Theatre Royal Hobart announces Vanessa Pigrum as new Chief Executive Officer

Vanessa Pigrum photo by Pippa SamayaThe Theatre Royal Management Board has announced the appointment of Vanessa Pigrum as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Theatre Royal.

Vanessa Pigrum has held CEO and executive roles in arts and cultural organisations for over 25 years, including roles in venue programming and artist development, national and international touring, arts sector leadership development, festival direction, philanthropy, and government relations.

After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts as a theatre-maker and director, Vanessa established a diverse career as a creative producer and programmer. Vanessa’s leadership roles with organisations such as Melbourne Fringe, Arts Centre Melbourne, the City of Darebin Creative Culture and Chunky Move have seen her develop ambitious and innovative new public programs, with artistic, cultural, and commercial benefits.

In 2018, Vanessa was invited to take on the leadership of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, an independent professional development organisation that seeks to develop ethical leadership skills in Australia’s leaders across business, government, philanthropic, and not-for-profit sectors.

Since 2021, Vanessa has contributed to the Tasmanian cultural sector through her role as Board Director of the Ten Days on the Island Festival. In 2023, Vanessa had the opportunity to deepen her connection to Lutruwita/Tasmania when working on the national tour of a major festival production, Hide the Dog with Performing Lines TAS.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Theatre Royal team as the next CEO,” said Ms Pigrum. “The Theatre Royal holds a special place in Australia’s theatrical history and now, with the recent expansion into the stunning Hedberg building and the commitment to be a vibrant centre of creativity and culture for all Tasmanians, the Theatre Royal also has a compelling contemporary purpose and focus.”

“I want to thank my predecessor Simon Wellington for his vision and leadership of the Theatre Royal over the last three years. I’m keen to get started, pick up the baton, and keep building the momentum for Tasmanian artists and audiences,” said Ms Pigrum.

Theatre Royal Chair, Dr Tania Price, said the Board is delighted to have secured Vanessa for the role. “Vanessa brings extensive experience in cultural sector development and organisational management to the Theatre Royal,” said Dr Price.

“Vanessa’s leadership approach is a great fit for the Theatre Royal and the Board and I look forward to working with Vanessa to deliver the strategic goals of our organisation.”

Vanessa commences in her new role as CEO of the Theatre Royal on Monday 29 July 2024. For more information about the Theatre Royal Hobart, visit: for details.

Image: Vanessa Pigrum – photo by Pippa Samaya