Lee Lewis, the current Artistic Director and CEO of Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company, has been announced as the next AD of Queensland Theatre. She succeeds Sam Strong after an impressive four-year tenure, stepping into the role in 2020, the company’s 50th anniversary year. Lewis took over the reins at Griffin from Strong after he departed to lead QT in 2013.
“Lee Lewis and I have shared an office, we’ve co-directed shows, and we have sat together with playwrights into the early hours of the morning talking about their work, and now we will have passed the baton of custodianship of two great companies in Griffin and Queensland Theatre,” Strong said.
“Lee is an artist and a leader of the highest integrity and intelligence. I’m incredibly proud of how Queensland Theatre has transformed in the last few years, and I can’t wait to see where Lee, in collaboration with the Executive Director Amanda Jolly, take it in the future.”
Speaking about her appointment, Lewis commented on the exciting nature of QT’s potential for continued growth.
“The company needs to continue to commit to the directions and ideals laid down in the last five years so that the home audience can start to deeply own and celebrate the achievements of its theatre company. Because that is what we all want in the end isn’t it? Great nights in the theatre watching great actors telling great stories in surprising ways that make you want to rush home and insist that your daughter, your son, your best friend, your aunt who is a nurse and doesn’t have a lot of time off, must buy a ticket and see it. Building audience means making sure every show counts.”
The highly respected director and cultural leader has staged works for Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir St Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company. Her 2015 production of Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree secured three Helpmann Awards for Best Play, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Director. Lewis’ production of Prima Facie, which premiered at Griffin this year and is staged by QT in 2020, was highly acclaimed, described by Limelight as “an intelligent production [which] handles the play’s subject matter and tonal shifts with supreme finesse”.