Artistic directors of the future
Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Founder/Artistic Director
How ADF began?
Disgruntled by the lack of diverse Artistic Directors in mainstream theatres in the UK, Simeilia spoke openly about her determination to change the face of theatre at leadership level during a Devoted & Disgruntled conference in London in 2014. She facilitated a group discussion to speak about tangible ways to create sustainable change. Ola Animashawun attended her group discussion and was equally passionate about this idea. Both Ola and Simeilia decided to write a letter inviting Artistic Directors of mainstream theatres to discuss their succession plans in regards to the case for diversity.
The Young Vic Theatre responded immediately and agreed to support the ADF programme which would be set up and facilitated by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway. Sue Emmas and Ola Animashawun agreed to support the initiative as consultants. In addition, Sue Emmas company 'Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme' are partners of the ADF programme.
What does ADF do?
Together, we aim to support, nurture and promote the existing pool of talented culturally diverse directors. We have a large and ever-growing database of emerging and professional Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic directors. The directors on our mailing list are kept up-to-date with employment/training opportunities and invited to participate in an annual training programme which takes place on a monthly basis in mainstream theatres across the UK. This training programme is designed to enhance ADF directors' understanding of the Artistic Directors role; dispelling myths, creating networks and preparing participants for future leadership positions.
· Create practical opportunities for directors to develop the skills needed to be the leaders of the future
· Establish a resource that gives directors access to opportunities and enables companies to expand their knowledge of BAME directors
· Through advocacy we hope to influence the recruitment process and appointment of BAME artistic directors.
This programme has the support of the Bush Theatre, Madani Younis, The Red Room, Topher Campbell, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Tamasha Theatre Company, Tara Arts.
There are already plans to expand this initiative to include regional and international theatres. For more information, please visit our website www.adofthefuture.com or contact Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway.