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Gemma Bodinetz to step down as Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse artistic director

The artistic director will step down later this year

Artistic director of Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Gemma Bodinetz
© Dan Kenyon 2013

After 17 years, Gemma Bodinetz will step down as artistic director of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

In a statement the director said: "These have been an intense, passionate and extraordinary 17 years and I have been privileged to work with so many wonderful people in the best city in the world.

"However 17 years is a long time and every artistic organisation needs fresh thinking and new energy. Last year the theatres produced a new vision and business plan based on a commitment to create socially engaged, relevant theatre. This opportunity to listen and create a new forward looking plan with so many brilliant contributors is something of which I'm very proud. Covid19 hit before we could bring this vision to life.

"The pandemic and world events including of course the global response to the death of George Floyd has afforded the industry an opportunity for self-reflection and I too have thought long and hard about my role and what I think the most exciting future for the theatres might be when we come through all of this. These are poignant and momentous times. After long and honest self-reflection I think now is the time for me to pass on the artistic leadership of the Everyman and Playhouse.

"I would be so proud if my ultimate legacy would be to help the theatres I love so much, engage with communities, audiences and artists with re-invigorated passion and fresh thinking.

"It was always my dream that the theatres would feel like a second home to all the people of Liverpool and I know that my successor, our staff and board will do all in their power to facilitate this. I can put my hand on heart and know that I have given my all to these beloved theatres but I can also imagine someone taking them forward to an even more exciting place.

"I know Mark Da Vanzo, the staff and the board will. What's more I know our new socially engaged vision and business plan will provide a great foundation stone for whoever follows me to take the theatres to new heights. That thought makes me very happy.

"I won't be going straight away – there's still much to do through this enforced closure - but I feel the time is right to make my decision to move on.

"For my own future I look forward to carry on being part of the new dawn I feel coming for theatre of, by and for all."

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: "Gemma came to Liverpool in 2003 when the theatres were on their knees, and her dedication, commitment, passion and talent brought them back to life – artistically and physically with the rebuild of the Everyman.

"People like Gemma don't just talk about things, they change things for the better. Her drive and ambition transformed our theatre sector, and she has been a key player in the cultural landscape of the city, becoming a true spokesperson for Liverpool."

The Board of LMTT are taking time to work with their funders, Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council to establish a succession plan.

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