On the Couch with Tim Jones

Tim Jones oncWho is Tim Jones?
I am the Artistic Director of the Seymour Centre.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
Well.. I wouldn’t have minded being a professional tennis player. I played a lot when growing up and even operated the score board for the Australia Open but, at the end of the day, I always preferred going on stage than on to the court.

Who inspires you and why?
In my line of work I’m particularly inspired by people like Kevin Spacey, Jodie Foster, Mark Rylance and, in Australia, Claudia Karvan – actors who also have professional lives as significant directors and producers. I’m really interested in the duality of having an artistic sensibility and also a more objective, managerial view on the world. I think we’ve passed the time when we think you have to be in one camp or the other.  In general, I find people who are highly skilled in more than one area, very inspiring.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
In truth, I think I should be doing more than I currently am. This question has shamed me into making a plan – on to it.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I like holidays where I get to go somewhere new and experience different things. I’m not so much a fan of going to the same beach house each year for the annual collapse – I get bored quite quickly. However, recently I stayed on a remote island about 4hrs off the mainland of Fiji. It was beautiful, relaxing and exposed me to a different culture. It also had the crystal clear blue water that was exactly like the postcard.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
In no particular order: Iceberg’s bistro in Bondi. The most spectacular view at a cheapish price and great for kids; La Perouse beach – more untouched than Bondi, with beautiful, clear water; and The Rocks – a bit daggy but the restoration projects on Cumberland St, really do connect you to early Sydney like nowhere else.

What are you currently reading?
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  It’s the first book I’ve read in a while which, for me, really is “un-put-downable”.

What are you currently listening to?
In honour of her 22 sold out UK concerts I recently revisited a bit of Kate Bush. Running up that Hill is still genius. And clearly lots of other people think the same. London Grammar to remain a bit hip.

Happiness is?
That indefinable combination of relentless ambition mixed with being completely happy with the moment.

What does the future hold for you?
Work: Launching the 4th Reginald season of new theatre shows by small arts co’s. Presenting programs for Vivid, Reconciliation Week and Comedy Festival. Not work: Hopefully enjoying being in the moment over a glass of red in the Carrington Hotel in the Blue Mountains over Easter holidays. (Another one for question 6)

Tim Jones is currently the Artistic Director of the Seymour Centre, a position he has held since 2009. Previously he was the Artistic Director of Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). During his time at ATYP, he developed and directed a number of productions including the world premiere of Debra Oswald’s Skate, which won the Sydney Theatre Award for most outstanding production (2003), and was published by Currency Press. In 2007, he developed a major national program designed to nuture the skills of the next generation of young Australian writers, Fresh Ink.

In addition, Tim has directed world premiere productions of Beatrice by Louis Nowra, The Musicians by Patrick Marber (Sydney Opera House / Sydney Festival), the Australian premier of Michael Gow’s 17 and the theatrical adaptation of Morris Gleitzman’s Boy Overboard – winning an AWGIE award (Australian Writers Guild) for writer, Patricia Cornelius. Tim’s 2007 premiere production of Stories in the Dark won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for best play for writer Debra Oswald.

Tim holds a graduate Diploma of Acting from Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) (1988) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Drama also from NIDA (1997). Since 2000, he has returned to NIDA to teach and direct within the Bachelor Degree programme.

The Seymour Centre has just launched their 4th Reginald season of theatre. For more information, visit: www.seymourcentre.com for details.

Image: Tim Jones