Eclipse announces Stella Kanu as new chair...

Eclipse has announced Stella Kanu as the new chair. The appointment marks a new chapter for the company as it looks to build on a decade at the vanguard of driving new work by Black British voices, establishing a reputation as one of the most valuable, vibrant and radical theatre companies in the UK.

Stella, who has more than 25 years’ experience producing theatre, festivals and events, is currently executive director of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) as the organisation prepares for the 23rd edition of its biennial festival taking place in June 2020.

She will bring her extensive knowledge and expertise to help shape the strategic direction of Eclipse, with immediate plans to recruit a new executive producer and artistic director following the departure of Dawn Walton who has stepped down following ten years in the role.

Comments Stella: “Over the last decade, the way in which Eclipse has discovered and nurtured new Black voices has become a blueprint for success in the theatre industry. We’ve now got a real opportunity to build on the incredible platform Eclipse has helped create for Black artists; and elevate them to the next level. As someone who worked in publicly funded theatre spaces for more than twenty years, I’ve seen first-hand the ground-breaking audience development programmed pioneered by Eclipse which has proven that there is an audience for Black work.

“This is a pivotal time for the company and a great opportunity for a new executive producer and artistic director with real vision to take it forward. For so long, Eclipse has been vital in making sure Black British stories are being seen and heard. Now I look forward to helping shape the new era in the Company’s own incredible story.”

Stella has worked for organisations in the UK and beyond including executive producer at Ovalhouse Theatre, CEO of Soundwave Cumbria, Powerbrokers International Leadership Fellow at Harlem Stage (New York); Clean Break Theatre as well as arts, culture and regeneration directorates at numerous local councils in London and across the UK. As a producer, writer and performer, Stella created Africa Centre’s first Children’s Literature Festival; ‘A List’ Performing Arts Festival and ‘Southampton Live’ Street Arts Festival.

Comments Paula Rabbitt from the Eclipse Board of Trustees: “We welcome Stella as our new chair. Her wealth of experience in producing and programming at all scales across the UK will be invaluable for us in achieving our ambitions. