After a remarkable 50 years at La Mama Theatre, Dr Liz Jones AO will step down from her role as Artistic Director and co-CEO at the end of March 2023. This was announced at the launch of La Mama’s Summer 2023 program with performers and theatre-makers in attendance on Monday 16 January.
Liz’s decision to transition to a less demanding role at La Mama signals a tectonic shift in the arts landscape, however, her legacy is one of unparalleled commitment to the artists, performers, staff and audiences who have made La Mama the institution it is today.
Liz joined La Mama in 1973 after meeting founder Betty Burstall and became Artistic Director in 1976. After five decades at the helm, Liz now feels it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation, a difficult decision, though one that invites new artistic voices to help shape the evolution of La Mama into the future.
“I step down from these positions of responsibility with both great relief and a heavy heart! But I know La Mama is in good hands and believe it will have a brilliant future. And I hope to be in the audience of that important institution for many years to come,” Liz said.
As a La Mama elder, Liz will remain a member of staff when she ends her tenure as Artistic Director in late March reading over playscripts and providing feedback, as well as working on La Mama’s ‘Lost History’ project, which aims to recover the stories and history lost from her diaries in the devastating blaze that gutted La Mama HQ in 2018.
Throughout her time at La Mama, Liz has overseen the production of countless works, the mentoring of thousands of artists, fundraising of $1.7 million to purchase the Faraday Street theatre space in 2008, and the planning for La Mama HQ’s rebuild following the fire in 2018.
The remainder of the 2023 La Mama season has been programmed by Liz, across both La Mama Theatre HQ in Faraday St and the neighbouring Courthouse Theatre in Carlton.
In line with La Mama's long-term succession plan, La Mama’s current co-CEO, Caitlin Dullard, will take over the role from April.