Ten Days 2013 - Incoming Artistic Director
On a whim and with no training or experience in 1994 Jo Duffy renounced her well-established career in corporate health and offered herself as a general backstage hand at Marian Street Theatre in Sydney, Australia. Shortly after, the theatre courageously offered her first job.
To this day she can’t explain the spontaneous attraction for the arts, but in the following 17 years her hunch evolved into a varied and extensive career in the performing arts, spanning Australia, Italy, Scotland and Poland, she has been the Director of the Darwin Festival since 2009 and is the new Artistic Director of Tasmania’s Ten Days on the Island Festival.
Jo, born and raised in Sydney’s inner west, worked at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for seven years where, most recently, she was the Associate Director of Aurora Nova, the highly acclaimed showcase of international physical and visual theatre with a program from over 28 different countries that has won more than 45 awards. She spent three years as Consultant Producer for The Brave Festival – Against Cultural Exile, in Wroclaw, Poland. The festival presents the artistic traditions of vanishing, marginalized and displaced cultures and box office takings are donated to non-profit organizations working to preserve culture throughout the world.
From late 2005, Jo was part of the programming team for the Sydney Festival and, as a performing arts manager, she has worked closely with many companies in the development, presentation and promotion of their work, including projects with the Sydney Opera House, Venti Lucenti in Florence and Poland’s Teatr Piesn Kozla.
Some years ago, Jo decided to live her dream to spend part of her year living in a small medieval village in the centre of Italy. For 10 years, she divided her year between Edinburgh and London, Wrolcaw in Poland and Australia. She moved full-time to Tasmania in September 2011 and now lives in a little cottage in the magical Huon Valley with her partner and her chooks.
Jo Duffy is a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts and she sits on a number of other steering committees and panels. She has developed a reputation in Australia for her passionate pursuit of independent arts projects, including her extensive involvement with regional and remote communities and artists.
Image credit: Ponch Hawkes