Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch announces 2022/23 creative leadership team

Queen's Theatre Hornchurch (QTH) is today announcing its creative leadership team for the 2022/23 year, starting from 1 April 2022, with current Artistic Director, Douglas Rintoul, leaving to lead the New Wolsey Theatre in May. Maisey Bawden and Danielle Kassaraté, founders of Mawa Theatre, the UK's first all Black all Female Shakespeare Company, will be working together part time as Associate Director (Talent Development), overseeing all aspects of this growing programme and focusing on ensuring the support offered increasingly reaches more underrepresented and underserved creative practioners. Graeae, the acclaimed and award-winning theatre company championing the best in Deaf and disabled talent, ‎will take on the role of Creative Associate. Their team of associate artists will support leadership in innovation at QTH, helping the venue discover and work with more Deaf and disabled artists from across its wide catchment area, as well as further exploring what digital practice might mean to QTH post pandemic. Tim Jackson, director and choreographer, who is cho‎eographing Merrily We Roll Along at the New York Theater Workshop later this year, will direct the regional premiere of a co-production of an acclaimed musical this Autumn. Tim choreographed Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and New Wolsey Theatre's celebrated revival of Made in Dagenham. ‎Caroline Leslie, who has an array of directing credits, and has most recently been Head of Acting at LAMDA and Director of landmark QTH productions So Here We Are and The Kitchen Sink, will direct this year's pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Stef O'Driscoll, award-winning‎ director, previously Artistic Director of nabokov, now interim Artistic Director at the Gate Theatre, will direct at QTH for the first time. Stef will be working with Vicki Donoghue on developing the world premiere of Vicki's new play about the Canvey Island floods of 1953, to be staged in Spring 2023. All of the 22/23 creative leadership team will work closely with Mathew Russell, Executive Director, and the QTH team, to help further develop and deliver the charity's ambitious ‎plans and will access the organisation and its resources to maximise this developmental opportunity for everyone involved. “We're excited to be announcing a 2022/23 creative leadership team that enables us to work with an array of talent and voices, some of whom are new to us, with others having been part of the success of the last five years. It's an innovative opportunity to experiment with different forms of what creative leadership might mean to Queen's Theatre Hornchurch, to feed in the fantastic ideas of these colleagues at the heart of organisational change, and to play our part in supporting and developing more artists so they become even better equipped to lead fantastic 21st century producing theatres and theatre companies.” Mathew Russell, Executive Director, Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch.  "As individuals and as Mawa Theatre Company we have always been committed to making long lasting change within the industry. In 2020, in collaboration with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, the first Black Essex and Here panel discussions started to happen and since then QTH have been huge supporters and champions of our work and career development. We want to keep the momentum going creating more opportunities for local underrepresented artists. We are delighted to be joining the creative leadership team and excited to collaborate to continue the work we have already started." Maisey Bawden and Danielle Kassaraté, Associate Director (Talent Development), QTH. “Graeae are delighted to be working with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, a venue sharing the same ethos of inclusivity and commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. Over the next year, our associate artists will be collaborating with QTH on a wide range of projects and allowing space and for their work to take centre stage.” Graeae Theatre Company, Creative Associate. “I'm thrilled to become part of the creative leadership for such a forward-thinking, community-minded theatre. Queen's Theatre Hornchurch has long been one of my favourite venues to work at, with its passionate, caring staff and a discerning audience that grows in its diversity with each new season. The organisation has gone through such positive change in recent years, with inspiring development initiatives and outstanding engagement with the people of Havering, and I look forward to working alongside Mathew to play a part in this vital work. I'm equally delighted to be directing a zinger of a musical this autumn; full of great tunes, big laughs, and most importantly, a story which celebrates inclusivity, diversity and community - three core tenets of QTH." Tim Jackson, Director of Autumn Musical, QTH. “It’s a huge honour to be working as a Creative Associate with QTH this year, and especially on the Pantomime. It always offers a brilliant opportunity to celebrate theatre’s unique relationship with its audience, who literally shape the show. And it will be a joy to introduce a new and vital generation of theatre goers to the inventive, colourful, playful mayhem that is Panto”. Caroline Leslie, Director of Sleeping Beauty, QTH. “I am thrilled to be working with Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch in this creative leadership role as I work alongside the brilliant playwright Vickie Donoghue developing and directing her new play. I have long admired QTH's commitment to new writing by Essex writers for their local community and I can't wait to deepen my engagement with the building, area and audiences” Stef O’Driscoll, Director of Spring 2023 world premiere, QTH.

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