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The Adelaide Festival Board has announced international arts leader Wouter Van Ransbeek has joined the senior leadership team as Associate Director for delivery of the 2024 to 2026 Adelaide Festivals.

Wouter Van Ransbeek, who lives in the Netherlands where he manages his own production company, The Rainmakers, will work alongside Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie and Chief Executive Kath M Mainland. He will support Adelaide Festival collaborations with European-based multi-arts performances and events, to ensure the festival is internationally connected with established companies, as well as scouting emerging work that is cutting edge and of the highest standard.

A highly regarded theatrical producer and arts leader, Wouter previously worked as Co-Artistic Director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA) alongside award-winning director Ivo van Hove. Over 16 years, Wouter guided ITA, one of the Netherlands’ largest live theatre companies, to become an international powerhouse with a year-round touring repertoire across five continents.

Adelaide Festival Chair Judy Potter described the new appointment as “a coup” for the Festival: “The Adelaide Festival Board is absolutely delighted to have secured the talents of Wouter Van Ransbeek to work alongside our Adelaide Festival team. Wouter’s connections within the established international arts community are unsurpassed. This combined with his strong strategic acumen and keen artistic eye for talent and potential when it comes to emerging companies, should yield wonderful outcomes for Adelaide and South Australia," she said. “We are committed to social, environmental and economic sustainability, so having Wouter based in Europe is a far more climate-conscious way for us to do business in the Northern hemisphere."

Minister for Arts Andrea Michaels MP said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have Wouter join Adelaide Festival bringing with him experience from some of the world’s most celebrated arts companies. His aptitude for identifying talent and potential, and translating that into the context of a festival, is much sought after and we look forward to him joining the Adelaide Festival team.”

Adelaide Festival Artistic Director Ruth Mackenzie said: “Wouter and I first met at Vienna’s Wiener Festwochen almost two decades ago, and our theatrical paths have since crossed several times, most recently when I was working as Director of Holland Festival. He possesses a strong instinct for building relationships between artists and audiences and has a particular talent for scouting and securing the best that the international arts scene has to offer.”

Incoming Associate Director Wouter Van Ransbeek said he relishes the prospect of being part of Adelaide Festival: “I have visited Adelaide Festival many times throughout my career, and have such admiration for the festival’s unassailable reputation. Along with Edinburgh and Avignon, it is one of the three great festivals in the world, and it is a privilege to be part of the creative team in the company of Ruth and Kath. I look forward to bringing some of the best European companies to South Australia from 2024 to 2026.”

Photo: Andrew Beveridge