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After an eight-year tenure as artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company – five of which he shared with wife Cate BlanchettAndrew Upton is set to step down at the end of this year.

Upton and Blanchett’s reign not only saw the international spotlight more sharply focused on the STC, but ticket sales rose and more international acting talent were lured for work at the theater company.

“Andrew Upton has been an exceptional artistic director on all fronts, evident in part by the response from our audiences: This year’s program is already breaking box office records,” said STC chairman David Gonski in a statement. “The STC board is determined to find the best possible new artistic director to steer the course of our great theater company through its next phase.”

The STC is beginning its recruitment process for what will be the sixth artistic director in its 30-year history. Upton is currently in rehearsals for his version of “Endgame,” starring Hugo Weaving.