Blanchett, Upton take control of theater company


SYDNEY -- Cate Blanchett and writer-husband Andrew Upton will take the reins of Australia's de facto national theater company, the Sydney Theatre Company, as joint artistic directors in 2008, the STC said in a brief announcement that has shocked and delighted the local arts community.

Blanchett and Upton step into the role occupied by Robyn Nevin, the company's artistic director for eight years.

Blanchett has a history with the company, starring in its 2004 sold out production of "Hedda Gabler " under the direction of Nevin, which also played in New York last year.

She will make her directorial debut with the STC next month with Harold Pinter's "A Kind of Alaska," then is set to direct U.K. writer David Harrower's "Blackbird" for the company late in 2007.