisbane Powerhouse as part of Melt Festival and for a return Melbourne season at Theatre Works as part of the 2016 VCE Drama Playlist. He also collaborated with Ash Flanders on a new cabaret work for Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Playing to Win, which went on to win two Green Room Awards.  

In 2015 he directed Meme Girls, a work he created with performer Ash Flanders and director Marion Potts for Malthouse Theatre. He also directed a brand new silent version of Dracula at Theatre Works as part of their Selected Works season; toured Ash Flanders' Special Victim to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival; and his production of Dangerous Liaisons to the Darwin International Arts Festival.

Directing highlights: Dangerous Liaisons By Christopher Hampton (MTC Neon),The House of Yes By Wendy Macleod (Theatre Works), Special Victim By Ash Flanders (Adelaide Feast Festival, Hares & Hyenas, nominated for two Green Room Awards), Salome By Oscar Wilde (Malthouse Theatre Helium), Psycho Beach Party By Charles Busch (TRS/Theatre Works/ Midsumma Festival/Brisbane Festival, nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award and three Green Room Awards), sex.violence.blood.gore By Alfian Bin Sa'At (MKA/TRS Melbourne & Sydney, nominated for two Green Room Awards), Negative Energy Inc. By Ash Flanders (Theatre Works/Midsumma Festival), Women of Troy By Euripides (Cellblock Theatre), Suddenly Last Summer By Tennessee Williams (Cellblock Theatre), and Home Economics By Declan Greene (The Store Room).

Stephen has assistant directed with Marion Potts (MTC), Sam Strong (MTC), Rodney Fisher (Actor's Centre), Susie Dee (MTC), Chris Kohn (Malthouse Theatre and Chambermade Opera), Lally Katz (Malthouse Theatre and MTC), Brian Lipson and Luke Mullins (MTC, Melbourne Festival).

His music video work includes Holiday for Chaingang, Inkstains for Chance Waters, and Awooh & Straight to the Bar for Laura Imbruglia.

Stephen has also worked as guest lecturer, mentor, and director at VCA, Monash University, St Martin's Youth Arts Centre, RMIT, YGLAM (Merri Health Queer Youth Initiative), Western Edge Youth Arts, Melbourne Festival Director’s Lab and NIDA. He is currently teaching Directing and Dramaturgy at Monash University and will return to VCA as a teaching artist for design students.