Craig Semple

Spotlight on: Craig Semple

Craig Semple became a donor with MTC in 2014. A partner at Gilbert + Tobin, Craig is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading M&A lawyers. Melbourne born and bred, Craig says his interest in theatre is based on a fascination for creativity and the artistic process – something that, he modestly claims, doesn’t come naturally to him. “I don’t have a traditionally creative bone in my body,” he says. “So I have a sense of intellectual curiosity and admiration for people who can do that, who can put together something – whether that’s a piece of theatre, writing, art, an installation – which has the ability to affect you.”

Craig first became involved with MTC after returning from a long trip overseas and finding himself reawakened to the vivacity and colour of Melbourne’s cultural life. “(I) went to a lot of theatre, lectures and exhibitions, Broadway, the Biennale, Berlin – and when I came home I realised, well, all those things I was doing overseas might seem slightly more exotic over there, but when you think about Melbourne, we have all those things too. I got really excited. There’s so much here, and I’m really drawn to supporting that vibrancy in Melbourne – theatre, arts, literature – and I thought, how can I support that in a meaningful way? So I became an MTC donor.”

So what was it about MTC that drew Craig to our doors? “It just seems to me that MTC is investing a lot of effort, not just in putting productions on that bring the crowds in, but also in developing new theatre, bringing along playwrights, and that sort of thing. Not just growing fruit, but investing in the roots.” It’s that focus on the roots, on developing new Australian work and encouraging the creative minds of Melbourne to flourish, that is really important, he says. “I do get that sense that MTC is bringing forward plays about us, Australians, and the issues which are most significant to us and the community.”

Craig was an inaugural member of MTC’s Artistic Director’s Circle: a small group of generous supporters who will experience MTC via bespoke and behind-the-scenes opportunities, personally curated by Artistic Director Brett Sheehy. “Sometimes when I see something that really affects me, positively or negatively, I think, how do they conceive of that? There were a couple of pieces in 2014 in particular, such as Complexity of Belonging, where I wondered – how is that created? How do they even bring that together? And I guess that triggered my particular interest in the Artistic Director’s Circle. I really saw it as an educative opportunity – to deepen my understanding and appreciation of how these things are created and the talents of those people. It really is an admiration for and a fascination with that whole creative process.”

If you are interested in donating to MTC, or would like further information about the Artistic Director’s Circle, please call Sophie Boardley, Major Gifts Manager, on 03 8688 0959 or s.boardley@mtc.com.au

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