MEDIA RELEASE 10 December 2015
Black Swan State Theatre Company will farewell its current Artistic Director, Kate Cherry after nearly 9 years in the seat, at the end of 2016.
After re-invigorating Black Swan and successfully overseeing the transition into a state theatre company and becoming resident in the State Theatre Centre in 2011, Kate’s role as Artistic Director of Black Swan is drawing to a close. In 2008, Kate was brought in on a 5-year contact to grow audiences. Whilst Kate has been at Black Swan and – in conjunction with moving to the new State Theatre Centre in 2011, she successfully grew subscribers from 716 in 2008 to 2774 in 2014 and directed 16 of Black Swan’s most successful shows, breaking box office records. During her tenure, the company has also increased philanthropic income by 422%. Kate has created links with The National Theatre of China and the Daegu Music Festival in Korea. The company’s current adventure into China has evolved under Kate’s direction.
Black Swan’s Chair, Mark Barnaba AM said, “Kate’s legacy, not only for Black Swan, but also for theatre in Western Australia, will be felt for years to come. Kate has had a significant impact on the theatre sector, successfully re-shaping and re-positioning the company to be one of Australia’s foremost theatre companies and developing annual seasons that audiences and subscribers have been flocking to.” Barnaba went on to say, “Not only will Kate’s impact be felt by audiences that have loved her work – Western Australia’s artists and Australian playwrights have benefited greatly from her strong focus on artist development and initiatives such as the Rio Tinto Black Swan Commissions.”
During Kate’s time with the company, she has built audiences by programming work that has strong appeal across a broad audience base, has initiated a number of key artist development programs such as the Emerging Writers Group, Resident Artists Program, Rio Tinto Black Swan Commissions and The Bridging Company with WAAPA, which commences in 2016. Black Swan’s General Manager, Natalie Jenkins said, “We will all miss Kate dearly, however she will leave us much to remember her by. We are very happy that she will remain with us during 2016, to celebrate our milestone 25th anniversary year.”
Kate Cherry said, “Having the opportunity to lead Black Swan has been a wonderful journey. I have personally enjoyed the challenges that have come with the position and have embraced facing those challenges head on. It has been a great pleasure to work alongside the Black Swan team and I will miss the daily engagement with Black Swan staff, artists, management and a very generous group of loyal patrons. I rate highly the time I have spent with the Board and the patrons.”
The company will now commence a search, led by Gerard Daniels, for a new Artistic Director, allowing time for a smooth transition between Kate and an incoming AD during 2016 – the company’s 25th Anniversary year.
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Natalie Jenkins, General Manager
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Tel: +61 8 6212 9316