Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Anna Bligh has announced Wesley Enoch as the new Artistic Director for the Queensland Theatre Company.
Enoch is one of Australia’s busiest theatre directors. Originally from Stradbroke Island, he has worked with all of Australia’s major theatre companies including Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Black Swan, Griffin Theatre Company, Hothouse, Ilbijerri, Yirra Yaakin, Windmill, Malthouse and Company B.
His work has been staged in all major festivals of the country and regularly tours overseas. He is a well known writer and cultural leader and is a member of a number of industry boards and committees including the Creative Australia Advisory Group, Ethics Council (National Congress of Australia’s First People) and a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House.
“Wesley has a long history of working in theatre, both as a director and a writer, starting his career in his home state of Queensland and then moving interstate to work across Australia,” Ms Bligh said.
“Over the past decade he has worked with the majority of Australia’s state theatre companies, major arts centres and festivals and in 2006 directed the Indigenous section of the Opening Ceremony for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
“As a writer, Wesley has won the Patrick White Playwright’s Award and as a director he has earned acclaim for productions such as The Sapphires and Parramatta Girls.
“This appointment rekindles a long and strong relationship with Queensland Theatre Company where he is a former associate artist and the director of several productions for the Company. In July the Company is presenting the play that helped make his name in Australian theatre, the powerful The 7 Stages of Grieving which he co-wrote with Deborah Mailman.”
Queensland Theatre Company Chair Kate Foy said Wesley was the standout candidate from a strong pool of national and international candidates.
“It was a unanimous decision by the panel,” she said.
“Wesley has an impressive track record as a freelance artist, significant experience in mainstage companies across Australia and international success with a number of shows he has written or directed.
“He is a great advocate for new work, has a strong interest in developing regional and educational activities, and is a master storyteller.
“Wesley will join the Company on a part-time basis from July this year, and be in the role full-time in the first quarter of 2011, so he can fulfil his existing commitments.”
Enoch said he was delighted to be taking the artistic reins at Queensland Theatre Company from Michael Gow, one of Australia’s most respected theatre-makers.
“I look forward to building on the successes of Michael’s leadership as well as developing some new initiatives that will celebrate Queensland’s place in the national arts industry,” he said.
The Premier thanked Michael Gow, who is leaving after 11 years to pursue a freelance writing and directing career, for his commitment and passion for theatre in Queensland.
“He has been a fine leader and an advocate for local actors as well as for taking theatre beyond Brisbane through the Queensland Regional Partnerships program,” she said.