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Dawn Walton steps down from Eclipse Theatre

The artistic director leaves the company after ten years in charge

Dawn Walton
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Artistic director of Eclipse Theatre Dawn Walton is to step down from the company, it has been announced.

Walton founded the black-led, Sheffield-based company Eclipse in 2010 after being frustrated by the lack of inclusivity she experienced in the performing arts.

Eclipse was one of the first wave of new organisations to achieve Arts Council England's National Portfolio Organisation status.

Walton appeared on The Stage's 2019 list of 100 most influential people working in the theatre and performing arts industry. Today she said: "I have been living and breathing and – with the help and collaboration of others – carrying this beautiful company for 10 years and I could not be more proud of all of our accomplishments. "

"Revolution Mix is a marvel of new black British work in theatre, film and with the work of black writers demanding space and excelling on every platform. No-one can try and tell us now that new black work 'hasn't got an audience'. "

"But having stood on the shoulders of black artistic pioneers of the '70s, '80s and '90s it is now time for me to try and be the shoulders of the next black leader. I am excited by the future of Eclipse. Having channelled so much of my creative energy in the north of England and then across the country, I am now looking forward to exploring opportunities to innovate internationally."

The Eclipse board of trustees commented: "As a board we are incredibly proud to have supported Dawn on her journey, after ten fantastic years she is stepping down and making way for the next artistic director of Eclipse to realise their vision. We wish Dawn huge amounts of success for the future and thank her for the incredible foundation she has created for the future of Eclipse Theatre Company."

After her departure, Walton will direct Jackie Kay's Red Dust Road at the National Theatre Scotland before developing and directing her own projects.