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Say hello to our new artistic director, Mitchell Butel

After an exhaustive search, State Theatre Company South Australia is thrilled to announce Mitchell Butel as its new Artistic Director.

The award-winning actor and director, who is currently starring in State Theatre Company and Windmill Theatre Co’s co-production of Rumpelstiltskin at the Southbank Centre in London, will relocate from Sydney to take up the four-year position.

Joining Executive Director Jodi Glass, Mr Butel will commence the role in March – a month before outgoing Artistic Director Geordie Brookman moves to Berlin.

Mitchell Butel says he is “thrilled and honoured to be joining the leadership of this extraordinary company.”

“Many of my all-time favourite viewing and performing experiences have been at State Theatre Company and its legacy and influence has extended to all corners of the nation. I look forward to laying groundwork for similarly transformative, provocative and entertaining experiences for other audiences and artists. State Theatre Company (and its talented pool of artists and staff) has always been a jewel in Australia’s theatrical crown for me and I can’t wait to hold that jewel to the light so that it reflects far and wide,” he says.

Building on the incredible work of current Artistic Director Geordie Brookman, Mitchell envisions State Theatre Company becoming “the best multi-disciplinary theatre company in the country”. He plans to deepen and expand our collaboration with local companies and artists to create work that is both uniquely South Australian and receives national and international recognition.

Outgoing Artistic Director Geordie Brookman says he is delighted one of Australia’s leading and most beloved artists has been appointed his successor.

“I’ve no doubt that he will push it to even greater heights and ensure that the best theatre in the country continues to be made in Adelaide. Mitchell is both an extraordinary performer and incisive director but more than that, he is a storyteller of the highest order and a person I have the deepest possible respect for. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do – South Australia is in for a wonderful adventure.”

A nationally-renowned actor, director and singer, Mr Butel has spent 27 years building a reputation as one of Australia’s most talented artists.

Over the last 10 years he has expanded his practice into directing, putting his spin on everything from chamber musical theatre to text-based works and large scale operas.

In 2016, he was awarded a Sydney Theatre Award for his direction of the musical, Violet. The four-time Helpmann Award winner (most recently for the State Theatre Company/Belvoir production of Mr Burns – A Post Electric Play), has performed in more than 100 professional theatre productions. He made his State Theatre Company debut in the 1998 show Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, directed by former Artistic Director Rosalba Clemente.

Mr Butel’s appointment has been praised by leading Australian artists, Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, who have worked with him in the past.

“Mitchell is a rare beast. As an artist, he is across performance, direction, design and text. But behind the scenes, he has long been an advocate for performing artists, both big and small. He is a wonderful collaborator, and an extraordinary human. We are very excited for Mitchell, State Theatre Company and South Australia.”

Windmill Theatre Co Artistic Director Rosemary Myers has also welcomed the news.

“Mitchell is one of Australia’s most spectacularly prolific and in-demand artists and his appointment is a coup for State Theatre Company and a major arts boon for South Australia,” she says.

“In addition to this, he is a brilliant leader and a total joy of a human. I can’t wait to see his vision for the Company unfold.”

Executive Director Jodi Glass says the announcement is a ” wonderful way to end what has been an incredible year for State Theatre Company.”

“We are happily surprised our incoming Artistic Director also happens to be performing in our co-production of Rumpelstiltskin with Windmill Theatre in London right now, which is quite a twist but a joy for the company!” she says.

“We’re so grateful to Geordie Brookman and the way he has led this Company over the past six years. He leaves it stronger and better than it ever was. I can’t wait to see how Mitchell Butel builds on from this with his inspiring vision for the years ahead. We’re all thrilled to re-introduce Mitchell to South Australia as ‘one of us’ and so excited to get stuck into 2019 and see where it takes us.”

Starting as Associate Director in 2008 and taking on the Artistic Director role in 2013, Mr Brookman has nurtured the company into a new era of theatre-making, putting an emphasis on South Australian artists and shepherding a major number of new Australian works to the stage, as well as building the Company’s national and international reputation with its touring works.

Mr Brookman’s last show with the Company will be his one-man adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which runs from March 21-30.

Mr Butel’s 2020 program will be released in October 2019.