Theatre Centre announces Rob Watt has been appointed as their interim Artistic Director.
Watt is a critically acclaimed director, dramaturg and facilitator, and will be continuing his work as an Associate at Headlong Theatre. He collaborates with writers, communities, poets, and designers to try to make sense of the fractured world we live in. He is dedicated to working with young people to help them tell stories, understand how to access theatre and to make resonant and risk-taking work. Watt started his career working on Hackney estates, taking theatre to the doorsteps of communities in East London.
He regularly teaches at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and makes work with the Institute of the Arts Barcelona. He previously headed up the young people’s team at the National Theatre, was a Lead Artist at Lyric Hammersmith, an Artist Mentor at the Barbican and was Associate Director at Immediate Theatre.
Watt comments, I am super excited to be joining Theatre Centre as its Artistic Director. Theatre Centre is England’s longest established touring theatre company and the legacy it holds in making work for young audiences is immense. I hope to be able to add to that legacy by making resonant, accessible and exhilarating work. At a time where drama and the arts in our schools are reducing at an alarming rate, I am fired up to work with the Theatre Centre team to develop new approaches and projects to allow more young people to experience theatre. Now, more than ever, we need to be brave in the stories we tell to help young people reflect, interpret and dissect the ever-shifting social and political landscape.
Also announced is the departure of current Executive Director/CEO, Raidene Carter who is moving to be Executive Producer, Cultural Programme for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. She leaves Theatre Centre on 7th February.
Carter comments, I am incredibly proud of what’s been achieved at Theatre Centre in what seems like the blink of an eye, but, in reality, has been 2 years of non-stop curiosity, graft and
creativity with an amazing group of people, including staff, artists, partners, supporters and our dedicated and passionate board. Whilst I am sad to be leaving the company now, I am excited by its plans to embrace change for 2020 and look forward to seeing how it continues to tackle real and urgent issues for schools, for young people and the arts and activism as a whole.
Vice-Chair of Theatre Centre, David Luff, comments, We are extremely impressed with Rob’s passion and energy for making dynamic and vital new theatre. He brings an abundance of fresh ideas regarding youth engagement as well as new creative avenues. We are hugely excited to be working with him in the evolution of Theatre Centre. On behalf of the entire Board I‘d like to extend a huge thank you to Raidene who has brought great energy and ideas to the company which have been invaluable – we wish her all the best in her exciting new role.