1936

John Truscott born in the Melbourne suburb of Caulfield.
Attended trades school at Caulfield Technical College.

1952

After submitting a portfolio of drawings he is invited to design A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Gertrude Johnson at the National Theatre, Melbourne.

1955–1965

Began designing for The Little Theatre (later St Martin’s Theatre) in South Yarra for directors Irene Mitchell, George Fairfax and Brett and Peter Randall. A collaboration that lasted 6 years through 80 productions which brought John to the attention of the theatre world and garnered him numerous awards.

 

1960–1965

Invited to design for Garnett Carroll’s major theatrical productions at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, among them The King and I, West Side Story, the Music Man and Most Happy Fella

1963

John produces his ground-breaking designs for Camelot for JC Williamson.

1965

John leaves for London where he designed Robert Helpmann’s production of Camelot. He went on to design a number of productions including Les Enfants du Sortilage for Sadler’s Wells Ballet, in the West End for Keith Michell and for London’s Festival Ballet.

1965

At the personal request of Jack Warner John leaves for Hollywood to work for Warner Brothers. Designs Camelot starring Vaness Redgrave and Franco Nero and Paint Your Wagon with Lee Marvin.

1968

John wins too Oscars for costume design and for art direction for Camelot.

1970

John is nominated for an Oscar for art direction on Paint Your Wagon.

1980–1984

John returns to Melbourne at the request of George Fairfax and the Victorian Art Centre to design the interior finishes for the nearly completed Theatres and Concert Hall.

1976–1980

Designs Idomineo and The Pearl Fishers for the Victorian State Opera.

1988

Artistic Director of the Brisbane World Expo.

1989–1991

Artistic director of the Melbourne International Festival (formerly Spoleto Festival).

1992–1993

Chief artistic advisor the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Arts Centre.

1993

Dies at the age of 57 from complications following heart surgery and is buried beneath a white dogwood tree in the Dandenong Ranges. A few days later thousands of people congregate in the Melbourne Concert hall for a memorial service.