NIDA announces Kate Cherry as Director/CEO

This week the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) today announced that Kate Cherry will step into the role of Director and Chief Executive Officer from November 2016. Kate joins NIDA following nine years at Western Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company, where she served as Artistic Director/joint-CEO.

NIDA announces Kate Cherry as new CEO
NIDA announces Kate Cherry as new CEO

Kate has been attributed with re-invigorating Black Swan. During her tenure, subscription and single ticket sales doubling, sponsorship figures tripled, and philanthropic contributions increased fourfold.  She also transformed the company into Western Australia’s first state theatre company.

Prior to taking the role at the Black Swan, Kate worked as a freelance director across theatre and opera, and was associate director at Melbourne Theatre Company from 1999–2005. In this role, she was responsible for some of the more heartfelt and political work of the company including the original commissioning of The Sapphires and the multi-award-winning, world-premiere production of Life After George (2000 winner Helpmann Award for Best Play and nomination for Best Director). Prior to this she was Playbox Theatre’s (now Malthouse) artistic associate for three years.

Kate has held the positions of visiting professor at Colorado College and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), both based in the United States. She has taught at WAAPA, VCA and QUT, in addition to working with NIDA students as a guest director.

Kate graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Bard College, New York, and then pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at UCLA. She also became a Drama League Fellow, and assisted Oskar Eustis on the first production of Angels in America.

Chair of NIDA’s Board, Jennifer Bott AO said “Following an extensive and competitive global search, the Board and I are delighted to announce Kate as our new Director/CEO.

“Her appointment is highly significant for the nation’s arts industry as Kate’s acclaimed artistic vision and entrepreneurial management style will open up new avenues for NIDA. Kate brings outstanding experience in international collaboration, education, production, marketing and philanthropy.

“It is particularly important that one of Australia’s most creative leaders is taking on the role as head of our national centre for education and training in the dramatic arts. This will have great benefit to our current and future students, and the impact our graduates continue to make on the national and international stage.”

Kate Cherry and Michael Scott-Mitchell.
Kate Cherry and Michael Scott-Mitchell.

Kate said, “Rich in history, NIDA has played a profound role in shaping Australia’s cultural life. Coming from three generations of Australian theatre makers, I am passionate about building on NIDA’s extraordinary history and networks: enhancing our culture by igniting creativity, inspiring passion, and creating opportunities for dynamic inquiry into our art form.

“At a time of profound transition for the arts, I look forward to joining a leadership team with strong ties to the profession, exploring new collaborative opportunities with organisations across Australia.”

Kate will relocate from Perth to Sydney, commencing the role in November 2016, and will work alongside NIDA Deputy Director, Michael Scott-Mitchell.


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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