Zootango Theatre Company was conceived by Peter Byers, Richard Davey and Sandy McCutcheon amongst others in October 1985. The Company was originally the umbrella name for a group of professional theatre companies, namely The Round Earth Company, Barrow Theatre, Illusion Circus Theatre Company and Mouthpiece, with the purpose to provide administrative and resource support. Various grants were applied for to support such projects as 'The Ship that Never Was'. The new Company was called Zootango Roadshow Ltd in its first years of operation. The Tasmanian Theatre Trust met its demise in 1986 and with it the general funding grants made to the Trust became frozen. A proposal was drawn up to negotiate the division of funding for Theatre in Tasmania whereby Zootango would administer a proportion of the moneys, the Theatre Royal Management Board would manage a share to maintain entrepreneurial and management standards, and the Australian Arts Council would administer the remainder to support plays touring the State. As a consequence a Joint Venture was formed between Zootango, the Theatre Royal Management Board and the Tasmanian Arts Council to access Federal and State grants in order to present a program of theatre productions throughout Tasmania. In 1987 the Peacock Theatre in Salamanca Place became the Company's home and in June 1989 it changed its name to Zootango Theatre Company. The Company maintained a program of between three or four major productions a year, with additional productions produced on a co-operative or commercial basis. Production tours were conducted intra and interstate. In 1997 a change of Federal policy towards regional theatre resulted in the withdrawal of Arts Tasmania and the Australia Council's combined yearly funding for the Company of $220,000. In an effort to survive the Company reduced the number of its productions but was forced to cease operations in late 1997.