David Berthold

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David Berthold is a leading Australian theatre director. He has directed for most of Australia's major theatre companies, as well as internationally, and has led several key arts organisations. He is currently the Artistic Director of Brisbane Festival, one of Australia's major international arts festivals.[1] He will direct four festivals, for September of each year 2015-18.

He was previously Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of La Boite Theatre Company (2008–14), Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Griffin Theatre Company (Australia's leading new writing theatre company, 2003–06) and Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Australian Theatre for Young People (Australia's flagship theatre for young people, 1999–2003). He was also Associate Director of Sydney Theatre Company (Australia's largest theatre company, 1994–99), and Artistic Associate of the Queensland Theatre Company, 1991–94. He has also directed productions for Melbourne Theatre Company, Playbox Theatre, Black Swan, Belvoir, the Sydney Opera House, NIDA, Queensland University of Technology, Opera Queensland, Auckland Theatre Company, the Royal National Theatre (London), Theater an der Parkaue (Berlin), and in London's West End. He was the Festival Director of World Interplay 2007, the world's largest festival of young playwrights.[2][3] In 2013 and 2014, he curated a stream of independent theatre for the Brisbane Festival.

He sits on the Board of Playwriting Australia (the national peak body for writing for the stage), is a Trustee of the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, a member of the QUT Creative Industries Faculty Advisory Committee, a member of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Advisers’ Group, and a member of the Opera Queensland Artistic Counsel.

Arts Hub claimed in 2006 that Berthold "turned Sydney's Griffin Theatre Company into one of the country's most visible arts companies."[4]

Berthold has directed many premieres of plays by major Australian writers and is particularly associated with the work of Nick Enright, Louis Nowra and Tommy Murphy.

In 1992 he won a Matilda Award for his Contribution to Theatre in Queensland and in 1993 served on the Queensland Government's Arts Advisory Committee. In 2010, after his return to Queensland, he won another Matilda Award for his "repositioning of La Boite Theatre Company and his direction of Hamlet and I Love You, Bro".[5] He has served on many government and industry panels and committees as an arts advocate and advisor, including for the Australia Council, Arts Queensland, NIDA, the Australian Musical Foundation, and several universities.

Berthold was born in Maitland, NSW, also the birthplace of Nick Enright, John Bell, Ruth Cracknell and Abbie Cornish, and studied (and later taught) at the University of Newcastle, where he took an honours degree in English literature. He spent some years training as an opera singer and won the Joan Sutherland Scholarship at the Sydney Opera House. In 1989, he undertook a secondment with the English National Opera. He has since directed some opera.


La Boite Theatre Company[edit]

Griffin Theatre Company[edit]

His productions for Griffin, Australia's leading new writing theatre, include world premieres of:

Sydney Theatre Company[edit]

Productions for Sydney Theatre Company, Australia's largest theatre company playing at The Wharf and the Sydney Opera House:

Australian Theatre for Young People[edit]

For ATYP, Australia's national flagship youth theatre, his productions include:

Queensland Theatre Company[edit]

For QTC, he directed:



  1. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/david-berthold-takes-reins-of-brisbane-festival-20140217-32usn.html
  2. ^ Turner, Tonya (17 October 2008). "David Berthold follows his instincts to head La Boite". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  3. ^ Sorensen, Rosemary (9 October 2008). "Berthold to Direct La Boite". The Australian. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  4. ^ "Artistic Director of Griffin resigns". Arts Hub: For Australian Arts Workers. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 19 October 2008. 
  5. ^ Queensland Government Ministerial Media Statement: Matilda Awards for Brisbane’s top theatre: http://www.cabinet.qld.gov.au/mms/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=73858

External links[edit]