Sydney Theatre Company Artistic Director Kip Williams today announced that he will launch his eighth and final program in September before stepping down at the end of the year.

Following the success of The Picture of Dorian Gray in London’s West End, Kip has decided to hand over the reins to a new Artistic Director at the end of 2024 as he makes space in his schedule for a potential Broadway season in 2025.

Kip will begin rehearsals in the coming weeks for his new adaptation of Dracula, the third and final installment in his Gothic cine-theatre trilogy. He will continue to be an integral presence at STC in 2025, with tours planned for Dracula and a brand-new work to be unveiled as part of his final program for STC.

On announcing his departure to STC staff on Friday, Kip said, “Serving as Artistic Director at Sydney Theatre Company has been the honour of a lifetime. Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to work with the most extraordinary theatre makers in the country and have been fortunate enough to program and help bring to life 89 productions for STC. When I started as Artistic Director, one of my goals was to increase the space and opportunity for Australian stories on our stages. I couldn’t be prouder that two-thirds of the shows I have programmed during my tenure have been original works and adaptations by Australian writers.

“Over the 13 years I have spent in the Company, I have consistently been in awe of the extraordinary talent that exists in every corner of the Wharf. I am forever indebted to the incredible staff and teams at STC with whom I love working and from whom I have learned so much. I am excited for the Company’s next chapter as it embarks on the search for a new Artistic Director and look forward to the next nine months working alongside Executive Director Anne Dunn and the entire team as we finalise plans for the 2025 Season and launch our remaining brilliant shows of the year.

“I am also delighted that the future touring plans for a number of productions I’ve adapted and directed will keep me close to the Company in the coming years. I look forward to returning as an artist to the Company I love so much in the years ahead and thank everyone in the STC family for your support and passion for the theatre we make together.”

Kip joined Sydney Theatre Company in 2011 as an Assistant Director on Andrew Upton’s The White Guard and Benedict Andrews’ Gross Und Klein. In 2012 he was appointed Associate Director by then Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton. He became Resident Director in 2013 and in 2016, at age thirty, became STC’s youngest ever Artistic Director and Co-CEO. 

As Artistic Director, Kip has programmed 89 productions to date across seven annual seasons, two-thirds of which were either original works or adaptations by Australian writers. Under Kip’s leadership STC productions have garnered over 90 awards including Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Awards.

Throughout his 13 years with the Company, Kip has directed a total of 24 productions for STC, including Kate Mulvany’s 7 hour epic, The Harp in the South Part One and Part TwoSuddenly Last Summer for which he won a Helpmann Award for Best Director, and three adaptations that he also wrote in his Gothic cine-theatre trilogy, The Picture of Dorian Gray (2020), Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (2022) and Dracula (2024). 

Since 2016, Kip has been instrumental in the development of new Australian writing by Australia’s most remarkable storytellers including Angus Cerini (Wonnangatta, Into the Shimmering World), Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl, The Poison of Polygamy, American Signs), Kate Mulvany (The Harp in the South Part One and Two, Mary Stuart, Playing Beatie Bow), Nakkiah Lui (Black is the New White, Blackie Blackie Brown, How To Rule The World), Suzie Miller (RBG: Of Many, One), and Joanna Murray-Smith (Julia).

During his tenure, Kip has overseen Resident Artist programs dedicated to developing career pathways and nurturing artists for the stage including the Patrick White Playwrights Award and Fellowship, the CAAP Director’s Program, the Design Associates Program (2021-2023), and the Watershed: Writers (previously Emerging Writers Group).

Williams will announce his final program as Artistic Director for Sydney Theatre Company in September 2024.

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