MTC Associate and former Griffin head will take over as AD from November.
Melbourne-based Sam Strong has been announced as the new Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company. The current Associate Director at MTC will take up the reins from Wesley Enoch in November this year.
“I’m delighted to be taking on the challenge of Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company,” said Strong on his appointment. “Wesley Enoch is an artist and a cultural leader I admire and it’s a rare gift to inherit a company in as great a shape – artistically and operationally – as QTC.”
Strong has an enviable track record with new and revived work both at Melbourne where he has been Associate AD since 2013, but especially at his former pitch running Sydney’s new writing powerhouse Griffin Theatre, where he tripled subscribers, expanded the programme to include the revival of Australian classics and directed Gordon Graham’s The Boys – the highest grossing show in the theatre’s history. His most recent directing credits include Masquerade at the Sydney Festival and MTC’s Endgame. He also directed a well-received Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Hugo Weaving for Sydney Theatre Company. The Floating World for Griffin won him a Sydney Theatre Award. He is also currently the Chair of Brisbane-based circus company, Circa.
“After a national search we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Sam Strong to lead this company artistically,” said QTC Executive Director, Sue Donnelly. “Sam has carved out a stellar career in Sydney and Melbourne, making critically and commercially successful theatre as a director, and growing the audiences at Griffin Theatre Company as artistic director”. QTC Chair Richard Fotheringham concurred that audiences were set for a rich adventure ahead.
Acknowledging QTC’s reputation for touring, Indigenous programming and working with young people, Strong declared that his aim would be to grow that reputation and make QTC a national leader in everything it does. “My time with Circa has whetted my appetite to work in Queensland and with Queensland artists and I can’t wait to plunge myself into the Brisbane scene,” he said. “I’m looking forward to teaming up with Queensland artists to take our theatre around the state, around the nation and around the world”.
Meanwhile Donnelly paid tribute to outgoing Artistic Director Wesley Enoch who is moving to the Sydney Festival from next year. “Wesley Enoch introduced a new era of passion to QTC; a champion of local and Indigenous productions,” she said. “He has launched world and Australian premieres and shone the light on important actors, directors and causes. His work with Black Diggers was inspirational, and he was pivotal in bringing Michael Attenborough to Australia to direct Macbeth 18 months ago. The importance of his legacy at QTC cannot be quantified”.