Stewart’s appointment will see her return home to Brisbane from Sydney, where she is currently Directing Associate at Sydney Theatre Company and Artistic Associate at Contemporary Asian Australian Performance.
La Boite Chair Julian Myers said the appointment represented a defining moment in La Boite’s 97-year history. “Following a rigorous nationwide search, the La Boite Board is very proud to announce Courtney Stewart as La Boite’s 18th Artistic Director,” he said.
“Courtney is a remarkable and experienced theatre artist and leader and uniquely qualified to spearhead La Boite’s vision to be Australia’s most diverse theatre company.”
“With deep experience across all facets of the theatre-making process, from directing to dramaturgy, advocacy and performance, Courtney exemplifies the future of Australian theatre and brings the energy, ambition and humanity required to lead La Boite into its second century of operation in 2025 and beyond,” said Myers.
The appointment marks a homecoming for Stewart, who made her professional stage debut in La Boite’s 2017 runaway hit Single Asian Female by Michelle Law.
In the years since, Stewart has honed her talents as an artistic leader, diversity specialist and change maker, developing and directing works by artists as diverse as Kip Williams, Michelle Law, Kate Mulvany, Omar Musa, Saman Shad and Katrina Irawati Graham.
“Courtney’s passion for intercultural works and multicultural dramaturgies has seen her highly sought after by some of the country’s most prolific companies and organisations, including Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Contemporary Asian Australian Performance and MEAA’s Equity Diversity Committee,” Myers said.
“She’s an energetic advocate with a big vision and stands at the forefront of Australia’s fast-evolving performing arts industry.”
Stewart said the chance to lead Australia’s most diverse theatre company presented an unmissable opportunity to return to Queensland. “My dreams came true at La Boite in 2017 and this is a full circle moment,” she said.
“Having grown up in Brisbane, studied at Queensland University of Technology and worked at La Boite, I have a deep existing connection to the company and the industry in Queensland.”
“I have experienced first-hand La Boite’s commitment to systemic change within the industry and I am honoured to be entrusted with this position at this pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Stewart.
Courtney Stewart is an acclaimed director, dramaturg, actor and teaching artist with a deep passion for intercultural works and multicultural dramaturgies.
A proud graduate of Queensland University of Technology, Courtney started her professional career as an actor before honing her talents as an artistic leader, diversity specialist and change maker for some of the country’s most prolific companies and organisations including Sydney Theatre Company (as Directing Associate), Belvoir and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance.
As STC’s Richard Wherrett Fellow in 2021, Courtney worked as dramaturg on Kate Mulvany’s adaptation of Ruth Park’s Playing Beatie Bow and Kip Williams’ Julius Caesar, and was Assistant Director and dramaturg on Anchuli Felicia King’s White Pearl. She also directed Rough Draft #52 – Omar Musa’s The Pretty Game.
Courtney was previously Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee, a delegate to the National Performers Committee, and a former board member for Contemporary Asian Australian Performance. As a dedicated teaching artist, she has worked with STC, NIDA, ATYP and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
Courtney is currently directing Michelle Law’s anticipated new play Top Coat for STC, premiering June 2022. She will relocate home to Brisbane and commence in the role in July. Her inaugural season will be announced late 2022. For more information, visit: www.laboite.com.au for details.
Image: Courtney Stewart – photo by John McRae