Search is on to replace Blanchett and Upton at STC, says SMH

Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton
Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton. Image by Hannah Farrant-Jayet

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported today that a search has begun to find Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s replacement as Artistic Director of the STC.

The Sydney Theatre Company’s high profile pair began their tenure at the STC in 2008 (their first artistic program was 2009) and it is understood that after 6 years at the helm, Upton and Blanchett will step aside in 2013.

According to Patrick McIntyre (STC General Manager) the current co-Artistic Directors had always planned on assisting their successor in creating a 2014 program, rather than leaving them with a pre-programmed season.

It was confirmed yesterday that the well known recruitment firm Korn/Ferry has commenced the search for a new Artistic Director, although it is understood that the scouting began much earlier.

While the Sydney Morning Herald speculates that Blanchett’s film commitments and Upton’s ‘erratic personality’ and their time constraints as parents of a young family have been a concern for some of the STC board, it seems that the company have been thrilled with the work the couple have done.

The new bar (set to open in March) and the Greening The Wharf Program were initiatives of the power couple, and the company’s yearly swung profit swung nearly to $1 million in 2010 after running at a loss in the years leading up to their appointment.

STC chairman, David Gonski, said the company had been ”very, very fortunate to have both Cate and Andrew for what will constitute a six-year period … they have been absolutely excellent. We have always had an international element to the company but now there is absolutely no doubt about that”.

The search is very much in its infancy, but speculations have already begun as to the next successor. There has been talk of another high profile actor taking the job (which could possible maintain the international status the company has achieved with Blanchett and Upton), or the company may choose a candidate with more hands-on experience. Former artistic director of the Queensland Theatre Company, Michael Gow, or Michael Kantor, formerly artistic director of Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre were thrown in the ring along with STC’s associate director Tom Wright. MTC’s outgoing director Simon Phillips may also be considered.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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