The appointment of Ms. Jolly, a highly respected leader across arts, management and philanthropy with international experience, has been welcomed by the company and the industry.
“We are thrilled to announce Amanda Jolly as Executive Director, a role she has deputised over the past three years and we welcome her leadership alongside Artistic Director Sam Strong,” said Queensland Theatre Chair, Elizabeth Jameson.
“After an exhaustive and competitive search amongst the cream of Australia’s arts executives, the board was unified in its view that, despite an extremely strong field, the right person for the job was right here in our midst. Amanda’s talents in philanthropic, arts and strategic management leadership coupled with her natural affinity with the company and the team over many years ultimately made the decision very clear.”
Ms. Jolly has been with Queensland Theatre since 2008, joining the company as Philanthropy Manager before taking on the role of Deputy Executive Director. Her time in the executive team has seen the addition of Sam Strong as Artistic Director, and the introduction of key strategic objectives for the company, including the vision of ‘Leading from Queensland’. Both have transformed the way the company does business.
She has worked in the arts sector in both Canada and Chile; in Canada she was Director of Marketing and Development with Le Theatre Centaur in Montreal for three years, and prior to that was Director of the Office of International Relations for the National Department of Cultures in Chile. She also has experience in the State Library of Queensland and with the Victorian State Opera.
Sam Strong said he was absolutely delighted that Amanda Jolly has been appointed Executive Director. “During her impressive career at the company, Amanda has already proven herself a first-rate fundraiser, an exceptional communicator, and a wonderful manager of people. Her strategic mind has also been instrumental in creating the current success of Queensland Theatre and making us the fastest growing theatre company in the county. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Amanda and Chair Elizabeth Jameson to take Queensland Theatre to even greater heights.”
Ms Jolly formally takes the reins as the company celebrates some inspiring achievements.
In 2017 Queensland Theatre reached its largest audience ever in the 50-year history of the company and the highest subscriber growth of any major theatre company for the year. The wins were reflected not just in the box office records, but also in the company’s first nomination for the Helpmann Award for Best Play (for the Sam Strong directedOnce in Royal David’s City) in 10 years, as well as hosting Marta Dusseldorp’s only stage appearance in Australia in 2017 inScenes from a Marriage.The company’s award-winning commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre expanded to include the next generation of artists and stories, and the flagship Queensland Premier’s Drama Award grew into a national award with multi-state outcomes.
A project particularly close to Jolly’s heart is the opening in October – after almost 50 years – of Queensland Theatre’s first true home theatre. Using the existing footprint of the 220 seat Bille Brown Studio, a major capital works program is currently transforming the space into a sophisticated, corner stage theatre, seating 350 audience members. It will be the first theatre of its kind for Brisbane and an important addition to the arts infrastructure of the city.