Queensland Theatre Appoints Three New Artistic Directors To Meet State-Wide Artistic Vision

March 8, 2024

Queensland Theatre is expanding its mission to grow the arts across Queensland with the appointment of three new Associate Artistic Directors in First Nations, Programming and Education and Youth, welcoming three leading artists to these newly created roles.

Renowned director, dramaturg, actor and playwright, and proud Noongar man from southwest of Western Australia, Isaac Drandic will move into the role of Associate Artistic Director (First Nations) to lead Queensland Theatre’s engagement with First Nations arts and elevate cultural storytelling across the state.

In this role, Isaac will connect a broad range of First Nations community stakeholders and work closely with Queensland Theatre’s Indigenous Reference Group on the artistic direction and programming of all current and future First Nations stories, along with the creation of important pathways and opportunities for First Nations artists and creatives.

Award-winning writer, director and producer, Daniel Evans will step into the role of Associate Artistic Director (Programming) where he will develop artistic programs and initiatives that expand the opportunities for Queensland artists to develop and present work and tell new stories of and from Queensland. The recently announced DOOR 3 program, which gives three Queensland-based theatre collectives the support to stage independent theatre works in the Diane Cilento Studio, was the first of these new initiatives.

Daniel will bring first-hand experience to the role, having most recently worked to bring some of the state’s most impressive, daring creative works to the stage, such as Drizzle Boy, The Almighty Sometimes and I Want To Know What Love Is.

Esteemed creative producer, theatre maker and community arts practitioner Fiona MacDonald will join Queensland Theatre as Associate Artistic Director (Education and Youth), bringing her extensive expertise in creating and delivering unique, socially engaged creative experiences with and for children and young people, and their communities, to this new role.

In leading Queensland Theatre’s Education and Youth Programs, Fiona will enhance the incredible programs Queensland Theatre delivers with Young People, and guide the introduction of bespoke programming for children, harnessing the wonder of play and imagination to foster a love of theatre from the early years.

Executive Director, Criena Gehrke says the three new appointments have been a long time coming and part of the organisation’s plans to truly expand their impact on the arts right across Queensland.

“Queensland Theatre has a responsibility to grow the state’s theatre ecology in a meaningful way and put artists at the heart of the company. The idea of having an ‘artistic hive’ of great artists leading different streams of our programming is exciting. Isaac will be crucial in the self-determination of First Nations theatre and artists, while Daniel and Fiona will play a critical role in delivering our artistic vision through deep engagement with artists, audiences, our young people, and their families.”

Isaac Drandic, Daniel Evans and Fiona MacDonald will step into their new roles in the coming month ahead of Queensland Theatre’s first production of its 2024 Season – Gaslight – which Artistic Director Lee Lewis says provides the perfect platform to celebrate these new roles.

“I can’t wait to start working and creating with these three amazing artists. Queensland Theatre will be able to move and operate at a new creative level, which will benefit our audiences, artists and the broader community.”

Further Information on New Appointments:









Isaac Drandic, Associate Artistic Director (First Nations)

“First Nations self-determination is on the agenda at Queensland Theatre and has been actioned. The future of Blak theatre in the sunshine state is bright,” Isaac Drandic said on his appointment.

Isaac Drandic is a Noongar man from the southwest of Western Australia. He is an award-winning director, dramaturg, actor and playwright.

As director/dramaturg, Isaac specialises in new First Nations work, guiding emerging playwrights to the main stages including Meyne Wyatt (City of Gold), Nathan Maynard (The Season, At What Cost) and Jacob Boehme (Blood on the Dance Floor). His work has been featured at Australia’s leading theatre companies and major arts festivals, including Queensland Theatre, La Boite, JUTE, Belvoir, ILBIJERRI, Melbourne Theatre Company and Victorian Opera. His productions have toured nationally and internationally and received several awards. Isaac has won a Green Room Award for direction of a mainstage production for The Season, which also won best new Australian writing and best production. His highly acclaimed production City of Gold received two Sydney Theatre Awards, including a nomination for best new Australian work.

As playwright, Isaac’s work has toured extensively throughout Far North Queensland including communities of Yarrabah, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Innisfail, Cairns, Aurukun, Bamaga to name a few. His first play Back on Track won the Queensland Planning Institute Award in the Community Wellbeing & Diversity category followed by the National Planning Institute Award. Back on Track continues to play to communities across Queensland.

