The Wheeler Centre
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Liz Jones: In Pursuit of Excellence
Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam once said that a healthy artistic climate does not depend solely on the supremely gifted.‘It demands that everyday work, run-of-the-mill work, esoteric and unpopular work should be given a chance.’
Liz Jones has been the artistic director and CEO of La Mama theatre for over 40 years and her knowledge of the sector is unparalleled. In this Lunchbox/Soapbox, she takes Gough’s words to heart and argues that the work of smaller outfits like La Mama is just as important as that of the high profile companies in shaping our theatre culture and developing talent.
Regardless of its merit, all artistic endeavour is worthy and should be encouraged, irrespective of government support. As Gough would say, ‘The pursuit of excellence is a proper goal, but it is not the race itself.’
Liz Jones has been artistic director/administrator of La Mama Theatre in Carlton since 1976; she has worked there, as an artist and staff member, since 1973.