Following news that James Grieve and George Perrin are stepping down after ten years at the helm of Paines Plough, Chair Kim Grant is delighted to announce that Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner will take over as Joint Artistic Directors in August this year.
Kim Grant said ‘We are really excited about this next new phase in the company’s life. Charlotte and Katie are the perfect duo to pick up the mantle from James and George and to maintain Paines Plough’s long held position at the forefront of touring the very best new writing and creative talents to every inch of the UK. We were especially impressed by their ideas for the future and their desire to continue collaborative leadership through originality, fairness and innovation. On behalf of the board and the whole team at Paines Plough we very much look forward to welcoming them during our Roundabout Edinburgh season ahead of an extensive autumn tour.’
Charlotte Bennett and Katie Posner said ‘It is a great honour to be appointed as the next Artistic Directors of Paines Plough. We are both long admirers of the company and its commitment to making exceptional new plays which reach all the corners of the UK and beyond. We are inspired by all leaders of this company since it started in 1974; incredible role models who have left a great legacy that we are excited to embrace as we begin this next chapter. We have been artistic mentors to one another and been fierce supporters of each other’s work for the past ten years. Inspired by collaborative leadership and in particular the excellent example set by George and James, we wanted to apply to run this company together to fuse our passions for new writing and touring and our shared mission to make great new plays which champion the unheard and reach the overlooked.’
Charlotte is currently Associate Director at Soho Theatre where she leads the new writing department, developing artists and commissions and programming the upstairs studio. For Soho she has directed new work by Jack Rooke, curated a six-month off-site arts festival in Waltham Forest and led playwriting competition the Verity Bargate Award. Prior to this she was Artistic Director of Forward Theatre Project; an artists’ collective she founded. For Forward Theatre Project she made and directed new plays which toured nationally inspired by working in partnership with different communities around the UK and at venues including National Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Northern Stage, Derby Theatre, Live Theatre and The Lowry. As a freelance director she has worked extensively for Open Clasp Theatre Company, creating new plays inspired by marginalised women in the North-East. Charlotte also held the role of Creative Producer for theatre company RashDash where she toured experimental new theatre around the UK.
Katie is an award-winning director currently working freelance. Prior to this she was the Associate Director for Pilot Theatre where she directed a rich and varied amount of new plays which toured regionally, nationally and internationally including working in co-production with Northern Stage, The Tron, The Belgrade and Tamasha. Katie has also directed extensively for York Theatre Royal on a number of productions including several large-scale community shows. As a freelance director she has directed plays for Mercury Colchester, Storyhouse Chester, National Youth Theatre, New Perspectives, Live Theatre and is due to direct My Mother Said I Never Should for Theatre by the Lake this May. As a champion of new writing and discovering new voices, Katie has also established talent development programmes and most recently a large female empowerment project for Jackson’s Lane. She will be directing two new large-scale community productions this Autumn for the Kiln and Theatr Clwyd.