Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s current artistic director Timothy Sheader will move to the Donmar Warehouse next year.
Sheader, who has been at the central London open-air venue for 16 years, will take up the role from Michael Longhurst in March 2024.
Sheader has been responsible for some critically lauded productions in recent years, including the award-winning production of Jesus Christ Superstar and the five-star revival of Carousel. This summer he will also be staging La Cage aux Folles outdoors.
He said today: “What an absolute honour to follow in the footsteps of theatre giants and be asked to lead this remarkable theatre. The invitation live performance offers to share a moment in time together has never been more important, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to invite as many different audiences as possible to experience the life enhancing feeling of being in that unparalleled space, where our imaginations can soar and magic happen.
“As the Donmar continues on its path as a financially independent theatre I am very much looking forward to meeting and working with its many loyal members and supporters to create inclusive, accessible and must-see work on and beyond the stage.
“I would like to thank all my colleagues, past and present, permanent and freelance, at the mighty Open Air Theatre for travelling with me on the most incredible journey. I am delighted to join Henny Finch, the Board and all of the Donmar team, in serving audiences, old and new alike, in this unique and world class theatre.”
Donmar Warehouse’s executive director and joint CEO Henny Finch commented: “During his time as artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Tim has led with great creative talent, genuine care for artists, and vitally a commitment to making excellent work that appeals to a wide range of audiences. This energy, commitment and experience make him the ideal candidate to succeed Michael, and, jointly with me, lead the Donmar’s talented team. I am very much looking forward to working with him as we navigate the next period of our history.”
Longhurst added: “I wish Tim every success in the role, I know he’s joining an incredible team, and I’ll be cheering from the stalls when his programme begins.”