Sunday, 18 August 2013

Mature, experienced directors I want to see doing major productions for major companies

Mature, experienced directors 

I am preparing a list of those mature, experienced but largely ignored directors that I want to see doing major productions for major companies in Melbourne.

I am talking about capable directors – those over about 45 years of age – who get no work with major theatre companies but have a proven record of excellence in independent theatre projects or small companies.

This is by no means a final or definitive list and I may have omitted great directors simply because I haven't thought of them yet.
I am asking others to submit their nominees too. Some people are sending names while many are simply saying "Yes" to the entire list.  The list  is growing daily as I receive messages. 

As this is not a voting system with a broad reach, I've decided not to include initials of those who suggested directors. 

The following are in no particular order:

Tanya Gerstle 
Susie Dee 
Jenny Kemp  
Richard Murphet
Brian Lipson 
Stewart Morritt 
Greg Carroll
Fiona Blair
Kate Sulan
Bruce Myles 
Laurence Strangio 
Kirsten Von Bibra
Glenda Linscott  
Robert Reid
Chris Bendall 
Ariette Taylor 
Bruce Gladwin 
Sarah Cathcart 
Nadia Kostich 
Geraldine Cook 
Megan Jones 
Robin Laurie 
Nico Lathouris 
Lyn Ellis 
Melanie Beddie 
David Myles 
Suzanne Chaundy
Jane Woollard 
Chris Thompson
Russell Fletcher 
Andrew Grey 
Bagryana Popov
Kate Herbert   I swear I didn’t just add myself!)
Robert Draffin
Mary Siteranos
John Bolton

You can send it as a comment to this blog if you choose, with your reasons for choosing the director.

I have been astonished at the unwillingness of main stage companies to employ capable, older directors (unless they are part of their 'stable') and also at the growing habit of companies to promote inexperienced directors to major productions before they are ready.

These directors are talented, broadly experienced, qualified and often humble, the last of which means that they don’t trumpet their own skills so remain in the shadows.

I’m getting tired of seeing emerging directors getting all the major gigs and funding being directed toward them by major companies and finding bodies. Yes, we need development, but we need to value those who have worked for decades to develop their talent.

Is it only noise and self-aggrandisement that gets people directing jobs?

I'm sure this will cause ructions all over the place, but it's time to voice the opinions of those artists and audience members who've express their concerns to me.

More to come.

I'll eventually work up a list of those under 45ish too. (Apologies if I've put some people into over 45 when they are under.)


  1. All excellent directors and choices. I'd like to add two wonderful directors fundamental in my learning process and a joy to work with. Your good self, Jane Woollard and Chris Thompson.

  2. Thanks Lliam. Great suggestions and thanks for adding me to your list of directors. K

  3. Clearly my maths is terrible though :)

  4. Oh, funny, Lliam. I figured you meant three. :-)