28 November 2014
Capital E announced today that Stephen Blackburn has resigned after more than ten years with the organisation, most recently as their National Theatre for Children’s Creative Producer.
Speaking today of Mr Blackburn’s decision, Capital E Director Stuart Grant said: “We are very sad to be saying goodbye to our friend and colleague as he embarks on this new chapter. During his time at Capital E Stephen’s passion and commitment to providing unforgettable theatrical experiences to young New Zealand audiences has revolutionised the industry’s attitude towards theatre for children.”
Before taking on the role of General Manager of Capital E National Theatre for Children, Mr Blackburn was Technical Production Lecturer at Toi Whakaari. He accepted the position at Capital E because of his strong views about the importance of theatre for children, enriching them through the opportunity of experiencing live theatre.
In 2006, Mr Blackburn became the theatre’s Creative Producer. Throughout his time in the role, Mr Blackburn has brought many fantastic productions to the Wellington stage, nationally on education tours and internationally into venues such as the Sydney Opera House and the Arts Centre in Melbourne. Among many others were family favourites Ivy Saviour of the Dinosaur, Hinepau, Kia Ora Khalid and this year An Awfully Big Adventure, a production timed to coincide with the commemoration of 100 years since the beginning of WWI.
A feature of Mr Blackburn’s tenure with Capital E has been the artistic collaborations with top New Zealand artists, writers and theatre makers focused on creating a strong body of high quality theatre for young audiences. In partnership with Playmarket, Capital E National Theatre for Children supports the Chapman Tripp theatre award for Outstanding New New Zealand Play.
Mr Blackburn is a well-known figure in the Wellington theatre community. He has also been a strong advocate and manager in the maintenance of the iconic Hannah Playhouse, following the closure of Downstage Theatre.
“Stephen leaves Wellington and New Zealand with a fantastic legacy; an amazing National Theatre company dedicated to the children and young people of New Zealand,” says Mr Grant.
“I know Capital E is not alone in wishing Stephen the very best for the future, and I am confident that whatever his future endeavours are, they will benefit from the same dedication and passion as he has shown here for the past eleven years.”