After one year in the job Glyn Roberts has settled into his role as Director of the Castlemaine State Festival very nicely thank you. Asked how he has found his job so far, Glyn said “I was very lucky in that I had a long time to think about it before taking up the role. I was appointed in October 2016, but didn’t start until June, ’17, which gave me time to understand the town, learn more about the region, living in the country and the Asia Pacific region that we are integrally a part of”.
Originally from Melbourne, Glyn wanted to be a playwright, a passion he’d held for a long time. As he says “I bashed away for a long time then realised no one was going to put on my plays, so started to put on my own plays, then other peoples”. He soon found that he was successfully producing more of his friend’s plays than his own, which opened a move into theatre production. This led to joining forces with a friend, Kate Usher to create an international dance festival, showcasing Australian dancers. Moving it to Brisbane filled a gap in the Queensland cultural scene where Glyn stayed for the next four years. Around this time, Glyn was looking for new challenges and a friend told him about the Director’s role for the Castlemaine State Festival opening up, a job she would have loved, but couldn’t because of other commitments. Synchronistically, Glyn and his wife Naida had already decided they wanted to move to Castlemaine, so it was a ‘no brainer’ for him to apply and happily he got the job.
When Glyn and Naida first arrived they took temporary accommodation, even looking after Lot 19 art precinct for a time. They now live in a gorgeous Federation house in the middle of Castlemaine from where Glyn can walk to work and have time to spend in the garden.
Asked about the team he works with, Glyn replied; “We have built a really strong team from scratch who are fantastic and who I really trust, essential for directing one of the largest regional arts events in the country” adding, “We’re doubly blessed with the community support for the festival”, citing the owners of Castlemaine’s iconic Theatre Royal as an integral part of the festival. Glyn said “these guys have backgrounds in theatre and are fantastic contemporary music curators”.
Work on the 2019 festival is well underway. Glyn said there will be increased visibility in the visual art area, plus more drama. Next year will see a longer season, more meatier works and diversity of performances. Glyn plans on being in the job for the long haul saying, “I would love to be in Castlemaine delivering my third festival in 2023 drawing performers and audiences from all over the world”. If talent and enthusiasm count for anything, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Glyn. http://castlemainefestival.com.au/