In a stunning announcement, Ralph Myers will take over Sydney’s Company B when Neil Armfield steps down at the end of the company’s 2010 subscription season.
Like a Melbourne Cup outsider getting up in the last few bounds, not even rumours had suggested Myers was in contention for the role.
30-year-old Myers admitted to being stunned that he secured the role.
Myers is one of the country’s foremost set designers. Since graduating from NIDA in 2000, he has worked across film, opera, circus, dance as well as having designed for most of the major theatre companies in Australia including Company B Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare.
Throughout his career he has enjoyed significant collaborations many of the country’s leading theatre practitioners including Neil Armfield, Benedict Andrews, Cate Blanchett, Wesley Enoch, Barrie Kosky and Robin Nevin.
Ralph has worked on a number of productions at the Belvoir St Theatre, including Toy Symphony (2007), Parramatta Girls (2007), Ray’s Tempest (2005), The Fever (2003) and Conversations with the Dead (2003). He is currently an Associate Artist at Company B Belvoir.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be entrusted with the Artistic Directorship of one of Australia’s finest and most well-loved theatre companies,” Myers said.
“As a freelance artist I always relished the opportunity to work at Belvoir St Theatre, and now I look forward to the prospect of being there full time, and leading the company into its next chapter. Neil Armfield is one of the towering giants of the Australian cultural landscape. I’m humbled to step into his enormous shoes.”
The appointment comes after a rigorous five month recruitment process since Neil Armfield announced his departure in May, after 25 years with the Company.
Company B Belvoir’s General Manager Brenna Hobson said: “We were all delighted by the high calibre of applications we received, and how indicative this is of the rich pool of talent the performing arts world in Australia enjoys. Ultimately, Ralph stood out for his intelligence, humour, capacity for inspiring leadership and understanding of the theatrical process. His affinity with artists and audiences alike is wonderful to see and I’m really looking forward to working with Ralph to realise his vision.”
Myers will continue to work as an Associate Artist with Company B Belvoir for the rest of 2009 and throughout 2010. He will work closely with Neil Armfield until his departure in December 2010 and will programme the Company’s 2011 season.
“I have tremendous respect for Ralph and am very happy with the panel’s decision to appoint him,” Armfield said.
“I have worked with him many times and, as a director, it is a pleasure to collaborate with a designer who has such an innate understanding of how stories are told on a stage.
“Ralph has a powerful architectural aesthetic mixed with a wonderful sense of play. Most importantly Ralph has a real wisdom, remarkable in one so young. He is already a leader within the community of Australian Theatre and I’m thrilled that he has been entrusted with this great job.”