Erica was Deputy Artistic Director from 2013 and Acting Artistic Director from 2022-23.

Erica Whyman
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC Browse and license our images

Erica joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in January 2013. She later became Acting Artistic Director, a post which she held until June 2023. Erica led the team which reopened The Other Place in March 2016, a creative hub dedicated to daring theatrical exploration.

As part of the season celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death she directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a production involving 18 professional actors, 14 amateur theatre groups (84 amateur actors) and 580 school children from across the country, which toured the UK from March to June 2016. Her 2018 production of Romeo and Juliet in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Barbican and on a national tour incorporated 60 young people from RSC partner schools into its prologue.

In September 2021 Erica directed Faith, a major co-production between the RSC and the Coventry City of Culture Trust. The experience was made on the streets of Coventry in collaboration with the many faith communities of the city, taking place over 24 hours in the city and online to explore how people of faith, and of non-religious world views, understand and celebrate the chapters and mysteries of our lives. 

In 2020 Erica directed The Winter’s Tale which was due to be staged in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and on UK tour from March 2020 but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The production was finally reimagined for the screen and was broadcast on BBC Four in April 2021 and then on iPlayer where it has been seen by 80,000 people.

Erica was Chief Executive of Northern Stage in Newcastle Upon Tyne from 2005 to 2012. She oversaw the opening of a completely redesigned new building, introduced a notably collaborative organisational culture and attracted local and national acclaim for the company's repertoire of work. In 2012 she won the TMA Award for Theatre Manager of the Year.

She was Artistic Director of Southwark Playhouse (1998-2000) and Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill (2000-2004). At the Gate she ensured that the theatre paid its actors for the first time in 25 years, and she inaugurated the UK's first award for translation. Erica is a theatre director with many years' experience all over the UK.

For the RSC: The Ant and the CicadaRevolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (The Other Place); The Christmas Truce (Royal Shakespeare Theatre); Hecuba (Swan Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation (Royal Shakespeare Theatre and UK Tour); The Seven Acts of Mercy (Swan Theatre,); The Earthworks (The Other Place); Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Barbican and UK Tour, Miss Littlewood (Swan Theatre), A Museum in Baghdad (Swan Theatre and The Kiln). 

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