Melbourne Theatre Company General Manager to depart later this year

Melbourne Theatre CompanyThe Chair of Melbourne Theatre Company, Derek Young announced this month that after 18 years as General Manager, Ann Tonks will be leaving MTC later this year.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with Ann during her whole time with MTC and have no doubt she is the best arts manager in Australia,” Young said.

“The success of the Company in recent years, including our ability to build a new theatre and headquarters, is in no small part due to Ann’s outstanding management capabilities and personal qualities. During her tenure, MTC has achieved record subscription numbers, substantially increased revenue and delivered consistent operating surpluses. Ann has been the heart and soul of the company and finding a replacement for her will be very, very difficult.”

Ann Tonks joined MTC in 1994 in what was considered to be a challenging time in MTC’s history. Its theatre in Russell Street was facing closure, its headquarters in Southbank were in disrepair, and its financial situation was considered problematic.

Tonks tackled these problems with aplomb, working with Artistic Directors Roger Hodgman and later Simon Phillips to turn around the fortunes of the Company by re-building its audience base, improving the quality of its productions, and making it one of the most effective and efficient performing arts companies in Australia.

Said Tonks, “I had three major tasks to do when I joined MTC – build a theatre, replace the Company’s falling down headquarters and get the Company back on a stable financial footing. And working with a brilliant array of artistic directors, I’ve done that. Once I’d achieved those goals and was ready to leave, the Board gave me one more task: to keep the Company on a steady footing as we transitioned to our new Artistic Director, Brett Sheehy. So now I can have a holiday with a clear conscience!”

After her break, Tonks has said she will explore a range of consulting, employment, research and teaching opportunities.

MTC will embark on a comprehensive search for Ann’s replacement and she will continue in her role until the new appointee has commenced with the Company.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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