Artistic director to leave Birmingham Rep

Roxana Silbert announces departure from Repertory Theatre.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre has announced that its Artistic Director, Roxana Silbert, will be leaving the company to take up the post of Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, London in June 2019.

Roxana became the Artistic Director of The REP in 2012, leading the company through its centenary year and the re-opening of the theatre in 2013 following a two-year development period. Over the past six years, Roxana has created a vibrant programme of work across The REP’s stages and in communities across Birmingham.

Her artistic programme has seen an increase in the range of shows on offer and the number of world premières the theatre has presented, including What Shadows starring Ian McDiarmid, One Love: The Bob Marley Musical by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Rudy’s Rare Records with Lenny Henry and Bryony Lavery’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones. Among the many productions that Roxana directed was the first Ramps on the Moon production, The Government Inspector, which featured integrated captioning, audio description and BSL. Under her leadership the theatre has welcomed a greater diversity of both creative talent and audiences.

During her tenure she has constantly championed new work, including commissioning plays from Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Kate Tempest, Alexander Zeldin, Rachel De Lahay and Tom Wells, and has nurtured local talent such as Steven Camden and Selina Thompson. She has created open, accessible and impactful artist development programmes such as REP Foundry, Furnace, Write Away and opportunities for directors through RTYDS, JMK Directors programme and Birkbeck University placements.

Roxana has also placed the range of Birmingham’s communities at the heart of the theatre’s work with two main stage community productions, Stadium (2017) and Woyzeck (2018) and through the Furnace Hubs project has made The REP more open and inviting to communities. Roxana will direct her two final productions for The REP, the UK premiere of Edmond De Bergerac in March 2019 and the European premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns in June 2019.

She said of her decision to leave: “My time at The REP has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I love The REP and I love Birmingham. The REP has an extraordinary team of people and it has been an honour and a pleasure to work with everyone here.

“I am very proud of everything that has been achieved since we re-opened the building and everyone who has made those achievements possible. I am eternally grateful to our audiences – for me their support is evidence that audiences both demand and deserve theatre that represents the diversity of the city around us.”

Stuart Rogers, the theatre’s Executive Director commented: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone at The REP in saying that working with Roxana over the last six years has been a delight. Her wholehearted commitment to the many roles that a large regional producing theatre plays nowadays has been exemplary, and the shows she has directed for us have been of the very highest standard.

“Roxana has undoubtedly played a significant part in this theatre’s long and proud history, putting artistic quality, diversity and access firmly at the heart of everything we do. We will miss her and wish her well.”