The Sydney Festival has announced Wesley Enoch as the incoming Festival Director for a three-year tenure from 2017-2019. He will take the reins from Lieven Bertels, who completes his term in 2016, marking the Festival’s 40th anniversary.
Wesley is currently the Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company (2010-15). He has been the Artistic Director of Kooemba Jdarra in Brisbane (1994-97) and Ilibijerri in Melbourne (2003- 04), Resident Director for Sydney Theatre Company (2000-01), Associate Artistic Director of Belvoir (2006- 08), a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House (2003- 2011) and a director of the Indigenous section of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.
He has directed six projects for Sydney Festival over the past 15 years: The Sunshine Club (2000), Eora Crossing (2004), The Sapphires (2005), Nargun and the Stars (2009), I am Eora (2012) and Black Diggers (2014). Wesley has worked with almost every major theatre company and festival in the country and toured shows internationally.
He won the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award in 2005 for The Story of the Miracles at Cookies Table and was shortlisted for both the New South Wales and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
“The Board of the Sydney Festival is pleased to welcome Wesley Enoch as incoming Festival Director,” says Sam Weiss, Chair Sydney Festival Board. “We have a long history of collaboration and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to work together to bring Wesley’s vision for the Festival to life over the next three years.”
Wesley is delighted about the new challenge, saying “Excited is too inadequate a word for how I’m feeling. I have had a long love affair with Sydney Festival and its audiences. I’m totally thrilled to return in the role of Festival Director.”
“The Festival is a huge family of people who give their time, resources, money and talent; and I want to meet every single one of them. Festivals provide a huge cultural canvas and help reimagine a city, helping it think creatively and see things differently. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting started.”
Sydney Festival is one of Australia’s best-loved annual events, attracting hundreds of thousands of people with its stunning array of free and ticketed performances in theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and talks as well as its unrivalled program of free large-scale outdoor events.
For more information, visit: www.sydneyfestival.org.au for details.
Image: Wesley Enoch – photo by Darren Thomas