Sanctum Studio | Sanctum Studio Productions
Sanctum Theatre is a Melbourne-based visual performance ensemble presenting folk theatre in everyday spaces since 2006.
Lachlan Plain, puppets, performance, theatre, theater, Melbourne, Australia, visual, site specific, roving acts, puppetry, public art, community, design, illustration, painting, drawing, art, studio, street art, mural, murals, installation, projection, light, lantern, sculpture, sculptural, artist, exhibition
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lament: candles & compost (Abbotsford Convent 2006)
lament: candles & compost (Abbotsford Convent 2006)
``Theatre is a space in which the waking mind can address its illness; where paradox isn't hypocrisy and mortality isn't ignored; it is a sanctuary where monstrous apparitions can be viewed at arms length and laughed at; it is the shared pretense of momentary madness...``

--Henrietta Kuscht (1929)

SANCTUM STUDIO is a lens through which monstrous apparitions are made manifest, tearing fissures in the fabric of monotony. Its work has been described as, ‘forg[ing] a dark and surreal dystopia, packed with visual surprises,’ (The Age 2018).

SANCTUM STUDIO (formerly SANCTUM THEATRE) is a visual production company specialising in puppetry and animation. We have been presenting live art in everyday spaces since 2006. We are currently working on translating our naïve, tactile aesthetic into the digital realm, through immersive animations and extended reality.

Our art is a celebration of the land we live on the and the systems that sustain it. We animate the inanimate. What does animism look like in a secular, post-colonial society? What is the spiritual dimension of decomposition? What invisible beings populate the bush?

SANCTUM STUDIO is driven  by Lachlan Plain (artistic director, and Jasmine Powell (genral manager, Our art is inspired by our experience of madness, bringing knowledge from the shadows into the light of day.

SANCTUM STUDIO is located on the unceded lands of the Warundjerri Willum of the Kulin Nation. We acknowledge their elders, past and present.


SANCTUM STUDIO staged its inaugural production at the Abbotsford Convent. LAMENT: CANDLES & COMPOST (2006) was described as, ‘…full of striking images…shadowplay and puppetry were absorbingly innovative…’ (The Age) and ‘…startling work that is at once confronting and yet comforting…’ (Inpress).

SANCTUM STUDIO’s most recent work include CORREA (Hume Winter Light Festival, 2022), THE MAN WHO CANNOT SLEEP (White Night 2018) and LIFE IS A CAROUSEL (Green Room Award 2017). Click here to see more productions, exhibitions and Zero Projects.

SANCTUM STUDIO’s short films have screened at St Kilda Film Festival, Revelations Perth International Film Festival and American Independant Film Festival.


Sanctum Puppet Commissions (SPC)

SANCTUM STUDIO creates public art, street art and giant puppets for clients like Moomba, Melbourne Museum and local government.


Sanctum Community Projects (SCP)

SANCTUM STUDIO works with community groups and schools to devise performances in everyday spaces. We work with children, youth, families, ethnic groups, ESL classes, and people experiencing disability or mental health issues.

We build giant puppets, large sculptural lanterns and create performances with light and shadow. We re-animate and re-mystify local landscapes in the communal imagination. Participants are challenged in a nurturing space to achieve what they think is not possible.


Puppet Shows & Roaming Acts

“I have programmed Sanctum’s Puppets into all Manner of situations – daytime with families and nighttime with a party crowd – and they never fail to entertain and titillate. They manage to stir up trouble in all the right ways.” Ian Pidd, Artistic Director, The Village.


“The crowd that was absolutely glued to each show of the Pearly Whites installation. I’ve never seen a crowd so locked in to a performance at a festival!” Roland Fraval, City of Whittlesea


SANCTUM STUDIO has toured puppet shows and roaming acts to festivals such as Moomba, Tanglewood Festival, Kris Kringle Night Market (Darebin), SoFrenchy So Chic, Ballarat Heritage Weekend, Rainbow Serpent, Rock Above the Falls, Rancho Relaxo, Castlemaine State Festival, The Practically Green Festival (Edendale Farm), Kid’s Arty Farty Fest (Banyule), Maldon Puppet Festival, The Village Festival and CERES.



SANCTUM STUDIO Artists Space is a dynamic arts space in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It provides local artists with workstations, and hosts exhibitions and events.

The Man Who Cannot Sleep
The Man Who Cannot Sleep (White Night 2018) photo by Ana Lorite and Sergio Aguilar
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