Named for STC’s founding Artistic Director, the Richard Wherrett Fellowship is a year-long opportunity for emerging directors to gain experience and mentorship while being embedded in the Company.
A proud Noongar man, Ian has carved out a career as an actor, director and writer following his graduation from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, working for leading arts companies across Australia including Black Swan State Theatre Company, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Malthouse, Melbourne Theatre Company and Yirra Yaakin. He was a Resident Artist at Black Swan from 2018 – 2020 and their Artistic Associate in 2021.
Ian worked with STC in 2020 as Assistant Director on Kip Williams’ adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray and returned as Assistant Director to Shari Sebbens for The 7 Stages of Grieving in 2021. This year, Ian will again work as Assistant Director on The Picture of Dorian Gray for the Adelaide Festival and Sydney encore seasons, as well as other projects in Act 2 of STC’s 2022 Season, which will be announced in February.
STC Artistic Director Kip Williams says he is thrilled to welcome Ian to the Company as an invaluable addition to the day-to-day artistic life of STC. “It is both a pleasure and a privilege to be welcoming Ian to STC as our new Richard Wherrett Fellow,” he said.
“In his short affiliation with the Company thus far, Ian has done some incredible work – as Assistant Director alongside myself on The Picture of Dorian Gray and alongside Shari Sebbens on The 7 Stages of Grieving – and I cannot wait to see him continue to develop and flourish as a director,” said Williams.
Ian said it was an honour to be joining Sydney Theatre Company and that he was “thrilled to be given this opportunity to continue developing as a director and artist and to follow the path laid out by so many of our industry’s most inspiring directors, artists and past Richard Wherrett fellows.”
“After having the most incredible opportunities at STC, I am so looking forward to being in the rooms of productions that are just as ambitious, challenging and full of searing truth-telling, and involved in the development of new voices and work throughout the year.”
“As a Noongar man, I am proud to be part of a Company that is committed to the development and programming of First Nations work and artists, and is at the forefront of creating inclusive conversations, action, and spaces for artists and audiences both on and off stage,” said Ian.
Sydney Theatre Company has also announced that 2021 Richard Wherrett Fellow, Courtney Stewart, has also been appointed Directing Associate. Courtney is an actor, director, dancer and teacher who has a longstanding creative relationship with STC as a dramaturg and Teaching Artist for School Drama.
During her time as Richard Wherrett Fellow over the past year, Courtney worked as dramaturg on Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow and Kip Williams’ Julius Caesar, was Assistant Director and dramaturg on Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl, and also directed Rough Draft #52 – Omar Musa’s The Pretty Game.
Courtney will make her STC directing debut later this year, with details to be announced at the 2022 Act 2 launch in February.
Ian and Courtney join STC’s Resident Artists; Resident Directors Jessica Arthur (Grand Horizons) and Shari Sebbens (The 7 Stages of Grieving), Associate Director Paige Rattray (Triple X), Patrick White Playwrights Fellow Angus Cerini (Wonnangatta), Emerging Writers Group members – Monikka Eliah, Michael Louis Kennedy, Kirsty Marillier and Dylan Van Den Berg – and Design Associate Program cohort – lighting designer Kate Baldwin, sound designer/composer Brendon Boney and set/costume designer James Lew.
Previous STC Resident Artists include Benedict Andrews, Marion Potts, Wesley Enoch, Alice Babidge and Sarah Goodes. Previous STC Richard Wherrett Fellows include Jessica Arthur, Paige Rattray, Imara Savage, Sarah Giles, Lee Lewis and Wayne Blair.
For more information about Sydney Theatre Company and their Resident Artist’s program, visit: www.sydneytheatre.com.au for details.
Image: STC Richard Wherrett Fellow – Ian Michael – photo by Daniel Grant