Over the past 70 years, the Theatre Guild has presented some 350 productions. On average, each production involves 30-40 people onstage and backstage.
The Guild's repertoire over this period has included many world, Australian and South Australian premières, most notably the first-ever performances of Patrick White's The Ham Funeral (1961), Season at Sarsaparilla (1962) and Night on Bald Mountain (1964).
In recent years, the Theatre Guild has continued to maintain a high standard of excellence, for which a benchmark has been its recognition in awards.
The Theatre Guild has twice won The Advertiser "Best of the Fringe" award: for Peter Goers' production of The Ruling Class in 1982, and for Sue Rider's production of the Guild-devised Ring the Bell Softly, There's Crepe on the Door! in 1986.
In 1998, the Guild's production of Vaclav Havel's Slum Clearance, directed by Chris Drummond, was among the finalists for the "Best of the Fringe" award.
In 2002, the Theatre Guild won the Adelaide Critics Circle "Coopers" award for excellence as a group for Martin Laud's production of Much Ado about Nothing, while Martha Lott (Private Lives) won the individual achievement "Cooper".
In 2003, the Guild's production of Peter Shaffer's Equus was nominated for the Adelaide Critics Circle group award, while Luke O'Loughlin (Equus) and Scott Edwards (The Ugly Man) were nominated for the individual award.
In 2005, the Guild's 2004 production of Twelfth Night, directed by Michael Baldwin, was nominated in the best comedy category of the Adelaide Theatre Guide's inaugural "Curtain Call" awards, and Guild Chair John Edge won a "Curtain Call" best actor award for his performance as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.
In 2006, director Brant Eustice won the Adelaide Critics Circle "Coopers Award" for individual achievement for his direction of the Guild's production of Julius Caesar.
Also in 2006, Cloud Nine (directed by Harry Dewar) was nominated for best comedy in the Adelaide Theatre Guide awards, and Aldo Longobardi was nominated for best male performance for his work in that production. In The Messenger Awards for Amateur Theatre, The Real Inspector Hound received a Special Mention for Best Comedy and Cassandra Backler a Special Mention for Best Set Design, while director John Wells won Best Director.
In 2007, The Real Inspector Hound went on to win the award for Best Comedy (Amateur) in the Adelaide Theatre Guide "Curtain Call' Awards.
In 2008, the Guild received four nominations in the Adelaide Theatre Guide Awards: Best Show (Drama) for An Experiment with an Air Pump and A Streetcar Named Desire; and Best Male Performance (Adam Tuominen) and Best Female Performance (Marie-Kate Constantine), both for A Streetcar Named Desire.
In 2009, the Guild won the Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award for Best Comedy (Amateur) for its production of The Underpants. In addition, cast member Kate Fraser won an inaugural Simon Slade Memorial Award for Emerging Talent. The Theatre Guild also received a further two nominations for Best Male Performance (Matt Scales as Versati in The Underpants); and Best Male Performance (Gary George as Enobarbus in Antony & Cleopatra). In addition, Brant Eustice won an Adelaide Critics Circle "Coopers Award" and was nominated for an Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award for his role in Oleanna.
In 2010, the Guild won the Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Award for Best Ensemble (Amateur) for its production of Influence.
In 2011, the Guild won two Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Awards for its production of A View from the Bridge, one for Best Show Drama (Amateur) and the other, Best Male Performance (Amateur), going to lead actor Nigel Tripodi for his role as 'Eddie Carbone'. In addition the production was nominated for a DramatiCAL Award from the Theatre Association of South Australia.
In 2012, the Guild again won two Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call Awards, both relating its production of The Pillowman, namely Best Show Drama (Amateur) and the other Best Male Performance (Amateur) going to lead actor Bart Csorba for his role as 'Katurian'. In addition the Guild received a nomination for Best Show Drama (Amateur) for Antigone and Best Female Performance (Amateur) went to Amanda Shillabeer for her role as 'Lady Macbeth'. Michael Baldwin won an Adelaide Critics Circle Award for his portrayal of 'Creon' in the Guild's May production of Antigone.
A comprehensive analysis of the Guild's first 60 years can be found in Kerrie Round's As Many Lives As A Cat? -The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild 1938-1998, published in 1999 and available from the Barr Smith Library.
"I will always be grateful to the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild for being my first true theatrical home. A home where I was encouraged to be an artist, to take risks and to make mistakes. For me the Guild was transformative - it gave me the courage and the conviction to dream bigger dreams."
Chris Drummond, Artistic Director, Brink Productions, quoted in As Many Lives As A Cat?