Chairman, Derek Young today announced that Virginia Lovett has been appointed Melbourne Theatre Company’s new Executive Director and will take up the role on 7 January 2013.

A highly experienced and well-respected Arts Manager, Virginia Lovett has successfully designed a range of strategic and audience development initiatives through her roles at Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Sydney Festival. As General Manager of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Ms Lovett developed and implemented a strategic business plan which delivered a funding increase of $5million and in 2011 achieved record attendance levels.

Through her arts and entertainment experience she brings exceptional stakeholder and advocacy skills to MTC, successfully managing key government, tourism, university, media and arts industry relationships. Ms Lovett has driven and secured major sponsorship and funding partnerships and developed a range of programs. She brings a wealth of experience in touring and working with a diverse range of artists and is passionately committed to the Australian arts and cultural sector.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said ‘I am absolutely delighted with Virginia's appointment. Virginia has been General Manager of the Comedy Festival for four and a half years, during which time she and the festival's director Susan Provan have cemented it as the most attended festival in Australia and one of the biggest in the world.

‘Virginia has experience of international touring to Asia, of collaborating across many live and broadcast platforms including new digital platforms, and of presenting work in a vast array of venues and contexts.

‘All this, coupled with her twenty years’ experience in the theatre, visual arts, festival, political and media arenas, makes her an ideal choice to manage the extensive opportunities facing MTC in the coming decade’, Mr Sheehy said.