ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY ANNOUNCES NEW TRUSTEE APPOINTMENTS
Images of new Trustees are HERE
The Royal Shakespeare Company today announced five new Trustee appointments at its Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM). The appointments have been made following a public and far-reaching recruitment campaign for RSC Board members. The focus of the recruitment was to bring new and diverse experience from theatre practitioners, people who teach and write about Shakespeare, and those with have experience of leading change and challenging thinking, to complement the skills of the existing RSC Board members.
Andrew Miller, cultural consultant and broadcaster; Amanda Parker, Founder Director of Inc Arts UK; Winsome Pinnock, playwright; Justine Themen, Theatre Director and Change Maker; and Ayanna Thompson, Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, will all join the RSC’s Board for an initial three-year term and five-year term as RSC Governors.
Nigel Hugill, RSC Chair said,
“As we have moved through this pandemic, the Board has continued to lead the RSC commitment to be diverse, progressive, relevant and ambitious. These five new appointments are unequivocal demonstration of those commitments and they share with all our Board members terrific skills, great experience, enormous range, and unwavering enthusiasm.
“The public recruitment campaign generated enormous interest with almost 350 applicants. So many exceptional candidates showing a passion for theatre, the arts and education by putting themselves forward is an inspiration in these testing times."
The Company has also begun the search for a new Chair, with Nigel Hugill’s extended term ending in April. The new Chair is expected to be appointed by Spring and further details about the recruitment process can be found HERE.
Current RSC Board members include: Nigel Hugill (Chair), Sir William Atkinson, Miranda Curtis, Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Genista McIntosh, Clare Reddington, James Shapiro, Mark Smith, Ian Squires, Mark Thompson, Liz Vernon, Lucy Williams.
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Biogs for new Trustees
Andrew Miller - Andrew is a cultural consultant and broadcaster, recognised as one of the most influential disability advocates in the UK, transforming perceptions throughout his 30-year career in the creative industries. Andrew belongs to the first generation of disabled presenters of British television, becoming a BAFTA nominated producer and director of arts and music documentaries. Later he was the first wheelchair user to run a major UK arts venue at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he created the Russia’17 festival of Russian culture in Wales. As a consultant his clients have included the University of Oxford Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, the British Council and Coventry City of Culture.
A prolific writer and public speaker, Andrew is the UK Government’s first Disability Champion for Arts and Culture, establishing the role as a powerful campaigning platform for greater inclusion across the arts, museums and film. Uniquely he is a National Council member of both Arts Council England and The Arts Council of Wales. He is a trustee of Welsh National Opera, served on the board of digital arts agency The Space 2016-19, and is chair of the BFI Disability Screen Advisory Forum. In 2020 he co-founded the UK Disability Arts Alliance and its campaign #WeShallNotBeRemoved to support creative disabled people through and after Covid-19.
Amanda Parker - Amanda is the Founder Director of Inc Arts UK, which advocates for the creative, contractual and economic rights of the UK’s ethnically diverse arts sector workforce. Previous Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion roles include her leadership of the BBC’s recruitment and awareness campaign for the launch of BBC Radio 1Xtra, and as Head of Communications for Directors UK, Amanda was responsible for overseeing the UK’s first industry-wide research into gender diversity in TV directing.
A former broadcaster in BBC news and current affairs teams, Amanda’s previous roles include Development Producer for BBC Arts (TV) and BBC Radio and Music, as well as Campaigns management for BBC Education. Recognition for her work in EDI advocacy and campaigns include CRE Race in the Media, Royal Television Society, MIND Mental Health in the Media and the Stephen Lawrence Foundation awards.
Amanda’s advocacy includes representations to UK and European Parliaments on behalf of cultural and creative sector workers, and UK-wide campaigns on anti-racist action in the arts and cultural sector. Amanda is on the Arts and Culture Strategy Group for the COVID-19 London Government Task Force, the advisory board for the UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity, and the advisory board for Sheffield University’s COVID-19 culture and arts recovery project.
Amanda has been a trustee of Film London since 2016, serving on the FLAMIN visual arts committee, as well as the communications and public affairs and audience development working groups; she is a trustee of Intermission Youth and was the inaugural chair of Parents and Carers in Performance Arts in 2017. Amanda is Director of London Short Film Festival, is an RSA Fellow, and a Clore Fellow.
