Upton Hearts STC: Co-Artistic Director goes solo

Confirmed: Andrew Upton to take on solo Artistic Directorship of STC from 2013

Andrew Upton. Image by Lisa Tomasetti
Andrew Upton. Image by Lisa Tomasetti

For the past five years, husband and wife team Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton have been the driving force behind many developments Sydney’s flagship theatre company, STC.

From the Greening The Wharf initiative and brand new Bar and dining area (complete with Ping Pong table!), to expanding the company’s reputation both interstate and abroad, the co-artistic directors certainly have achieved much to be proud of.

It was confirmed in January this year that the well known recruitment firm Korn/Ferry began searching for a new Artistic Director to replace the team once their term was up at the end of 2012, and despite canvassing many candidates, the STC have ‘convinced’ Andrew Upton to stay on with the company for another three year term, but this time he’s going solo.

From January 1, 2013, Upton will officially take over the Artistic Directorship in his own right. Cate Blanchett’s presence will still be felt throughout the year as the team’s final program (to be launched on 6 September) is presented in 2013.

“STC is one of the largest performing arts organisations in Australia, and one of the largest theatre companies in the world”, said David Gonski, Chairman of Sydney Theatre Company.

“Under Andrew and Cate it has won a new international reputation, raising the profile of Australian theatre abroad, developed an innovative in-schools education program, taken a leading role in raising the profile of the Walsh Bay arts precinct and become a global leader in sustainable performing arts practice via the innovative Greening The Wharf initiative. All these things have created a new energy around the Company and Andrew and Cate have been great advocates for the sector.”

“We are very pleased that we were able to convince Andrew to accept another three year term to continue this terrific creative momentum, after he and Cate made the decision to continue living in Australia. The board considers Andrew to be the best person to build on the outstanding work he and Cate have achieved. As incoming Artistic Director, Upton will immediately commence planning for the 2014 season.”

Andrew Upton said that he ‘loves’ STC, and the offer to remain as Artistic Director came at the same time as he and Cate made the decision to remain in Australia as a family. Upton’s relationship with STC spans 13 years – as a writer his first adaptation for STC was Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac which debuted in 1999 and was reprised at Melbourne Theatre Company in 2005.

“It is a great theatre company brimming with remarkably talented people in all areas of the organisation. It has wonderfully diverse spaces that offer Sydney audiences a real array of theatrical opportunity. I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this next phase”, Upton said

It was also announced today that Patrick McIntyre, STC’s General Manager, would be appointed Executive Director and will join the board, and Upton is thrilled with this decision.

“One of the key things that attracted me to stay was the opportunity to continue my working partnership with Patrick McIntyre” Upton said.
“Patrick will work in very close collaboration with me as Executive Director of the company. I relish the opportunities for change and growth ahead.”

Cate Blanchett, whose first job as an actor was with the STC says she is ‘excited’ for her husband and plans on maintaining a strong personal connection to the company.

“We weighed up all of our personal and professional needs and felt that – with Australia as our home – it was a great way to bring all of our initiatives at the Company to fruition. It is very important for STC to consolidate and build at this time,” she said.

“I’ve always said he was the brains behind the operation!”


Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com'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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