The Actors Centre is kicking 2020 into high gear by announcing major programming changes including a new senior leadership team.
The John Thaw Studio, which currently stages the celebrated John Thaw Initiative, will see the introduction of one-week runs for work-in-progress productions, which will also include free rehearsal space prior to first performances, as well as access to the management team for advice and guidance, helping to support artists with their development. There will be no up-front costs and the space will be offered on a box-office split. This unique space hopes to open doors for creativity and the future of important works, leading to possible runs at the Centre’s Tristan Bates Theatre and beyond.
In a bid to become a pivotal Off-West End space, the organisation will also introduce four-week runs into its flagship theatre, The Tristan Bates Theatre from October 2020. This is part of a wider revamp to the programming and running of the venue, providing high quality work alongside UK, European and world premieres of plays and musicals.
The impending changes at The Actors Centre are contextualised by the new team, which sees Amanda Davey take on the role of Chief Executive, having previously served as Co-Chief Executive of Greenwich Dance. She will lead the strategic and artistic vision for the organisation, while Mitchell Reeve takes the reins as Theatre Programme Manager. Mitchell is both a producer and General Manager in his own right, with credits including the acclaimed Dark Sublime at Trafalgar Studios. Their first season will be announced later in the year and will run from October 2020.
Theatre Programme Manager Mitchell Reeve comments, I am incredibly honoured and excited to take the reins as Theatre Programme Manager at The Actors Centre — a space dedicated to supporting, developing and nurturing creative talent. In this respect, I am delighted to open up our John Thaw Studio as a home for week-long, work-in-progress pieces wherein productions can truly develop and flourish. I am also excited to introduce longer runs at the Tristan Bates Theatre, where audiences will get the chance to experience a host of UK, European and world premieres.
Amanda Davey, Chief Executive added, In the current political climate, the arts are more essential than ever — they not only reflect society, but have the ability to inform and transform. I am looking forward to a programme of theatre that questions, challenges, entertains and delights in equal measure, and above all, reflects the dynamism and diversity of contemporary UK theatre.
The upcoming April – June season at The Actors Centre (which remains on the existing model of short runs) will feature new and exciting works challenging the boundaries of gender and expectations. From pioneering the Palaeolithic period with female scientist Mary Anning in Peter John Cooper’s Mary Anning: The Mad Woman of Lyme (6th – 9th April), to exposing the continued challenges faced by women in the male dominated workplace in Andrew Cartmel’s Partner in the Firm (26th May – 20th June), and the impact of royal empathy and kindness to thwart AIDS ignorance in the 80s in Bren Gosling’s Moment of Grace (22nd June – 11th July), this season represents a diverse slate of thought-provoking theatre.