Honorary doctorate for Neil Armfield

21 April 2006

One of Australia's foremost theatre directors, Neil Armfield has been conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters fromthe University of Sydney.

Neil Armfield, courtesy Company B
Neil Armfield, courtesy Company B

The long time Artistic Director of Company B which is currently performing at The Seymour Centre, Neil Armfield graduated in Arts from the University of Sydney with Honours in English in 1977.

He began directing plays for Sydney University Dramatic Society, and after graduation he was appointed artistic co-director of the Nimrod Theatre Company before working with the Lighthouse Company in Adelaide.

Since 1984, Neil Armfield has been most strongly associated with the work of Sydney's Belvoir Street Theatre, and he has been Belvoir's artistic director since 1994.

Apart from his long association with Company B, Neil Armfield has directed productions for every state theatre company in Australia.

His international work includes productions for the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Lyric Opera Chicago, the Zurich Opera, the Canadian Opera, the Welsh National Opera, the English National Opera, and the Bregenz Festival in Austria.

He has also directed television and film productions.

Neil Armfield has won four Green Room Awards for best director, four Sydney Critics' Circle Awards for best director, and the Helpmann Award for Best Director twice.

He was nominated for the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by Professor Penny Gay, Chairperson of the Department of English and Professor Elizabeth Webby of the Department of Australian Studies at the University of Sydney, "in recognition of his long and distinguished contribution to the Humanities, especially through his work as a director of plays, opera and films both within Australia and overseas".

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