Malthouse Theatre today announced that Marion Potts will take over as Artistic Director after Michael Kantor’s departure at the end of 2010.

Marion Potts is one of Australia’s most outstanding theatre practitioners. She has worked with many of the country’s finest theatre companies and is currently Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Director of its development arm, Mind’s Eye.

Marion was Resident Director for Sydney Theatre Company from 1995-1999, and Artistic Director of Pulse (STC) from 1997-1999. She curated the 2003 National Playwrights’ Conference, was a chairperson of World Interplay and a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, and has collaborated with Malthouse Theatre under the directorship of Michael Kantor on a number of occasions.

Marion said “I am a longstanding fan of Malthouse and have admired Michael’s ability to carve out a place of audacity and true artistic daring. My own work has always been driven by the high aspirations I have for Australian artists and their ability to wrestle with big and dangerous ideas – typically with curiosity, irreverence and invention. Work undertaken at Malthouse will continue to be part of our collective quest to identify who we are and what we value. The chance to lead such an important company, to create work that can have a real impact on our city, our region and our culture as a whole is a both a joy and an enormous privilege.”

The appointment has come after a rigorous four month recruitment process following Michael Kantor’s announcement of his departure in September 2009. A selection panel comprising Simon Westcott, Chairman, Malthouse Theatre; Ian McRae, AO Board Member; Sigrid Thornton, actor and Board Member, Rosemary Myers, Artistic Director, Windmill Theatre, Richard Evans, CEO Sydney Opera House, and John Bayliss, ex Director, Theatre, Australia Council for the Arts made their decision last week.

Simon Westcott, Chairman of the Selection Panel and Malthouse Theatre said, “The Malthouse Theatre board is thrilled that Marion is joining as our new Artistic Director. Marion's vision for the next evolution of the Malthouse - a vision of risk, rigour and quest - gripped and excited the Selection Panel from the beginning of the process to its tough but happy conclusion. Marion's extensive and exquisite body of work at Bell, STC and for many other of Australia's top theatre companies speaks for itself; in the last couple of years, she has also been a rich and highly respected collaborator with the Malthouse under Michael's directorship. Marion will lead the Malthouse fearlessly and from the front; it's a privilege and a pleasure to have the opportunity to be working more closely with her. The Selection Committee would also like to thank an incredibly strong field of candidates for the post for making their job so tough but engaging.”

Marion’s first season for Malthouse Theatre will be presented in 2011. She will alternate her time between Melbourne and Sydney as she continues to work with Bell Shakespeare throughout 2010, relocating permanently to Melbourne by January 2011, when she will commence full time with the company.

Michael Kantor, current Artistic Director of Malthouse theatre said “I am thrilled with the appointment of Marion to steer the good ship Malthouse into new and exciting waters. She is an artist whose directorial work I have long admired as she intrinsically understands and expertly manages the broad collaboration of artistic forces that come together to make the stage sparkle with ideas, wit and charm. She has long championed new work and in particular new writing and new forms, and at the same time has a rigorous and broad reaching appreciation of the classic texts that make up our shared theatrical histories.

Malthouse Theatre holds an enviable reputation for being the bedrock of Australian Contemporary Theatre and has increasingly taken the theatre forged in this firmament to the world. Her programming choices and her own work will continue to expand and evolve the ever changing theatrical wonderland that is Malthouse and will astound and enrich the theatre going audiences of Melbourne and Australia. I have loved every minute of my time as Artistic Director of Malthouse, and I am sure she will love every minute too!”