28/05/2008 - 22:00

Culture Corner: Rosemarie Lenzo

28/05/2008 - 22:00


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Anna Moreau chats with Rosemarie Lenzo, Deckchair Theatre general manager.

Anna Moreau chats with Rosemarie Lenzo, Deckchair Theatre general manager.


WABN: Describe a day at work.

RL: "Unpredictable. Whatever is planned is bound to be turned upside down. Everything from answering phones to brainstorming artistic plans, to creating sponsorship proposals and cleaning."

WABN: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone to motivate a team?

RL: "Instil a sense of ownership in the company; this creates the passion and drive to do all one can to realise the potential of the company. Maintain a sense of humour, scrutinise the negative and find ways to turn them into potential opportunities."

WABN: What has been the most challenging event in your career?

RL: "Taking over the role of general manager. I am still overcoming the difficulties, with persistence, hard work and by remaining optimistic. "There are things you can control and things you can't. The most effective course of action is to do your absolute best and not be afraid to ask for help."

WABN: What is the main quality are you looking for in your team members?

RL: "Commitment and passion for the performing arts, combined with resilience and flexibility."

WABN: What's best measurement of your performance, and can you name a highlight in your career?

RL: "Keeping the company healthy, relevant and growing our audience, as well as finding the balance between artistic integrity and financial sustainability."

WABN: How do you deal with egos in your workplace?

RL: "By not taking ourselves too seriously and keeping our world - compared to the world at large - in perspective."

WABN: What frustrates you most about your sector and what would you do to change it?

RL: "Demystifying the public perception that a night at the theatre is somehow an elitist event...finding ways to change that perception. "Convincing the government and the corporate sector that contributing to the arts can build a strong healthy and vibrant community. This requires stronger financial support from these sectors to fully realise the potential of our organisation."

WABN: What are the specific hurdles that you meet on a daily basis in your sector? How do you deal with them?

RL: "Finding the dollars is our primary focus at the moment because our federal funding was cut last year. "It's all about managing the production as well as the business side of the organisation. Because the federal government withdrew their funding from the company we have to find that extra money somehow. We're exploring every avenue - government and private - for specific shows in 2009."

WABN: Who is someone that you dream to work with?

RL: "Cate Blanchett. She is an extraordinary actor and the way she has conducted and positioned herself, coming back to Australia to give back to the Australian community, is remarkable."

WABN: What were you doing before your current position?

RL: "I was administrator of Deckchair Theatre and my trade for the 25 years previous was as an actor in Sydney and Perth."


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