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HighTide’s New Executive Team Announced

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HighTide’s Announces Rowan Rutter as Executive Director and Francesca Clark as Communications and Development Director

Today we are pleased to announce the appointment of Rowan Rutter as Executive Director. Francesca Clark, formerly Executive Producer, becomes the company’s first Communications and Development Director.

Rowan was previously Executive Producer at Avant Garde Dance Company, Consultant Executive Producer for Clean Break, and Producer at Hull Truck Theatre during the City of Culture 2017, working extensively in national and international touring across these roles. Rowan has been working with HighTide for the past year as Executive Producer (maternity) and latterly as a consultant.

Rowan said, ‘Since its inception, HighTide has existed to support and celebrate the best of new writing from its home in the East of England. Over the past 6 months it has been a leading voice in the response to COVID-19, providing a platform for artists, championing work by young people and creating new and exciting performances for audiences to enjoy. HighTide continues to grow, connecting more deeply with communities across Suffolk and beyond, and telling extraordinary stories that matter to a growing audience across the country. Suba’s artistic vision to make work of the highest quality for all audiences speaks to the future of creativity and representation in theatre and I look forward to joining him in securing HighTide’s place in the landscape for years to come’

Francesca joined HighTide in 2009 from The Orange Tree Theatre and has produced 12 festivals and 35 touring shows whilst with the company. She was Executive Producer between 2016 – 2020.

Francesca said ‘I’m delighted to become HighTide’s first Communications and Development Director as it provides the opportunity to enact an enriched communication and audience development strategy, which I’m truly passionate about, allowing HighTide to reach new audiences both in the East of England and nationally. How arts organisations communicate with their audiences and artists has undergone a vast shift since the pandemic and I’m excited to be part of these new and reframed conversations as we look to tackle both the future challenges and opportunities arising from our current situation.’

HighTide Artistic Director, Suba Das,  added, ‘It’s been an extraordinary first year as Artistic Director at HighTide. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we have found ways to reach and support hundreds of writers and participants, and many thousands of audience members. Rowan and Francesca have been instrumental in our impact and it is a privilege to continue to work alongside them as we continue to underline that lockdown and disruption do not and will not undermine our capacity to nurture creativity. Rowan brings a breadth of experience including driving Hull Truck’s incredible programme during the City of Culture year; and producing and executive roles with companies such as Cardboard Citizens and Clean Break who connect some of the most excluded in our society with culture. Over the past decade, Francesca has been instrumental in HighTide’s ongoing success, putting our festival on the map and ensuring communities across the East of England have had the opportunity to engage with the world-class talent we have showcased in Suffolk. Placing these two voices at the heart of our organisation underlines our mission as we emerge into our post-pandemic world: to use brilliant, diverse new writing to connect deeply, ambitiously and joyfully with the communities we serve.’

Alongside Artistic Director Suba Das, this year Rowan and Francesca have delivered our Lighthouse Programme, a range of initiatives to support artists during the Covid-19 pandemic, supporting over 250 artists and creating 9 pieces of original digital content including commissions from Dawn King and Morgan Lloyd Malcom.

This new Executive Team will oversee HighTide’s activity moving forwards and programme plans for 2021 and beyond.

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