Griffin Theatre Company Chair Michael Bradley today announced that Lee Lewis has been appointed the company's new Artistic Director, set to take over from Sam Strong on 1 January 2013.

Lewis is currently Associate Director at Griffin and one of the country's leading directors, having worked for numerous main stage companies, including Sydney Theatre Company (Honour, ZEBRA! and Love Lies Bleeding), Belvoir (That Face), Bell Shakespeare (Twelfth Night), and Griffin (Silent Disco, The Call and The Nightwatchman). She has also directed widely for independent theatre companies in Sydney.

Griffin Chair Michael Bradley said "Lee Lewis is the perfect person to take over Griffin at this stage of its development. She has a deep personal passion for Griffin's mission to be the voice and heart of Australian writing in the theatre. She is also a brilliant director and nurturer of new work. Griffin has enjoyed wonderful success in recent years and is rapidly becoming recognised as a critically important Australian cultural institution. Lee's appointment marks the beginning of the next exciting phase for the company, its artists and its audience."

Lewis trained as an actor at Columbia University in the United States, working on Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, before returning to Australia to study directing at NIDA. She has been an outspoken advocate for increased cultural diversity on Australia's main stages, and a leading voice for the representation of female directors and playwrights.

Of her new appointment, Lewis said: "I am excited to champion the works of Australian writers on the Griffin stage, around the country and internationally so that the company is increasingly recognised for the vital work we are so passionately committed to: the development and staging of the best Australian stories."

Outgoing Artistic Director Sam Strong will be taking up a new position at Melbourne Theatre Company in the New Year and is thrilled to be handing over the reigns to his colleague.

"Lee is one of the country's finest directors, a passionate and persuasive advocate of new writing, and a person and artist of deep integrity. She has been a vital part of Griffin's current success and she is ideally placed to lead the company into an even more exciting future" said Sam Strong.

Lewis' most recent directing work includes A Hoax, currently playing at Griffin's SBW Stables Theatre until Saturday 1 September, Highway of Lost Hearts for Darwin Festival, and School for Wives, currently touring the country for Bell Shakespeare. In 2013, Lewis will direct Rupert for Melbourne Theatre Company, and a new work for Griffin.

The Griffin 2013 season will be announced on 3 September.


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