National’s First Black Artistic Director???
Date: 14 July 2004
How long before we have a black artistic director at one of theatre’s flagship institutions, such as the National or the Royal Shakespeare Company? The question was raised at the press conference yesterday for the Push 04 season of Black-led arts (See Today’s News), to which Push’s Josette Bushell-Mingo answered that, given there were qualified candidates, it could have happened already. Would she herself be up for Nicholas Hytner’s job then when it next became available? “I would consider it,” she said. But she may have competition from within her own ranks. Actor-turned-playwright Rhashan Stone, whose first play Two Step launches Push 04, told Whatsonstage.com unequivocally: “I want to run the National Theatre.” In fact, the job of NT artistic director is his life’s ambition, he said, and his acting career to date has all been part of the plan to get him there. We wish him luck. Certainly, on the basis of their accomplishments to date, both Bushell-Mingo and Stone could prove to be galvanising National leaders.
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