Winsome Pinnock - Winsome’s stage plays include Rockets and Blue Lights (Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre), Glutathione (Young Vic Theatre), The Principles of Cartography (The Bush Theatre), Tituba (Hampstead Theatre), Cleaning Up (For Clean Break at Oval House Theatre), Taken (For Clean Break at Oval House Theatre), IDP (Tricycle Theatre), The Stowaway (Play for young people, Plymouth Theatre), One Under (Tricycle Theatre), Beg Borrow or Steal (Kuumba Community Arts Centre), Water (Tricycle Theatre), Mules (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs and Clean Break Theatre), Can you Keep a Secret? (Connections at Royal National Theatre), A Rock in Water (Royal Court Theatre), Leave Taking (Liverpool Playhouse Theatre, National Theatre, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Lyric theatre, Hammersmith), A Heroes Welcome (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs), The Wind of Change (Half Moon Theatre) and Picture Palace (Womens Theatre Group). Radio plays include Leave Taking (Radio 4), Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas (Adapted from autobiography by Maya Angelou for Radio 4), Clean Trade (Radio 4), Lazarus (Radio 3), Her Father’s Daughter (Radio 4), Let Them Call it Jazz (adapted from Jean Rhys’ short story, Radio 4), Indiana (adapted from novel by George Sand), The Dinner Party (Radio 4), Something Borrowed (Radio 4) and Water (Radio 4). She co-wrote the screenplay Bitter Harvest.
Awards include the Alfred Fagon Award (2018) George Devine Award; Pearson Plays on Stage Scheme best play of the year Award; Unity Trust Theatre Award. She received a special commendation from the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She was Senior Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and writer in residence at Holloway Prison, Clean Break Theatre Company, Royal Court Theatre, Kuumba Arts Community Centre, Tricycle Theatre, and The Royal National Theatre Studio. Her play Leave Taking received a major revival at the Bush Theatre, London in 2018 and a new version of One Under was produced by Graeae Theatre Company in 2019 for a UK tour. She is currently developing screenplays with Blueprint Pictures, BBC and Kindle Entertainment.
During the 2020 lockdown Winsome Pinnock’s short play Una Calling premiered online, produced by The Globe Theatre as part of the Shakespeare and Race Festival. Her latest play Rockets and Blue Lights was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Lockdown Theatre Festival and received an OfComm commendation for excellence as an online cultural experience and was a finalist for the the Ofcomm awards best production in 2021. Winsome was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2020.
Justine Themen - Justine is a Theatre Director and Change Maker, committed to placing creative engagement with communities at the beating heart of contemporary theatre. She is currently Deputy Artistic Director of the Belgrade Theatre and Co-Artistic Director for its City of Culture 2021 programme.
During her time at the Belgrade, she has built a small participatory programme into a broad-reaching ethos across the work of the building. The programme provides access to arts activity to some of the city's least arts-engaged communities, shapes talent development opportunities that strongly promote diversity across the sector and creates new work for the Theatre’s stages. The work provided a strong foundation for the Theatre’s winning of the UK Theatre’s Creative Case for Diversity Award (2016) and for its City of Culture organisational change programme.
Prior to working at the Belgrade, she worked for 6 years in Suriname (the country her grandfather left for England in the late 1920s), co-creating theatre and using the Arts as a tool in Development and Cultural Diplomacy. She delivered projects for the Ministry of Education (Directorate of Culture), the Dutch Embassy and Arts Council and various UN organisations, as well as working closely with grass roots voluntary organisations, particularly in the rain-forested interior of the country.
She has a strong interest in the diversity of cultural forms that shape her own background, and in the legacy of post-colonial relations. This is reflected in her directing work that spans a broad range of forms/ contexts - including new writing (Under the Umbrella [Amy Ng]), innovative work with young people (Like There’s No Tomorrow [Belgrade Young Company/ NT Connections commission]), Theatre in Development (Hia Maun, [Stiching Botopasi]) and documentary shorts (Abigail [VPRO]).
Justine played a key role in Coventry winning its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021, and is Director of its Opening Event. She is also a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme and sits on the Board of the Birmingham Opera Company.
Ayanna Thompson - Ayanna is a Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University, and the Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS). She is the author of Blackface (Bloomsbury, 2021), Shakespeare in the Theatre: Peter Sellars (Arden Bloomsbury, 2018), Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose: A Student-Centred Approach, co-authored with Laura Turchi (Arden Bloomsbury, 2016), Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America (Oxford University Press, 2011), and Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage (Routledge, 2008). She wrote the new introduction for the revised Arden3 Othello (Arden, 2016), and is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Race (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance (Palgrave, 2010), and Colorblind Shakespeare: New Perspectives on Race and Performance (Routledge, 2006). She is currently collaborating with Curtis Perry on the Arden4 edition of Titus Andronicus.
Thompson is a Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at The Public Theatre in New York. She currently chairs the Council of Scholars at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn, NY, serves on the Board of Play On Shakespeare, and previously served on the Board for Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC.
She was the 2018-19 President of the Shakespeare Association of America and was one of Phi Beta Kappa’s Visiting Scholars for 2017-2018. From 2015-2017, Thompson served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Marshall Scholars.
Notes to Editors
The Royal Shakespeare Company is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.
We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.
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