FAME 2014 Journal - Evelyn (Sydney Theatre Company, Australia)
My second month in Sydney Theatre Company (STC) was very exciting and rewarding, fully packed with meetings within and outside the company. I was given the chance to sit-in Management Meeting of the senior management, weekly team meetings of the Education and Corporate Partnerships teams, as well as informational interviews with various department heads to make myself more familiar with the company. I also joined the Education team to attend a talk by STC’s Artistic Director, Andrew Upton at the University of Sydney.
The company has been very kind to line up meetings for me with other arts organizations such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Festival and the Sydney Opera House. Since STC is a resident company of the Opera House, I also enjoyed the privilege of taking a training class offered by the Opera House on delivery of customer service. After a chat with the Head of Children, Families & Creative Learning of the Opera House, I was thrilled to be invited to attend an education project in collaboration with London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, whereby musicians of the LSO shared the stage with 100 students across New South Wales. The students received sectional tutoring from the Orchestra for 3 days, observed rehearsal and performance of the Orchestra before staging the concert. After spending time with various arts organizations, I admire the depth of education programmes being offered.
An education concert by Sydney Theatre Company, Drinks at Opening Night
London Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney
Conservatorium of Music.
The 2014 programme season of STC almost comes to an end, a Saturday evening in mid November marked the Opening Night of the company’s last programme of the year, Cyrano de Bergerac directed by Andrew Upton. Opening Nights in STC are by-invitation events, exclusive to friends of the company, including board of directors, creatives, donors, corporate partners, government officials, media and staff members, the list of guests filled up the 850-seat Sydney Theatre. Almost everyone in STC loves attending Opening Nights, since drinks and snacks would be served after the performance. I was working with the Corporate Partnerships team for the occasion and have been so embarrassed in asking the company’s Board Chairman, David Gonski his name when he approached the reception desk! The Opening Night was full of joy, cheers and continuous flow of champagne with the post performance party ended in midnight. Guess what? I saw the Academy Award winning Actress Cate Blanchett. Cate was one of the co-artistic directors of STC.
STC is undergoing some changes around the organization, including renaming one of its venues, the Sydney Theatre after a generous philanthropist next year; refurbish STC’s home base venue, The Wharf where the company runs performance, rehearsal, workshop, administrative and public spaces. Every staff member was asked to complete an on-line stakeholder consultation survey for the refurbishment project. The Education team is working on revamping the backstage tour, and delivery model of the School Drama Programme. I am currently involved in the revamp project and the team has invited its counterpart from Sydney Living Museum to share with us how tours are delivered in the museum.
Backstage Tour of STC
Christmas is coming, and I am sending you all warm Christmas wishes from the Southern Hemisphere.