Tao of Glass

Philip Glass & Phelim McDermott

Tao of Glass Heath Ledger Theatre Heath Ledger Theatre $25 - $89 + BF
Ticket info Buy Tickets
Heath Ledger Theatre, from $25 - $89 + BF

‘Marvellously entertaining and deeply touching.'


A Perth Festival Commission

Phelim McDermott is a master storyteller – a theatrical alchemist and spinner of yarns who has summoned this astonishingly original show about making a show.

Composer Philip Glass and performer-director and Improbable founder Phelim McDermott have worked together on acclaimed opera productions around the world. Now they have joined forces for their most personal collaboration yet.

Tao of Glass takes ten brand-new pieces by Philip Glass and marries them to ten meditations on life, death and Taoist wisdom performed by McDermott with an ensemble of musicians and puppeteers. The result is a warm, fun and utterly compelling fusion of music, theatre, puppetry and philosophical musing held together by a highly-personal monologue about the nature of creativity, memory and personal identity.

Part-concert, part-performance, Tao of Glass is a storytelling tapestry, soundtracked by Glass’s mesmerising music and infused with Improbable’s trademark theatricality.
Philip Glass
Writer & Co-Director
Phelim McDermott
Kirsty Housley
Fly Davis
Lighting Designer
Colin Grenfell
Sound Designer
Giles Thomas
Ragnar Freidank
Musical Director
Chris Vatalaro
Associate Director
Peter Relton
Puppet Designer & Puppet Maker
Lyndie Wright
Design Associate
Camille Etchart
Sound Associate
Sorcha Steele
David Emmings, Janet Etuk, Rachel Leonard
Phelim McDermott
Jack McNeill
Rakhi Singh
Katherine Tinker
Chris Vatalaro

Philip Glass

Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School.  By 1974 he had created a large collection of music for the Philip Glass Ensemble, a period that culminated in the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach. Since Einstein, Glass' repertoire has grown to include music for opera, dance, theatre, orchestra and film.  His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). Recent works include an opera on Walt Disney, The Perfect American; Glass' memoir, Words Without Music, by Liveright Books; Symphony No.12, based on David Bowie's Lodger and music for King Lear on Broadway.

Glass received the US National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama in 2016 and the 41st Kennedy Center Honors in December 2018.  He presents lectures, workshops and solo keyboard performances around the world.


Phelim McDermott

Phelim McDermott is a founder member and co-artistic director of Improbable. He has won Olivier Awards for both Best Entertainment and Best New Opera, TMA Awards for Best Touring Production and Best Director, and a Critics Circle Best Design Award. He was awarded a National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts fellowship and an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University.

  • Premium

    • Adult: $89
    • Friend: $80
  • A Reserve

    • Adult: $79
    • Concession: $75
    • Friend: $71
  • B Reserve

    • Adult: $59
    • Concession: $56
    • Friend: $53
    • Student: $25
  • C Reserve

    • Adult: $39
    • Concession: $37
    • Friend: $35
    • Student: $25

Eligible for package discount

Buy tickets to 3 or more events and save 10%

  • Auslan interpreted performance Thu 20 Feb
  • Captioned & audio described performance and tactile tour Fri 21 Feb

Contains coarse language, adult themes, smoke and haze effects

Event Program

Discover more about the show and its creation in the event program. Download it here.

Connect Events

Post Show Q&A

Thu 20 Feb

Stay in your seats after the performance to hear from creators and artists in a Q&A session.

Community Partner

Production Partner

Thank you


  • Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Improbable, Perth Festival, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen and Carolina Performing Arts - University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in association with Naomi Milgrom AO. Produced by Manchester International Festival and Improbable.


  • Tristram Kenton

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