Polyglot Theater Announces Cat Sewell as New Artistic Director and Co-CEO

Polyglot-Theatre-Cat-Sewell-photo-by-Bryony-JacksonFollowing an extensive international search for the company’s next creative head, Polyglot Theater has announced the appointment of respected director and creative acting expert Cat Sewell as Artistic Director and Co-CEO.

“Cat will be an exemplary leader for the next phase of Polyglot’s life; creative, deeply connected to Polyglot’s child-centered vision and collaborative way of working, and an empathetic and astute leader,” said Board Chair Sarah Hunt.

Cat’s track record of developing and delivering exciting play-based arts, health and education projects, and its commitment to industry development will enable Polyglot to continue to be an international leader in theater for young people. .

Cat brings a wealth of experience in participatory theatre, working as a director, acting specialist, facilitator and educator, and as co-creative director of The ballroom projects – an independent theater company specializing in interactive performances and installations for children and families.

Cat has led award-winning projects in a variety of settings including child health and development, community collaboration, public design, education and local government.

These include his work with the town of Darebin to create game cards which won a Victorian Early Years Award, and his collaboration with the Raising Children Network supported by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Cat’s background positions her perfectly to lead an expansion of Polyglot’s areas of creative exploration, multi-industry partnerships, and building diverse audiences, nationally and internationally.

“What an honor to be welcomed into this great company,” said Cat. “I am thrilled to work alongside extraordinarily talented artists and animators, company members and a passionate board and leadership team to lead and dream the future of Polyglot. “

“It is more important than ever for children and families to experience and explore the creative wonders of play in the arts. I will tread with care, consideration (and a few leaps of joy) in the footsteps that Sue Giles has taken; a mentor and inspiration to me and so many others.

Cat builds on the many accomplishments of outgoing Artistic Director Sue Giles AM, who pioneered new forms of immersive theater for children that led the company to international acclaim during her 22-year tenure.

Sue announced her intention to step down to focus on her role as President of ASSITEJ International, the theater and performance association for children and young people, in July, and will end with the company in December.

“Polyglot’s next evolution is in good hands with Cat Sewell, who is a colleague and leader in the arts for young audiences; deeply immersed in research, in how sectors intersect, and in making work that expands what we know about participation and play,” said Sue.

I know Cat, working alongside the wonderful Kath Fyffe, will take the company into new territory, new partnerships and new depth. Cat is a collaborative connector and creator and I know Polyglot employees will thrive on this new energy and vision.

The future is bright for Polyglot. Cat will lead the evolution of Polyglot alongside Co-CEO and Executive Director Kath Fyffe, continuing Polyglot’s employee-focused culture that enables the company to deliver an ambitious annual program.

Next year, the company will embark on a welcome return to international touring, bolstering its reputation for world-class theater for children and families, and sharing innovative new works created during the pandemic years with a very wide audience.

“This evolution of Polyglot creates exciting opportunities to embrace the change taking place in our sector and in the world as the creative and wellbeing needs of children and young people emerging from the pandemic become clear,” said the director. executive Kath Fyffe.

“I am delighted to work with someone of Cat’s reputation and commitment to child-centred work. I recognize the extraordinary contribution that Sue has made to the business, its audience, its artists and its staff over the years, and I am grateful to enter this next phase keeping this depth of knowledge and expertise at proximity.

Cat will begin as Artistic Director and Co-CEO of Polyglot in January 2023. For more information visit: www.polyglot.org.au for details.

Image: Cat Sewell – photo by Bryony Jackson