Leave a legacy

Creating stories for future generations

Ensemble Theatre has been a shining light in Australian theatre for over 60 years. Leaving a gift in your Will is a genuine way to leave a legacy that will enrich the cultural life for future generations and make a lasting contribution for many years to come. Your support, large or small, plays an invaluable role to ensure our future stays bright and is a wonderful way to celebrate the important part the theatre has played in your life.

A message from Mark Kilmurry, Artistic Director

Ensemble Theatre’s long success comes from being a very accessible place. We exist as theatre for everyone, a statement that is at the very heart of what Ensemble means to me – audiences from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds and ages.

Ensemble Theatre has a tradition of producing contemporary and classic theatre and has built a strong reputation over the past 60 years. With a dedicated subscriber base and a swell in new audiences, Ensemble is looking forward to a vibrant future. The core of what we do is to entertain and should you choose to leave Ensemble a gift in your Will, your generosity and
foresight will enhance that core vision, allowing us to engage with audiences and creatives well into the future.

Mark Kilmurry
Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director

Why leave a legacy?

We understand that family and friends come first and would urge you to discuss your decisions with loved ones, sharing with them your love of Ensemble Theatre.

You have the option to dedicate your gift to our Centre Stage Fund and play a vital role in bringing our productions to life and support our operational costs as our aspirations grow. Alternatively we can tailor your funds to a program or purpose that may have significance to you personally. For example: our Ensemble Education or Boatshed Development programs engage young audiences and develop emerging artists. We will work closely with you to understand your wishes and ensure they are carried out.

Please let us know if you have included Ensemble Theatre in your Will so that we can discuss any wishes you may have, and importantly, thank you personally by inviting you to join our Ensemble Encore Circle. As a part of our Encore Circle, you will receive invitations to special events and be recognised in our communications.

We respect you may prefer to remain anonymous and any information you share with us will be kept strictly confidential. Whatever your choice, we thank you for your support and gratefully acknowledge the importance you place on providing a cultural legacy.





Hear from our supporters, Ros and Alex Hunyor

“Our family’s love for Ensemble Theatre began more than 40 years ago. We were introduced by my friend Sandra Bates whose enthusiasm for the theatre was contagious. Every year since, together with family and friends, we have laughed, cried and been challenged at times, by many memorable performances. The intimacy of the theatre and the warmth of welcome by the staff also engenders a great sense of community and belonging.

My mother Val Lovett treasured her visits to the Ensemble and attended the Thursday matinees with two friends for many years. The post-performance discussion over lunch in what is now Bayly’s Bistro was the highlight of her week. We were delighted to buy the bus in her memory with funds from her estate. Val would be overjoyed to know it is appreciated by so many people who can now continue coming and enjoying their theatre.”




Legal guidance

Leaving a bequest to Ensemble Theatre in your Will is greatly appreciated, and will ensure the theatre can continue to share memorable stories for years to come. There are a number of different ways you can remember Ensemble Theatre in your Will. These include:

A percentage of your estate
This ensures that, even if your assets increase or decrease in value, the bequest you wish to leave to Ensemble will adjust accordingly.

A monetary gift
The nominated sum will pass to Ensemble.

A specific gift of another type of asset
It’s a good idea to share your intentions with us, so we can ensure your wishes are properly honoured. For example shares, art or property.

The residue of your estate
After other gifts in your Will have been made, some or all of the remainder of your estate passes to Ensemble.


We would like to make the process easy for you with this recommended wording. It is important that your wording clearly expresses your wishes and we suggest if you are creating or updating your Will, you consult with your legal advisor.

“I give to Ensemble Foundation Limited as trustee for the Ensemble Theatre Foundation ABN 13 923 149 043, for its general purposes, [insert as applicable]

The sum of $___________________ OR

[Insert details of the specific asset you wish to leave] OR

______% of the residue of my estate OR

The whole of my estate OR

The residue of my estate.

AND I declare that the written acknowledgement of the treasurer or other proper officer of the Ensemble Theatre Foundation shall be accepted by my trustee as a full and complete discharge and that my trustee shall not be bound to see the application thereof.”

