Founders of The Mono Box, Polly Bennett and Joan Iyiola, have announced that they will be stepping down from their roles as Co-Directors of the trail-blazing company. They are delighted to announce that stepping into their roles will be Blayne George, who has been appointed as Executive Creative Director, and The Mono Box producer Alison Holder, who becomes Creative Producer.
Founded by Bennett and Iyiola in 2013, The Mono Box has developed into a community of curious, creative and proactive theatre-makers who come together to learn new skills, develop ideas and share space with industry professionals. It provides affordable training and creative inspiration to emerging and mid-career artists navigating the theatre industry.
Over its 9 years of operation The Mono Box has become known for its flagship programmes: PLAYSTART, supporting the development of the leading writers of tomorrow; The Monologue Library in which stars of stage and screen including Riz Ahmed, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Denise Gough and Sir Derek Jacobi deliver their favourite speeches and most recently RESET THE STAGE, a collection of 7 short films written by ethnically diverse emerging writers and filmed during lockdown on the empty stages of Almeida, Arcola Theatre, Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Soho Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and Young Vic.
Speaking of the transition, Bennett and Iyiola say: “We have poured our hearts and minds into the company alongside developing our own careers for the last 9 years and now feels like the right time for us to pass on the baton. The Mono Box developed from our need for community as young theatre-makers, and we will continue to encourage individuals to embrace their artistry and challenge the theatrical status-quo under the leadership and creativity of Blayne and Alison. We couldn’t be more excited for their vision for the future.’’
Blayne brings a wealth of experience to the team having spent ten years running the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust.
Speaking of his appointment Blayne said: “Joan and Polly leave an incredible legacy of work, and I am delighted to be joining such a talented and passionate team. After an exhausting 19 months of lockdowns and uncertainty, there has never been a more important time to ensure our emerging and mid-career theatre artists feel supported and have access to the best guidance, training and creative opportunities. I look forward to working alongside Alison to build on Joan and Polly’s vision of The Mono Box as a hub for all theatre artists, and that it continues to play its part in shaping the future of an inclusive and diverse industry where all voices are welcome and heard.”
Alison Holder says: “We’re at an exciting transition for The Mono Box. With Blayne and the existing team, we forge forward with a wealth of stimulating workshops and projects which we know our Mono Box community will love!”