Arts & Entertainment

Darlinghurst Theatre unveils new Artistic Director as 30th anniversary approaches

Amylia Harris. Photo: Clare Hawley

BY TESSA PELLE

Darlinghurst Theatre has promoted former Co-Artistic Director Amylia Harris to sole Artistic Director as the company restructures ahead of its 30th anniversary. Previous Co-Artistic Director and founding CEO Glen Terry will be taking on the newly created role of Executive Director as he announces plans for early retirement, labelling Harris as his successor.

When it comes to COVID lockdowns, the performing arts industries have been hit hard by restrictions and capacity limits. Still, for Harris her new appointment is an opportunity to rebuild and grow.

It’s a funny time for it all to happen but I actually think it’s quite a glorious time because our company and the industry as a whole has been flattened again by this second wave of lockdowns, so if you’re going to rebuild, now is the time,” she says.

2022 will be a year of recovery for Darlo Theatre as the company uses the current pause on live performances to reflect on their values and culture.

“We’ve kind of used this opportunity as a pause to really drill down on who we are and what that identity means to us and our community. We’ve been doing a lot of workshops internally on access and inclusion and we’re actually about to release a statement with a lot of vast commitments as well that we’ll be holding ourselves accountable to,” Harris says.

Diversity and social inclusion are a crucial part of Darlo’s DNA and Harris plans to maintain that legacy under her new leadership. She hopes to embrace new ideas and artists who have yet to be discovered.

“I think what I’m most excited about is finding new pathways and creating opportunities for the vibrant, buzzing community of art makers in Sydney who don’t usually get the chance to see a main stage. I’m really excited to work on finding ways to connect audiences with those artists and have really great conversations about who are the changemakers of tomorrow,” Harris says.

From an extensive career stage managing, producing and being an artistic leader, championing diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of Harris’ passions.

“I think the most rewarding part is being able to create opportunities for excellent artists. It drives me, it really does. It’s being able to find the funding and putting exceptional teams together. The moment all that work pays off and the joy that comes with that is extremely rewarding.”

“I feel so blessed and lucky I get to do a job that I love. It’s rare, I would say.”

With restrictions now easing Darlinghurst Theatre Company will fling open its doors and invite audiences back to its home at the Eternity Playhouse for Fling Festival.

“We’re all desperate to break up with lockdown and enjoy some non-committal spring fun,” Harris says. “Our community needs to find joy, but on its own terms. Everyone’s been told what to do for so long and now it’s time to curate our own post-lockdown experience. You be you!”

Fling Festival will transform the Eternity Playhouse into a vibrant cultural hub that combines live entertainment with indoor and outdoor dining in a truly immersive experience.

For more info about Fling Festival head to www.darlinghursttheatre.com/flingfestival

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