From the beginning of 2017, Helpmann Award-nominated director Clare Watson will be Artistic Director of the Perth-based Black Swan State Theatre Company. Watson, who is currently Artistic Director of Melbourne’s St Martins Youth Arts Centre, takes over from outgoing Black Swan AD Kate Cherry, who has been in the role for nine years.
In addition to her role at St Martins, Watson is a prolific freelance director. Her production of Lungs just finished at Melbourne Theatre Company, while her production of David Greig’s The Events opened as part of Sydney Festival to rave reviews earlier this year and has just completed a season at the State Theatre Company of South Australia. It returns to Sydney next month for a season at Belvoir and then travels south to Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre.
Watson has also been a Resident Director at Malthouse, was part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Womens’ Directors Program, and was awarded a three month scholarship for a residency in Brussels in 2008.
Black Swan’s Chair, Mark Barnaba AM said, “We are thrilled to announce Clare Watson as the next Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company. After many years of growth and change, led expertly by Kate Cherry, Clare’s appointment will herald in a new era for the company. Clare has an impressive directing track record and has worked with many of Australia’s major companies and festivals. Her leadership ability is clearly evident with the work she has been undertaking transforming St Martins Youth Arts Centre into a highly collaborative company that is now presenting work in major festivals and with major Australian theatre companies. She is highly respected as one of the next generation of Australian artistic leaders and is highly sought after as a freelance director by our colleague state theatre companies”.
Watson will begin working in a part-time capacity immediately before moving to Perth in October and taking over from Cherry officially at the beginning of 2017.