Barking Gecko Theatre Company is delighted to announce the appointment of John Sheedy as Artistic Director after an extensive national search.

John has developed a notable directing career over the last seven years working with some of Australia’s most respected theatre companies such as Bell Shakespeare, Sydney Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir and Black Swan State Theatre Company.

With Barking Gecko, he will focus his creative passion to quality storytelling through theatre to ignite young imaginations. John Sheedy believes “There is a huge responsibility attached to creating theatre for young audiences. The marks we leave are deeper; we are addressing a value system that is in development. Young audiences are the near future of our society, they have the power to know the world and transform it. I look forward to creating theatre that allows children to imagine, full of laughter, anger, sadness, fear and joy!”

John has spent the past few weeks in Japan attending the Kijimuna Festival in Okinawa and the TACT Festival in Osaka on behalf of Barking Gecko and commences at Barking Gecko’s Subiaco premises on 10 August 2010. The Festivals feature content from around the world and are regarded as two of the most prestigious and popular theatre festivals for children and young audiences in the Asian region.

In confirming John’s appointment, Barking Gecko Theatre Company Chair, Michael Mitchell said “John is a hugely talented director and we are very pleased to have secured a professional of his standing to Western Australia. As Barking Gecko enters its third decade creating theatre for young West Australians and audiences throughout the region, we view our future with great enthusiasm and confidence”

Barking Gecko is ideally placed to continue to advance theatre for young people to new levels of performance and professionalism, and further reinforcing theatre as an inventive means of challenging and inspiring young minds. We will bring our audiences an exciting new theatrical feast in 2011, which includes the return of our highly popular and greatly missed workshop program. Having been actively involved in the very successful NIDA Open Program, John Sheedy is intending to inject Barking Gecko’s workshop program with a professional edge, looking at “skilling up” Perth’s artistic youth with a focus on building practical knowledge of the arts industry.

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