Brett Sheehy, Melbourne Theatre Company's Artistic Director today announced his inaugural MTC 2013 Season and the celebration of the Company's 60th anniversary year.

MTC Chairman Derek Young said 'As one of Australia's leading arts practitioners, we are delighted that Brett Sheehy's artistic vision will drive MTC into the next exciting period of our history. We see his strong theatrical background, focus on mentoring and passion for Australian writing and artists reflected in his inaugural season ensuring MTC remains one of Australia's flagship arts companies now and into the future.'

Brett Sheehy brings a wealth of experience to the Company with ten festivals to his credit. Recently he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to the arts.

Brett Sheehy said as he unveiled the Company's new Season, 'with our new branding reflecting the unique architecture of our theatrical home, with the variety of works which will be seen inside that home, and with a new artistic team charged with developing initiatives and programs, we chose New Light as our 2013 Season theme, symbolising the energy we bring to making MTC a home to illuminating theatrical experiences.'

'We shine a new light on artists who have never worked with the Company before – new actors, new directors, new writers, new designers, new composers and new companies – all of who will enrich not only our experience, but the experience of all Melburnians welcomed into our orbit.'

'We shine a new light on audiences – some of those four million citizens of Melbourne who have never set foot inside our home.'

'And we approach our familiar family of artists and audiences in a new light, thus ensuring MTC delivers everevolving, vivid theatrical experiences and artistic pursuits,' Brett Sheehy said.

In 2013, MTC celebrates 60 years of presenting diverse, engaging contemporary and classic stories that continue to enrich lives with understanding and empathy through the storytelling power of the finest theatre imaginable.

In 2013 MTC presents four world premieres from some of Australia's most accomplished playwrights and five Australian premieres of works from UK, Europe, South Africa and USA.

There are three new additions to the MTC artistic team in 2013 – Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong, Associate Director Leticia Cáceres and Literary Director Chris Mead. Both critically acclaimed for their work, Sam Strong and Leticia Cáceres will direct works for MTC's mainstage this season.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said 'in appointing Leticia Cáceres as MTC's first female Associate Director in eight years, I am keen to develop a program with her which is meaningful in terms of the Company helping to nurture, develop and present women directors. To me the answer to the disparity between opportunities for female and male directors needs addressing from the ground up, not simply ticking boxes in the hope of fulfilling the wishes of funding bodies and so on.

'We will look at our relationships with VCA, NIDA, WAAPA and other training institutions to ensure a dialogue exists from the start - from the selection of students, to their training, to secondments, to development, right through to their independent professional careers.

'We are also addressing the issue of female writers, with a brief for MTC's new Literary Director, Chris Mead, to develop a Women's Writers Policy. Among other things, Chris and I are keen to look at female writers currently working in other genres -film, television, fiction, poetry – to explore ways in which the most talented of those might work in the theatre sector.

'Chris is the Company's first Literary Director fully dedicated to literary management and dramaturgy only, a focus which will ensure the best possible outcomes for Australian writers as well as dramaturgical elements of MTC productions,' he said.

Additionally, the Company has re-named its MTC Theatre as Southbank Theatre, the home of MTC, centering it geographically as a place of conversation, connection and hospitality for audiences and artists alike. MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy says 'we are declaring our pride in being at the beating heart of the ongoing Southbank Cultural Precinct development.'


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