The Shakespeare’s Globe has today confirmed that current Artistic Director Emma Rice will be leaving the role in 2018. 

Neil Constable, CEO, Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “Emma’s mould-breaking work has brought our theatre new and diverse audiences, won huge creative and critical acclaim, and achieved exceptionally strong box office returns. In breaking the mould, this latest season has generated productive debate concerning the purpose and theatrical practice of the Globe, in relation to the use of sound and lighting technology within our theatre spaces. Following much deliberation and discussion, the Globe Board has concluded that from April 2018, the theatre programming should be structured around ‘shared light’ productions without designed sound and light rigging, which characterised a large body of The Globe’s work prior to Emma’s appointment.” 

Up until Emma Rice’s appointment, actors have performed in “shared lighting” so that audiences and actors could see each other – just as how it would have been in Shakespeare’s time.

In response, Emma Rice said: “I have had a wonderful time creatively here at the Globe, but I respect the Board’s decision for its future direction. I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of this extraordinary space over the next 18 months, excited to see even more astonishing work unfolding in the glorious wooden ‘O’ as well as the exquisite Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. My tenure as Artistic Director has given me the opportunity of forging relationships with the most talented array of directors, actors and Globe staff throughout my 2016 Wonder Season, who I will be sad to say farewell to.” 

Emma Rice’s first season at the Globe, titled the Wonder season has included productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew,Macbeth as well as Imogen, a reframed production of Cymbeline.  She was was appointed in May 2015, becoming Artistic Director Designate in November 2015, and Artistic Director from April 2016.

A further statement will be released when the Shakespeare’s Globe announces the process for the appointment for the successor.

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