Melbourne Theatre Company’s Chair, Jane Hansen AO, has announced the resignation of Executive Director & Co-CEO Virginia Lovett, who will depart after 10 years to take on a new role as Director of Performing Arts at the University of Melbourne.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Virginia Lovett for her outstanding leadership of Melbourne Theatre Company over the past decade, including navigating the very challenging times presented by the pandemic. The Company, despite being the most impacted theatre company in the country is now poised for recovery,” said Ms Hansen.
Under Ms Lovett’s co-leadership, Melbourne Theatre Company has gone from strength-to-strength, producing over 106 productions, introducing award-winning education, digital and access programs, and building on its subscriber base to become one of the most resilient theatre companies pre-COVID.
Her industry advocacy work, particularly during the first two years of COVID, ensured Melbourne Theatre Company was in a stable financial position, optimally poised to return to the stage.
“It has been an honour to lead this company, a company so loved by this city. I am very proud of the many achievements and the integral role Melbourne Theatre Company continues to play in the national cultural landscape,” said Virginia Lovett, Executive Director & Co-CEO.
“Although we have been through some very dark times, I leave Melbourne Theatre Company knowing it is on the path for recovery and a wonderful new chapter under its new Artistic Director, Anne-Louise Sarks.”
In continuing her passion for enhancing and amplifying what arts means to the community, and as an industry mentor to many, Ms Lovett’s new role of Director of Performing Arts will oversee the vision for University of Melbourne’s new $70 million Arts and Cultural buildings, one of the largest investments made by the University at the Parkville campus.
In relation to the new role, Ms Lovett shared “If ever there was a time for students to shape future cultural direction and creative industry practice – it is now – coming out of COVID. In establishing this new arts precinct in the heart of the University of Melbourne surrounded by curious young minds, the potential is bursting with possibilities.”
“It will be a hub of student, artistic and public engagement with state-of-the-art venues, not only for student development on and off stage, but for arts companies both locally, nationally and internationally,” said Ms Lovett.
University of Melbourne Vice-President (Strategy and Culture), Dr Julie Wells, welcomed Ms Lovett’s appointment: “We are fortunate to have someone of Virginia’s calibre and experience leading this exciting new initiative, in the heart of our Parkville campus,” she said.
“Our ambition is to offer a world-class on-campus experience for students to foster connection, collaboration, creativity and new pathways into creative industry, while contributing to the cultural life of Melbourne and Victoria,” said Dr Wells.
Virginia will conclude her role with Melbourne Theatre Company on 23 December 2022, with plans for an incoming Co-CEO well underway. For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.
Image: Virginia Lovett – photo by Charlie Kinross