July 1, 2008


The Downstage Trust Board announces the appointment of Hilary Beaton as Director/CEO of Downstage Theatre for a fixed term to lead and to manage a successful transition of the theatre’s new operating model.

"Hilary has been instrumental over the last month in crafting a new path forward for Downstage Theatre. The Board and Hilary now look forward to her implementing this new direction over the months to follow", says Tom Hardy, Chairman of the Downstage Trust Board.

Hilary has been described as a business woman with an artist’s soul. "I like to think of myself as an artist with a good head for business. The two things are compatible. After all, a business is simply your occupation and creativity, the act of involving your imagination."

Hilary’s career within the arts and cultural industries in New Zealand, Australia and overseas, has included roles as chief executive officer of a not-for-profit organisation, director of a business consultancy and manager of various large-scale arts events and community projects. All these positions have required a variety of expertise, that of creative director, organisational manager, fundraiser and advocate.

"My intention is to create a theatre of lasting impressions. That is what theatre has given to me: Images, feelings, encounters with life-changing stories that I would not have experienced otherwise, if I had stayed at home in front of the TV."

Hilary’s early career in theatre included roles as actor, writer, dramaturg and artistic director here and overseas. At Downstage, Hilary appeared with StageTruck in The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian, The Planet of No (directing debut by Simon Phillips) and Dr Seus! 

"I have worked in theatre from a very young age. I love exploring the world I live in through the human imagination and live performance. I love the shared experience of working with other creative collaborators and, for me, there is nothing more satisfying than the collective recognition by an audience — what I call the Ah-oh! I get! — of seeing our world afresh or understanding something about our lives for the first time which was previously a mystery."

An award-winning playwright, Hilary is best known in New Zealand for her plays Outside In and Sitting on a Fortune (entitled The Oldest Profession in NZ) and No Strings Attached, which was selected for the first season of the Adam Play Readings and won several awards in Australia. After studying at the HB Studio in New York, Hilary went on to be the Artistic Director of Theatre New Zealand based in London. 

For more information about Downstage Theatre please visit Downstage’s website at www.downstage.co.nz 

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