La Boite Theatre Company has expressed its appreciation and gratitude to outgoing Executive Director Katherine Hoepper, who will leave the trailblazing company in April to take up the role of Programming Director at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Ms Hoepper has more than 25 years’ experience with companies, festivals, independent artists and venues; the past four years at La Boite, working alongside Artistic Director Todd MacDonald to grow and strengthen the iconic company.
“Leaving La Boite is, of course, tinged with sadness as the company has held a place in my heart since I was a young girl, hanging out with my mum in the green room at Hale Street,” said Ms Hoepper. “It has been a great privilege to lead the dedicated La Boite team alongside Todd and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved.
“My personal highlights are the game-changing renovation of the theatre foyer and our increased national profile through touring and interstate seasons. More than 45,000 people a year visited La Boite or saw one of our productions on tour in both 2017 and 2018, representing a 50 per cent increase in attendance since 2015. I thank Todd and the La Boite Board for entrusting this special company to my care for the past four years.”
Mr MacDonald thanked Ms Hoepper for her energy, passion and drive and for her exhaustive contributions to the company, to staff and to the artists who have called La Boite home. “Katherine has been invaluable to La Boite. She has played a crucial role in its ongoing success and, more than that, she’s an important part of the La Boite family,” he said.
“In the four years we’ve worked together, Katherine has been instrumental in the areas of governance and funding as well as guiding our national touring program and assembling a strong team to continue her vision. She will be missed but we are super excited for her and her new role at a great collaborative organisation like Brisbane Powerhouse.”
Mr MacDonald said La Boite had commenced the search to find Ms Hoepper’s replacement, but a new appointment would not be rushed. “We have embarked on a rigorous recruitment process to find the right fit for La Boite and when we find the right person, we will work with them to establish a suitable start date,” he said.
We are looking for someone to complement and build on Katherine’s great work, a dynamic and exciting Executive Director who loves the work La Boite does. “Our focus is on presenting inclusive work and we have a rich history – 94 years, in fact – of resilience, ingenuity, revolution and acclaim and we are looking for someone who is excited and inspired by that,” added Mr MacDonald
La Boite Board Chair Julian Myers also paid tribute to Ms Hoepper’s exceptional work while looking optimistically to the organisation’s future. “Katherine leaves a wonderful legacy at La Boite and the company is well positioned for an exciting next chapter,” said Mr Myers. “There is an enormous depth of experience in the La Boite Board and executive team and together we are excited by the prospect of new perspectives with the appointment of the next Executive Director.”
Ms Hoepper leaves La Boite on April 19 and said she was excited at the new opportunities Brisbane Powerhouse would present. “The role of Programming Director gives me a chance to dive deeply into programming and producing in a new dynamic and energised environment,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to working with [Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director] Kris Stewart, [Chief Executive Officer] Fiona Maxwell and the whole Brisbane Powerhouse team, and especially to working with local, national and international artists to continue to bring great experiences to Brisbane audiences.”
Mr Stewart lauded Katherine’s strong advocacy for Queensland artists and her devotion to empowering them and enabling their work to be staged and shown. “Brisbane Powerhouse’s programming team delivers more than 1000 performances a year and managing the resources and support we offer these shows can be challenging,” he said.
“Katherine’s passion and vitality will bring a fresh perspective to this side of the organisation. She shows incredible empathy of both the challenges and joys of being an artist and also has a tight network of relationships within the local creative community.”
Image: Katherine Hoepper – photo by Dylan Evans