Kate Cherry.

NIDA announced today that arts leader and theatre director Kate Cherry will step into the role of director and CEO.

Cherry, who will commence the role in November, joins NIDA from Western Australia’s Black Swan State Theatre Company where she been artistic director and joint-CEO for nine years.

Chair of NIDA’s Board, Jennifer Bott announced Cherry’s appointment after an “extensive and competitive global search”.

“Her appointment is highly significant for the nation's arts industry as Kate's acclaimed artistic vision and entrepreneurial management style will open up new avenues for NIDA. Kate brings outstanding experience in international collaboration, education, production, marketing and philanthropy,” said Bott.

“It is particularly important that one of Australia's most creative leaders is taking on the role as head of our national centre for education and training in the dramatic arts. This will have great benefit to our current and future students, and the impact our graduates continue to make on the national and international stage.”

Cherry said she was honoured to be joining NIDA, noting its “profound role" in shaping Australia’s cultural life.

“Coming from three generations of Australian theatre makers, I am passionate about building on NIDA’s extraordinary history and networks: enhancing our culture by igniting creativity, inspiring passion, and creating opportunities for dynamic inquiry into our art form,” she said.  

“At a time of profound transition for the arts, I look forward to joining a leadership team with strong ties to the profession, exploring new collaborative opportunities with organisations across Australia.”

Cherry has worked at Black Swan State Theatre Company since 2008 and has been attributed with its reinvigoration. Her tenure saw unprecedented growth as well as the company's successful transition into becoming WA’s first official state theatre company.

Prior to taking the role at the Black Swan, Cherry worked as a freelance director across theatre and opera, and was associate director at Melbourne Theatre Company from 1999–2005, where she was was responsible for the original commissioning of The Sapphires and Life After George. Prior to this she was Playbox Theatre's (now Malthouse) artistic associate for three years.  

With teaching experience in Australia and internationally, Cherry has held the positions of visiting professor at Colorado College and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She has taught at WAAPA, VCA and QUT, in addition to working with NIDA students as a guest director.

Cherry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Bard College, New York, and then pursued a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at UCLA. She also became a Drama League Fellow, and assisted Oskar Eustis on the first production of Angels in America.

Cherry will relocate to Sydney and work alongside NIDA Deputy Director, Michael Scott-Mitchell.

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