Arts of the UK 2020: Theatre Centre appoints Rob Watt and Emma Rees as Artistic Director and Executive Director
LONDON – Theatre Centre have announced Rob Watt as Artistic Director, alongside Emma Rees who will take on the role of Executive Director. Both were appointed to their respective roles in an interim capacity and will now become permanent additions to the company.
Watt is a critically acclaimed director, dramaturg and facilitator, whose inaugural season as Interim Artistic Director saw the launch of exciting digital projects with acclaimed writers – an online writing programme for young aspiring talent and ImagiNation, a digital anthology created to unite the nation through storytelling. 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 is currently Chair of the Board of Croydon-based Savvy Theatre.
Prior to her role as Interim Executive Director of Theatre Centre, Rees was a freelance consultant working with renowned organisations including Chichester Festival Theatre and Kiln Theatre. She was previously the Director of the London Theatre Consortium working on strategic projects including the LTC Creative Apprenticeship programme and a sustainability programme in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. During this time she also undertook an extended secondment as Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England in the London Theatre team. Rees has many years of experience at senior management level in theatres and touring companies, including Red Shift, Unlimited Theatre and the Almeida. She is also a Board member of Theatre 503 and a Governor at a local school.
Watt comments: “I am truly excited and humbled to take up the permanent position of Artistic Director at Theatre Centre. Since being in the interim position, over the last year I have seen the potential that Theatre Centre has to adapt and innovate in extraordinary circumstance. Now, more than ever, we need to support young people, artists, teachers and to make work that is resonant and bold.”
Rees comments: “Having spent most of this tumultuous year as Theatre Centre’s interim Executive Director, it feels like an absolute privilege to be staying put and to continue to work with Rob and the fantastic team and Board. We will be constantly mindful of that privilege in all the work we do with artists, young people and teachers at home in Lewisham and across the country.”
Supporting both the needs of young people and of schools, Theatre Centre continues to push the boundaries of storytelling while highlighting the most important and provocative issues facing society today in order to catalyse debate, discussion and to aid development. The company are looking forward to new and exciting projects in the new year, platforming and nurturing more talent.