We would like to thank wills and estates lawyer Stephen Lynch for his support and should you require any further legal advice on this matter please contact Stephen on 02 9923 2321 or slynch@somervillelegal.com.au






Frequently asked questions
  1. My affairs are quite simple. Do I need a Will?

 Everybody over the age of 18 should have a Will. If you do not have a Will, in the event of your death the distribution of your estate will be determined by legislation, rather than by your own wishes. This may result in your estate passing in a way you do not want. In addition, executing a Will allows you to choose your own executor – that is, the person who will “step into your shoes” upon your death  and administer your estate. If you do not have a Will, someone you do not want, or even the government, may take control of your estate. Dying without a Will can make the administration of your estate more complex than it needs to be and increase costs for your estate.

  1. Should I use a “do it yourself” Will such as a Will kit from a post office?

Preparing a Will without expert advice is very risky. Even though you know what it is you want, it is very easy to accidentally use unclear or ambiguous wording. And since you would not be around after your death to explain what you meant, often the only way to resolve it is through the Supreme Court, which can cost your estate tens of thousands of dollars. Speaking with an experienced estate planning specialist will also ensure that you minimise exposure of your estate and beneficiaries to taxes and other conflict.

  1. Who should be the executor of my Will?

That is up to you. It can be family member or friend, or a professional such as a solicitor. However, it is a good idea to have a “backup” executor appointed, in case your initial executor is unable to act or has died before you. This is important for all Australians, but particularly for older people whose initial executors may be of a similar age to them.

  1. I am getting married to my long-term partner. It is our second marriage and we don’t want any change to our Wills. Is there anything we need to know?

Yes – in most cases, marriage will revoke some or all of the provisions of your Will. If you have married since you last did your Will, or are intending to get married, please see your solicitor to ensure your wishes will still be carried out in the event of your death.

  1. I would like my Will to set up a scholarship or annual award by Ensemble Theatre. Can that be done?

In almost all cases, this can be done. It is best to ensure your solicitor is experienced in estate planning, and to ensure the terms of the proposed award are discussed with Ensemble Theatre prior to you finalising your Will, so that we can ensure your wishes are met.

  1. I want to leave a particular asset to a charity such as Ensemble Theatre. Is this ok?

In most cases, it is absolutely fine to leave a specific asset to a charity. However, it is a good idea to discuss this with the charity beforehand. Even if you have particular ideas about how the asset should be used it is best to provide the charity and/or your executor with some flexibility in terms of how the asset is used. A recent case involved a person who left their rural property to a charity with a direction that it be used as an artist’s retreat. However the amount of maintenance required, and the location of the property, meant that it was unsuitable for the intended use. A better idea would have been to express the wish in the Will that the property be used that way, but that if it couldn’t then for the property to be sold and the proceeds pass to the charity the willmaker wanted to benefit.

  1. I’ve heard about family members contesting Wills. Is there any point in having a Will if it can be contested anyway? How can I stop it being contested?

It is true that in some circumstances, certain categories of people (such as spouses or children) can contest a Will. However, this does not render the Will itself meaningless, and it is much better to have a Will than not. The best way to protect yourself is to see a solicitor with the appropriate expertise, who can advise you as to the risks of your Will being contested and the steps that can be taken to minimise the risk.

  1. Charities such as Ensemble Theatre receive certain favourable tax treatment that may be helpful to consider when planning your Will. For example, if your estate sells shares in publicly listed companies (or a beneficiary inherits shares and sells them) there will often be capital gains tax (“CGT”) payable. However, CGT may not apply if the shares are given in your Will directly to a charity such as Ensemble Theatre. So, for example, if you intended to give $20,000 to a charity and your assets include $20,000 or more in shares, it may be more tax-effective to give the shares themselves to the charity rather than the cash amount. The tax treatment will vary depending on the circumstances and expert tax and estate planning advice should be obtained.

We would like to thank wills and estates lawyer Stephen Lynch for his support and should you require any further legal advice on this matter please contact Stephen on 02 9923 2321 or slynch@somervillelegal.com.au






Contact us

For more information on how your gift may benefit your loved ones, future generations and Ensemble Theatre, contact:

David Balfour Wright
Ensemble Theatre
78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli NSW 2061
02 8918 3421 or david@ensemble.com.au