Sheehy, who is contracted with the Melbourne Festival through 2012, will succeed current Melbourne Theatre Company artistic director Simon Phillips, who announced his resignation last July. Sheehy wil take on the position part-time in early 2012 and will fully assume the role of artistic director at MTC Nov. 1, 2012. Sheehy previously served as the artistic associate, literary manager and deputy general manager for the Sydney Theatre Company from 1985-1995.
"I am absolutely thrilled to accept the appointment, especially as I was not available for the original appointment start date," Sheehy said in a statement. "The Melbourne Festival Board has graciously enabled me to accept the MTC role even though I am still under contract to Melbourne Festival as artistic director until the end of October 2012. Theatre is my original artistic 'home' and a return to the theatre – in a city I love and with a company of such national and international stature – is an opportunity of a lifetime. I especially thank Simon for passing the baton on a company in such wonderful artistic and financial health, and for his personal efforts in establishing MTC’s first physical home, the MTC Theatre. No artistic director could hope to inherit a more generous legacy from his predecessor."
MTC's 2011 season includes A Behanding in Spokane; Apologia; In the Next Room or the vibrator play; Next to Normal; The Gift; The Joy of Text; Hamlet; Rising Water; Clybourne Park; Return to Earth; and The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Geoffrey Rush.