A Note from Declan, 25 February


Dear Grif-friend,

So here’s a biggie—we’re delighted to announce that Julieanne Campbell is the new Executive Director of Griffin!

The Executive Director works alongside the Artistic Director (me!) to oversee the running of the company as a business… Writing annual reports, managing staff, and making sure we don’t run out of money for the important things, like paying our actors, and removing dead rats from the walls of the office building (just kidding… or am I?).

Julieanne is arriving at Griffin as her latest stop in a long and remarkable career in the arts—which has seen her traverse from the US to Australia in numerous roles from business management, to fundraising, to marketing. She was responsible for building both Performance Space and Urban Theatre Projects (now UTP) into the powerhouses they are today—while also working for Belvoir, Sydney Dance Company, Parramasala, and more. Suffice to say, we are very excited and lucky to have her.

I should also say: when Julieanne begins with us at the end of this month, she is inheriting a company in excellent health. This is thanks in no small part to the tireless work of Interim Executive Director Fiona Hulton, who helmed the company for the last year with enormous skill as we bucked and rode the wave of COVID-19. Fiona is heading off to work at Sydney Film Festival, and will be sorely missed by the Griffs.

Green Park continues to play, come rain, hail or… Actually, that’s not true at all: if it rains, we cancel the show. But luckily that’s only happened twice so far (touch wood). Green Park is still sold out, but we’re quietly chipping away at the Waiting List, so if you haven’t put your name on it yet there’s still hope—give it a crack!

While Green Park plays down the road, our SBW Stables Theatre remains closed—just as it has for the last 11 months (and counting). But over the last fortnight, some exciting stuff has been brewing behind those barn doors. Last week, our Griffin Studio artists congregated on our stage for a day of workshops on the topic of “Premise”—that being, the kernel of an idea that a play grows from. We were joined by Nakkiah Lui, who began her career as a writer-in-residence at Griffin, and who is now a powerhouse dreamer of ideas for plays, TV shows, and beyond. Nakkiah generously shared her process with the Studio Artists—who are no slouches themselves in the ideas department, all five of them working on an exciting new idea for our stage.

All this action is prelude to the grand re-opening of Stables, which is happening in just over a month now—with the intimate one-person show Jali. Jali‘s writer and performer, comedian Oliver Twist, kicked off rehearsals this week under the direction of Erin Taylor. I’m so delighted that we get to open our doors again with this stripped-back show that reminds us of what Griffin does best… No bells. No whistles. Just a blazingly talented young performer, telling the story of his own incredible life—in all its funny, heartwarming detail.

Jali is also the first outing of our new program, Griffin Lookout. Each year, Lookout will support two exceptional theatre artists at the early stages of their career, as they present a work for our audiences. The tickets are cheap as $40!, which includes both the show and bragging rights for 10 years time, when you get to tell your friends you once saw that very famous person in a weird, pokey little theatre in King’s Cross.

That’s all, Grif-friends. Counting down the days until we meet in the foyer again (which is 19 for those playing at home)!

Declan xx

Declan Greene
Artistic Director