Other work includes Get Your Geek On and I Gut This Feeling, produced by JUTE Theatre. Holding key roles at ILBIJERRI Theatre and Queensland Theatre, he is a member of Australian Plays Transform National Advisory Panel and currently the Associate Artistic Director (First Nations) at Queensland Theatre









Daniel Evans, Associate Artistic Director (Programming)

“This role is about making sure artists are at the heart of everything we do at Queensland Theatre. I’m excited to seed programs that meaningfully grow Queensland artists at all stages of their careers to tell stories across this state and beyond. Both Lee and Criena have kept space around the role so that this position can bend and shift to respond to sector needs. I can’t wait to work with both Fi and Isaac – to create some truly epic new Queensland works for the stage,” Daniel Evans said on his appointment.

Daniel Evans is an award-winning writer, director and producer who has worked internationally in theatre, festivals, print and television. In 2023 he won a Matilda Award for Best Director for his work on The Almighty Sometimes by Kendall Feaver (Queensland Theatre) and in 2020 for Cinderella by Matthew Whittet (QPAC & Myths Made Here). As a director, his work includes Vietgone (Queensland Theatre), Drizzle Boy (Queensland Theatre), Away (La Boite Theatre Company) and The Tragedy of King Richard The Third (La Boite Theatre Company). As a writer, he has written numerous works for the stage including Joan Must Die* (*I Never Liked Her Anyway) (QUT), Algorithm (QUT), 600 Ways To Filter A Sunset (Queensland Theatre’s The Scene Project) and was the winner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for his play Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Queensland Theatre/ATYP). Together with Amy Ingram, he founded critically acclaimed performance collective, The Good Room, whose works include Let’s Be Friends Furever (Brisbane Festival), I Want To Know What Love Is (Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Critical Stages National Tour), I Just Came To Say Goodbye (Brisbane Festival), I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You (Brisbane Festival & Riverside Theatres, Sydney/Sydney Theatre Award 2021 Winner, Best Production for Young People),That’s What She Said (Metro Arts) and I Should Have Drunk More Champagne (Metro Arts). He has previously worked as a senior writer for Frankie magazine, SMITH Journal and SPACES and as a producer for Endemol Shine Australia, iTV, Network Nine, Network Ten and SBS.









Fiona MacDonald, Associate Artistic Director (Education and Youth)

“It’s a great thing for a state theatre company to commit to an artistic leadership role dedicated to art for, by and with children and young people. It ensures the culture of children; childhood and youth are a core part of the company’s operations. I am very proud and privileged to be able to represent our youngest citizens in Queensland Theatre’s planning and programming going forward,” said Fiona MacDonald on her appointment.

Fiona MacDonald is a Brisbane-based arts worker who specialises in festivals, collaborative theatre-making and contemporary arts experiences for, by and with babies, children, young people and their communities. Fiona is one of the co-founders of Imaginary Theatre, Brisbane’s premiere dedicated Children’s Theatre Company where she has produced and toured works for children to over 30 Australian theatres, and festivals in South Korea and India. For Imaginary Theatre, Fiona has also collaborated on multiple schools residencies and co-developed and delivered Powerkids: Little Artists at Play at Brisbane Powerhouse, making play spaces with artists and over 100,000 babies and children. Through Imaginary Theatre, Fiona managed an international collaboration with Punchdrunk Enrichment for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Brisbane Festival.

Fiona was the recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts International Residency in 2018, spending four months working at ‘The Arts Space for Kids’ in Shanghai, managing international touring productions and developing artist-lead residencies in international kindergartens.

Fiona has most recently worked as Creative Producer for Brisbane Festival, programming and producing for the 2019-2023 festivals, where she was instrumental in building the education connection program, and the development of the first Disability Inclusion Action Plan. Fiona has also worked for the State Library of QLD, Brisbane City Council, QLD Music Festival, QUT, LATT Theatre (South Korea), Out of the Box Festival (QPAC) and Contact Inc, amongst many others. Fi was a Global & Australian Fellow of the International Society for the Performing Arts from 2015-2019. She is also the Queensland representative of the ASSITEJ Australia advisory committee.

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