Imaginate announces Noel Jordan as new Festival Director

Noel JordanWell respected Australian artist and producer, Noel Jordan has been announced as the new Festival Director of Scotland’s Imaginate, commencing in October 2015.

Imaginate promotes, develops and celebrates the performing arts for children and young people, establishing itself as one of the premiere festivals for producers and programmers from all over the world to see children and young people’s work of the very highest standard.

“I am very excited to welcome Noel to the Imaginate team,” says Executive Director Paul Fitzpatrick. “As well as his outstanding achievements as Curator of the annual programmes for children and young people at the Sydney Opera House, he has an excellent understanding of theatre and dance for children and young people throughout the world and is very well respected in the sector.”

“His experience makes him perfect for the role of Imaginate’s Festival Director, but it is his passion and commitment to the sector that sets him apart,” added Fitzpatrick.

Noel is currently a Producer with Performing Lines and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney, a position he has held since 2006. With almost 30 years professional experience, Noel has a finely attuned ability to select works with artistic and commercial appeal and an exceptional ability to formulate and deliver an engaging and diverse program at flagship performing arts venues and festivals.

Noel was the international representative on the board of Young People and the Arts Australia (YPAA) and an Executive Committee Member of ASSITEJ (Association Internationale du Théâtre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse) from 2008 – 2014.

As a programmer and producer Noel worked at Sydney Opera House where he curated the nationally and internationally celebrated House:ed and Kids at the House annual youth programs from 2004 – 2010, returning in 2011 as a guest curator. As a Curator/Producer Theatre at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, he worked on the first Way Out West Children’s Festival (WOW) and was the Artistic Director of South Australia’s Come Out Festival – the largest festival for children and young people in Australia.

Noel worked as a Drama Lecturer at Deakin University, the Victorian College of the Arts and for an extended period at the University of Melbourne (1996 -­ 2003) where he concurrently completed his Masters in Education (Research) in 2001.

As an actor and director Noel has worked with the Woolly Jumpers Theatre Company (where he was also the Artistic Director), Playbox Theatre, Salamanca Theatre, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Back to Back Theatre, Arena Theatre, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House and the Victorian College of the Arts.

“I am thrilled and honoured at the invitation to work with the dedicated team who stage the festival each May,” says Noel Jordan. “Having attended several Imaginate Festivals since 2007 it is my opinion the event is the leading Festival for children and young people in the English language-­speaking world.”

“As the incoming Festival Director I look forward to building on the strengths and leadership of Tony Reekie, the previous Director for the past 20 years. Tony’s award winning legacy has been inspirational. Most significantly I am excited by the challenges of creatively leading the company in its next phase ensuring its ongoing vibrancy and relevance to its major stakeholders -­ the young audiences of Scotland.”

The next Imaginate Festival takes place from 28 May – 5 June 2016 at venues across Edinburgh. For more information, visit: www.imaginate.org.uk for details.

Image: Noel Jordan (supplied)

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