Theatre News

Orange Tree Theatre artistic director Paul Miller to step down

Miller has been in the role for eight years

© Richard Davenport

Paul Miller, the artistic director of Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, will step down from his role.

Miller said this morning: "After eight wonderful years at the Orange Tree Theatre, now is the right time for me to step down as artistic director and for a new person to lead the organisation into the future.

"I couldn't be prouder of all the work that has been achieved in my time, with so many brilliantly talented colleagues and artists. We have produced over 70 shows and each one has had something special about them. Now is the perfect time for the OT to look to the future with renewed vision and purpose. It's a unique theatre and I shall miss it very much. I am enormously grateful to the many colleagues, audiences and supporters who have made my OT experience the highlight of my life. As I leave to seek new challenges, I shall watch with excitement as the OT continues to develop."

Miller's time at the venue has been defined by a period of growth and development. Famously on his first day in office, Arts Council England announced their decision to remove the venue from the National Portfolio, which did not stop Miller and current executive director Hanna Streeter in their push towards making the space economically viable – before the pandemic the space was projected to make its first significant surplus.

Streeter added: "I am truly honoured to have worked alongside Paul over the last three years. Navigating the pandemic with no core funding has been a seismic challenge, though with Paul's tenacious leadership, artistic brilliance and overwhelming kindness, I never doubted that the OT would survive. Thanks also to our dedicated staff, freelancers and supporters we are in a stable position to recruit for a new artistic director, and what an exciting opportunity for someone exceptional to join us, we have huge amounts to look forward to."

Notable productions across the Orange Tree's last eight years include Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon, which transferred to the National Theatre and the world premiere of Ali McDowall's Pomona.

Richard Humphreys, OT Chair commented: "It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to work with Paul. Through inspirational creative direction and far-sighted strategic leadership his time at the Orange Tree has been transformative.

"Paul leaves a strong and resilient company with a stellar artistic reputation and a first-class team in place to take the theatre forward and build on his legacy".