Late last week, members of the Australian theatre industry were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Marc Psaila, a long serving member of the arts community.
Described as knowing “everyone” in the industry, Psaila had been working at the Malthouse Theatre for the last year, and had previously held positions with many of Australia’s most respected theatre companies as Company Manager, Casting Associate and Front of House Manager.
Tributes in their hundreds have been posted on his Facebook wall from his friends and loved ones around the world.
“Marc was loved by every actor, actress, director, writer, theatre maker and theatre lover he knew in Sydney and Melbourne”, actor Mitchell Butel told AussieTheatre yesterday.
“Ever helpful, ever hilarious, ever kind.”
Among his many positions during his career as an arts administrator, Psaila worked at Belvoir, as the Casting Associate to Serena Hill at the Sydney Theatre Company (2003-2009), and at Malthouse Theatre – a position he held at the time of his death.
From London, actor and voice over artist Felicity Josling expressed her sadness in an email to AussieTheatre.
“I cannot believe that he is no longer with us”, she said. “He was the kindest most generous person and always had a terrific sense of humour about everything.”
A funeral service for Marc will be held in Melbourne this Monday at the Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre at 11am. Details can be found below.
AussieTheatre has set up a tribute board for anyone who would like to pay tribute to the life and work of this wonderful man. Among the contributors are Mitchell Butel, Serena Hill from Sydney Theatre Company, Marion Potts from Malthouse Theatre:
MITCHELL BUTEL – Actor
“A few months ago, Marc Psaila told me that our friend, the beautiful and original Michael White had passed away in his sleep and Marc wrote: “He had not been unwell, he was in a great relationship… just one of those things. Rest in peace Whitey and thanks for the love and fun times!”
I am so, so sad and shocked that similar words are now being said about Marc – whose wit and charm and warmth and …care and mischief flowed to every person he met.
Marc was loved by every actor, actress, director, writer, theatre maker and theatre lover he knew in Sydney and Melbourne – and he knew EVERYBODY.
He ran the bar at Belvoir Street for many years. He was then casting assistant at the Sydney Theatre Company. More recently, he has been the Company Manager at Malthouse Theatre. In all jobs, he was adored.
Ever helpful, ever hilarious, ever kind.
Marc was a stunning human being. Thank you Marc for the “love and fun times” of which there were many. To his partner Stuart Tight, to his friends, to his family, to his Belvoir, STC and Malthouse families too, we give all our love and condolences. I hope he and Michael White are on some parallel universe Darlinghurst rooftop right now sharing a late afternoon drink together.
You will be much missed lovely Marc”
MARION POTTS – Artistic Director of Malthouse Theatre:
“Marc was a great colleague because of his many fine attributes as a human being. Our profession relies heavily on the relationships we build and Marc had the generosity, sensitivity and the people skills to deal with the full spectrum of eccentricity that inhabits a theatre company.
He was enormously loved and will therefore be enormously missed.”
SERENA HILL – Casting Director, Sydney Theatre Company:
“Marc Psaila held the position of Casting Associate at Sydney Theatre Company, where we worked closely together for six years from 2003 to 2009.
He originally hailed from Melbourne but his work in Sydney prior to STC was in various capacities at Company B. including Front of House Manager, as a casting agent at Faith Martin & Associates and as Company Manager for the Really Useful Company on the production of The Graduate.
His accumulated knowledge of theatre and the acting community was enormous and invaluable to STC and which he very generously shared with me when I first arrived at STC.
Even more important than his brilliant work was his relationship with his colleagues. He was an enormously popular, witty and charismatic man and he was always at the centre of any hilarity happening in the office.
He was a particularly good friend to me and an enormous part of my life so much so that my children plotted for he and I to get married (even though I was married to their father and they knew Marc’s long time partner very well), it was clearly wishful thinking on their part to have him ever more part of our lives!
He will be truly missed by us all”.
Rest in Peace
A funeral service for Marc Psaila will be held on Monday, 26 March 2012 at 11am in Melbourne, VIC.
The Malthouse – Merlyn Theatre
113 Sturt Street
Southbank VIC 3006
Marc’s loved ones have respectfully requested no flowers, however donations made to Australian Marriage Equality in Marc’s memory are greatly appreciated.
If you wish to post a comment or tribute to Marc, or to send your respects, you can do so in the comment box below – or visit www.australianmarriageequality.com to donate.