Professor David Shirley is the Executive Director of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
A professional actor with extensive experience in theatre, film, television and radio, David trained at the Arts Educational Schools and at RADA. The founding Chair of the Conference of Drama Schools Research Forum and a former Co-convenor of the 20th/21st Century Performer Training Group at TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), David is actively engaged in promoting research initiatives across the HE performer training sector. His own research includes published articles/book chapters related to Stanislavsky and Russian Naturalism, British Actor and Director training, the American Method, the work of Samuel Beckett and Postdramatic Theatre.
David was formerly the Chair of the Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) in the UK and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
Professor David Shirley said, “Black Swan State Theatre Company is one of the iconic arts organisations in Western Australian with an enviable 28-year history. Their work has provided a showcase for the creative talents of Western Australia with strong links and relationships to WAAPA. I look forward to working with the board and Artistic Director Clare Watson and supporting the company in the next phase of its growth, presenting work of high artistic quality.”
The company also acknowledges the exemplary work of long-standing board members Rob McKenzie and Craig Yaxley, who stepped down in June this year. Rob served as the company’s honorary solicitor for many years and officially joined the board in 2006. He has since joined the company’s artistic reference group. Craig Yaxley commenced in 2009 and has served on the board admirably for 10 years as treasurer.
Nicola Forrest, Black Swan’s Chair, stated, “We’re pleased and fortunate to welcome Professor Shirley to the board. His artistic representation, knowledge and international expertise, particularly his understanding of the performing arts will be invaluable as the company strives to foster a vibrant and sustainable cultural sector. She added that “both Rob and Craig’s commitment over the years have proved instrumental in the success of numerous Black Swan seasons, interactions with stakeholders and Western Australian audiences.”