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A Word From Jodi Glass

A Word From Jodi Glass

At heart, I’m a girl from a country town who left home to move to the big city. I grew up in Geraldton, north of Perth. I was 17 when I moved to Perth to undertake my Bachelor of Arts degree at Curtin University. I graduated with First Class Honours in Theatre Arts, Literature and Creative Writing. I confess I was and remain secretly delighted that while others studied the world’s economy or the tensile strength of steel I learned circus skills, stage management and acting.

I vividly remember my parents taking me to my first theatre production in primary school. It was a show by French master puppeteer and illusionist Philippe Genty. I was utterly transfixed by the show; I laughed joyfully as puppet ostriches ran across the stage and was heartbroken when the marionette cut its own strings and collapsed to the stage floor. I was instantly hooked: I had to be a part of making theatre.

As a child I wanted to be an actor. I eventually realised, however, that if I pursued an acting career I would be permanently unemployed. This was more a reflection on my acting ability than the acting profession! Instead, I have enjoyed the most wonderful career as a producer and manager in the performing arts.

Some 15 years after I saw Philippe Genty’s show, I was the Programming Fellow at the Adelaide Festival Centre and Rob Brookman – yes Rob – as Artistic Director and Executive Producer asked me to produce the international coproduction of Philippe Genty’s brand new show. I can’t describe the nerve-racking anticipation when, after a five-month build and four-month rehearsal, the show premiered in Adelaide and then toured nationally. To be a part of the team, to have been in rehearsal room with Philippe himself, was a dream. I’m humbled to be taking over the reins from Rob Brookman; he is an exceptional leader and producer. My experience working for Rob at the Festival Centre was the foundation for my time as an independent producer touring Australian artists around the country and world.

In 1999, when I was 29, the Adelaide Fringe appointed me General Manager & CEO. I led the organisation through three biennial festivals in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

In 2007, with a two-year-old daughter and a newborn son, I co-founded Slingsby Theatre Company. I enjoyed ten incredibly rewarding years with Slingsby. A little piece of my heart will travel the world with the Slingsby shows I had the honour of producing.

For me, great live theatre is life affirming, thrilling, energising. I love that incredible experience of sharing raucous laughter or gut-wrenching tears with strangers and people I know. I still feel that ache I carried in my heart for hours after I saw The Secret River; it is palpable and unforgettable. I want to be a part of creating great theatre; it’s why I am so looking forward to leading State Theatre Company.

I’m proud to be a continuing donor of the Company through the Creative Development Donor Circle. It’s a wonderful group of people who together helped State Theatre Company realise a brand new production: Things I Know To Be True. This brilliant new play by acclaimed playwright Andrew Bovell tells a resolutely South Australian story whose themes resonate with audiences far and wide. Thrillingly the show looks set to tour internationally again.

Theatre, touring, co-productions, special events, bringing people closer to our artists and stories: these are the things I love to make happen. I can’t wait to do this and more with State Theatre Company. I look forward to seeing you at our next show! Jodi