Kris Stewart has worked widely, both as a freelance theatre director and as an artistic director.
As a director, Kris has directed 30+ productions for companies such as Opera Australia, the Sydney Festival, the State Opera of South Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, The Broward Stage (Miami), International Management Group, Next Wave Festival, The Jacobsen Group, The Gateway Playhouse (New Jersey), The Production Company, Playbox and Handspan Visual Theatre.
Largely focussing on new music theatre, Kris’ work has been recognized with the $100,000 Jujamcyn Theaters Prize, the Sir Keith Murdoch Prize for Leadership and Innovation and a Churchill Fellowship. Kris is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theatre’s Director’s Lab and completed his post-graduate study at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
In addition to his work as the executive director of NYMF, Kris Stewart is an experienced producer, both in the commercial and non-profit realms. In 2008, his commercial production company, Red Sand Media Partners, produced the feature film Red Hookand the TONY nominated musical [title of show], and has two commercial musicals and a television drama in active development.
In 2010 and 2011, Kris consulted with Century Venues on a series of nonprofit projects that they were taking on, such as the Sydney Fringe (created in partnership with the City of Sydney and the City of Marrickville), New Musicals Australia (created with the Australia Council), and the Concourse, a new arts centre in the City of Willoughby where Kris consulted on programming and major events.
For his work, Kris received the $100,000 Jujamcyn Theaters Prize, as well as the Sir Keith Murdoch Prize for Leadership and Innovation and a Churchill Fellowship. He spoke on new musicals as a guest speaker or panellist for Opera America, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, The 2008 UK Musical Theatre Conference, The Entertainment Industry Expo NYC, NY Theatre Resources, The American Theatre Wing, the League of American Theatres and Producers and the NYC Emerging Artist and Producers panel, and he has been part of the nominating and judging committees for the Macarthur Fellowship, The Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize (musical theatre) and Dance Break NYC.
In 1999, Kris produced and directed a number of outdoor events – it was during the renovation of the Myer Music Bowl, and a series of major Melbourne events needed to be re-housed. It was quite an interesting challenge to find a way to produce these enormous events for one-night-only in a stylish but practical way.
The Ballet in the Park was a free annual event sponsored by Telstra, and included two dozen member of the Australian Ballet’s ballet corp, plus (as you can see above), inflatable light sculptures created for the night, a string ensemble that played live and a fireworks event. More than 15,000 audience members attended this event.
The Festival of Voices is Tasmania’s leading winter cultural event and Australia’s premier festival celebrating the vocalist and the power of song.
Kris began at the festival in 2011, and oversaw an event which had 54% increase in ticket sales with 90% of performances playing to capacity, as well as a vast increase in attendance (both free and ticketed), marketing impressions and sponsorship, with new partners including Southern Cross TV, the Mercury, the State Cinema, ArtsHub, Limelight magazine, Star Observer and Sauce magazine.
Across dozens of events and for more than 10,000 singers and audience members, The Festival of Voices showcases a range of artistic disciplines, including choir and ensemble singing, spoken word, cabaret, debate, poetry, storytelling and hiphop.
The workshop program offers learning and performance opportunities for singers of all ages, abilities and experience and since it began the Festival has attracted some of the world’s most loved and respected vocal teachers. The performance program covers events both intimate (such as solo vocal events) and grand (such as the the Finale Concert at the Federation Concert Hall. We also celebrate community with the Bonfire & Big Sing, with 4,000+ attendees on our heritage waterfront at Salamanca.
After spending eighteen months working with Century Venues on a series of non-profit ventures for the company, including The Sydney Fringe and New Musicals Australia, Kris was brought in as a consultant for the six months prior to the opening of The Concourse, an initiative of Willoughby City Council and the cultural home of the North Shore.
The Concourse is one of Sydney’s leading entertainment venues home to a dynamic range of live arts and entertainment, and it incorporates a Concert Hall and theatre as well as rehearsal and studio space, conference facilities, and outdoor urban screen and a library with over 5,000 square metres of books.
Kris assisted with establishing the opening programming and producing the opening gala event at the Concourse, on September 17, 2011.
If it is August in New York, it must mean a whole new year of freshmen are descending on the city colleges. Jenny Traylor is one of them, and she has moved here against her mother’s wishes, because her mom doesn’t realize it’s not 1978 anymore and NYC has become so safe it’s almost boring.
During Jenny’s Welcome Week at college, she gets invited to take part in the annual scavenger hunt, and the rules are simple: a clue gets sent to your cell phone, and you race to take your photo with the answer and text it back to receive the next clue.
But something is up. Someone is changing the rules and sending Jenny’s friends across the city and picking them off one by one.
Will Jenny be able to save them? Will she want to? Don’t turn off your cell phones … because the hunt is on.
“You’re reading the official blurb, or short summary, of [title of show]. Blurb. That’s a funny word. We spent a lot of time on this blurb so please read the whole blurb.
“[title of show] is a musical about two nobodies named Hunter and Jeff who decide to write a completely original musical starring themselves and their attractive and talented ladyfriends, Susan and Heidi.
Their musical, [title of show], gets into the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and becomes a hit. Then it gets an off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre, and wins three Obie Awards!
Then (drumroll if you’ve got a drum) it’s announced that their musical is going to Broadway (hooray!) and people start seeing this blurb everywhere! They read that The New York Times called [title of show] “DELECTABLE ENTERTAINMENT! A postmodern homage to the grand tradition of backstage musicals like Babes in Arms, Kiss Me, Kate and A Chorus Line.”
Fully intrigued, those people snatch up tickets and help make Hunter and Jeff’s life-long dream come true!”
REVIEWS FOR [TITLE OF SHOW]
“Delectable entertainment” – the New York Times
“In expert hands” – Associated Press
“Terrific. A kick-ass time” – The New York Daily News
“Sly, sassy, inspired” - Entertainment Weekly
“Wise, warm, irresistible” – The NY Sun
“A genuine treat” – NJ Star Ledger
“Immensely likeable” – The New Yorker
“A bottomless reservoir of fun” – Amazon.com
“Don’t miss it!” – Time Out NY
“An enjoyable romp” – Wolf Entertainment Guide
“A damn good show” – Edge NY
“A crowd-pleaser” – Variety
“Infectious joy” – WPKN
“A good dose of fun” – AM New York