EMMA STENNING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Soulpepper is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Stenning as the Company’s new Executive Director.

Emma is currently Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic, where she has been leading the company, in partnership with Artistic Director Tom Morris, for the past nine years.  Under her tenure, the organisation has delivered a £25m redevelopment of its historic theatre, transformed its business model and re-established its profile on the regional, national and international stage. Previously, Emma was Head of Producing at Manchester International Festival, Head of Theatre for the London region of Arts Council England, a Cultural Programme Advisor for the 2012 Olympic Games, and Executive Director at Battersea Arts Centre.

Emma is a 2005 Clore Fellow, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Bristol University, Winner of the Clore Prize, and recognized by the Cultural Leadership Programme as a ‘Woman to Watch’. Emma has written about the importance of mentorship and embracing risk and innovation. Emma was chosen by the Search Committee for her collaborative leadership style, demonstrated ability to build relationships, and her breadth of experience with helping to elevate a local company to new global heights.

From Vanessa Morgan, Chair of the Board: “We received a lot of interest from many very talented people, from across Canada and abroad. With so much incredible talent, Emma was the committee’s unanimous first choice. There is no doubt in our mind that Emma, with her experience, her energy, and her track record of collaborating with diverse artists, arts workers, donors, and government bodies, while mentoring the next generation of arts leaders, represents an exciting future for Soulpepper. We didn’t go about looking outside of Canada – quite the opposite in fact. It is a testament to Soulpepper and Canadian theatre that we received so much interest from across Canada and abroad. Our responsibility was to find the best person for the job, and we believe Emma represents that.”

From Emma Stenning: “Soulpepper is a world class theatre company; one that sits at the heart of a vibrant, creative city, I feel both thrilled and privileged to be joining the exceptional team here as the organisation starts to shape its next chapter, and excited beyond belief to be making Toronto my home. It’s been wonderful to spend some time at the Young Centre, beginning to get to know the community of staff, artists and supporters who, collectively, make up Soulpepper. I feel welcomed, inspired and energised, and I can’t wait to get started.”

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WEYNI MENGESHA, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Soulpepper is pleased to announce the appointment of award-winning director and dramaturge Weyni Mengesha as the company’s new Artistic Director. Mengesha began her association with Soulpepper twelve years ago; she was a member of the Soulpepper Academy, and since then has won several awards as a director, dramaturge and teacher.

Mengesha started her career directing da Kink in my Hair across North America and in London – a production that sold out some of the largest houses. At Soulpepper, she has directed some of the company’s most successful productions, including: A Raisin in the Sun (2008); Father Comes Home from the Wars (2017) which won the Dora Award for Best Production; as well as Kim’s Convenience (2012), one of the most successful shows at the box office in the company’s history, which has since gone on to become a successful CBC television series. She has been an instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada, and Co-Artistic Director and teacher with The A.M.Y. Project for nine years. Other recent directorial work has been seen in New York City and Pasadena, garnering a NAACP nomination for Best Direction; Breath of Kings at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2016; and Why Not Theatre’s national touring production of Butcher, for which she won a Dora for best direction.

From Vanessa Morgan, Chair of the Board: “This has been a rigorous and extensive search process. We had the privilege of meeting with qualified, talented professionals from across Canada and beyond. The Board is delighted that the search has resulted in the appointment of Weyni Mengesha, who brings her truly unique set of values, passions, talents and leadership qualities to shape Soulpepper’s artistic vision and direction.”

From Weyni Mengesha“I feel my entire professional career has been leading towards this opportunity. I am absolutely thrilled to build on the company’s existing talent, and shepherd it towards national and international collaboration. Soulpepper has been a place where I’ve had some of my most fulfilling artistic experiences. I’m excited to be coming back home to this city that I love and work with artists I’ve admired for years. I believe in the company’s vision, and I look forward to fostering its legacy of excellence and innovation and helping to shape its next chapter. I want to acknowledge the incredible leadership Alan Dilworth has shown in guiding the company during the recent difficult period, continuing to produce world-class work, and building an exciting season ahead. I look forward to collaborating with him for years to come.”

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