The award-winning actor and director, who is currently starring in State Theatre Company and Windmill Theatre Co’s co-production of Rumpelstiltskin at the Southbank Centre in London, will relocate from Sydney to take up the four-year position.
“I am thrilled and honoured to be joining the leadership of this extraordinary company,” says Butel. “Many of my all-time favourite viewing and performing experiences have been at State Theatre Company and its legacy and influence has extended to all corners of the nation.”
“I look forward to laying groundwork for similarly transformative, provocative and entertaining experiences for other audiences and artists. State Theatre Company (and its talented pool of artists and staff) has always been a jewel in Australia’s theatrical crown for me and I can’t wait to hold that jewel to the light so that it reflects far and wide.”
A nationally-renowned actor, director and singer, Mr Butel has spent 27 years building a reputation as one of Australia’s most talented artists. Over the last 10 years he has expanded his practice into directing, putting his spin on everything from chamber musical theatre to text-based works and large scale operas.
In 2016, he was awarded a Sydney Theatre Award for his direction of the musical, Violet. The four-time Helpmann Award winner (most recently for the State Theatre Company/Belvoir production of Mr Burns, a Post-Electric Play) has performed in more than 100 professional theatre productions. He made his State Theatre Company debut in the 1998 show Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, directed by former Artistic Director Rosalba Clemente.
“This is such a wonderful way to end what has been an incredible year for State Theatre Company,” said Executive Director Jodi Glass. “We are happily surprised our incoming Artistic Director also happens to be performing in our co-production of Rumpelstiltskin with Windmill Theatre in London right now, which is quite a twist but a joy for the company!”
“We’re so grateful to Geordie Brookman and the way he has led this Company over the past six years. He leaves it stronger and better than it ever was. I can’t wait to see how Mitchell Butel builds on from this with his inspiring vision for the years ahead. We’re all thrilled to re-introduce Mitchell to South Australia as ‘one of us’ and so excited to get stuck into 2019 and see where it takes us.”
Mr Butel will commence in the role in March – a month before outgoing Artistic Director Geordie Brookman moves to Berlin. His last show with the Company will be his one-man adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in March 2109. Mr Butel’s 2020 program will be released in September 2019. For more information, visit: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au for details.
Image: Mitchell Butel – photo by Mark Heuer