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News: Live Theatre seeks new Executive Director & Artistic Director

Newcastle's Live Theatre seeks new Executive Director & Artistic Director who will work together as joint CEOs.  


Live Theatre… has supported generation after generation of new writers, actors and theatre artists.” Lee Hall, Playwright 


Live Theatre, Newcastle, one of the UK’s great new writing theatres, is looking to recruit two new posts of Executive Director and Artistic Director who will work together as joint CEOs. The new leadership structure will see two posts, replacing that of outgoing Chief Executive Jim Beirne who announced he was stepping down back in February 2020 and Artistic Director Joe Douglas who leaves Live Theatre this November.  


Covid-19 put the brakes on the recruitment process for Jim Beirne’s replacement and Jim delayed his departure to steer the company through the challenge of the pandemic. It is now time to proceed with a phased recruitment that will see the appointment of an Executive Director in December 2020 and then the recruitment of the new Artistic Director from January 2021. 


The new Executive Director will be an experienced arts leader who will maintain Live Theatre’s key stakeholder relationships and develop new partnerships, be commercially ‘savvy’ and oversee the property portfolio and finances. The new Artistic Director will be a creative professional with a significant track record of creating exciting work in a variety of settings, wanting to engage with new approaches to making work and engaging communities.  


The new Executive and Artistic Directors will lead highly creative and talented colleagues, respectively the Creative Team and Operations Teams and will have developed leadership skills to work with a wide array of key stakeholders and be supported by a diverse, engaged and very experienced Board of Trustees. Live Theatre recently received £430,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund to support the organisation through to March 2021, and one of the first tasks for our new leadership team will be to steer the next National Portfolio Organisation submission to Arts Council England.  


Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the Board, Live Theatre said: “Live Theatre has always been innovative, entrepreneurial and bold and an ambassador for the cultural sector regionally and nationally, with the new partnership of Executive Director and Artistic Director it will continue to be so. In addition to the creative programme and our outreach into diverse communities, we have built our reputation for breaking new ground by creating a model for long term sustainability.  We will all do everything we can to support the Executive and Artistic Directors and to create the conditions for success.” 


Photo: Stephen Oliver

Live Theatre has an international reputation as a theatre for the quality of work with the four phase (Live Elevator) approach to the development and production of artistically strong and relevant new plays. In the last few years Live Theatre’s work has received an Olivier Award following an eight-week run of Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at London’s National Theatre, and the production was also presented by international festivals in Melbourne, New England and Galway. The Red Lion by Patrick Marber, directed by Max Roberts, starring Stephen Tompkinson, was staged at the Duke of York Theatre in London’s West End and nominated for an Olivier Award.   In 2016 Live Theatre’s commission from Shelagh Stephenson, Harriet Martineau Dreams of Dancing was nominated as best regional theatre production by BBC Radio 4 Front Row listeners. Guardian readers nominated Iris, commissioned from Alison Carr as Regional Play of the Year and Clear White Light written by Paul Sirett, directed by Joe Douglas was voted one of the Guardian readers’ top theatre shows in 2018. 


Live Theatre’s pioneering work with children and young people (CYP) is also highly regarded. A key part of the continuum of talent development and a seminal part of the artistic programme its two main strands are Live Tales and Live’s Youth Theatre. 


Throughout lockdown the creative team at Live Theatre have continued to develop their artistic, creative and learning programmes and have introduced Live Wired a new and innovative way to bring their work and shows including the recent critically acclaimed 10 Minutes To … Call Home to audiences through digital platforms. 


Those who feel they have what it takes to join this fantastic team, and the vision and drive to take Live Theatre forward, are welcome to apply for one of these exciting and challenging roles. 


The deadline for the role of Executive Director is 10am on Monday 30 November 2020. The deadline for the role of Artistic Director is 10 am on Monday 18 January 2021. For more information see 

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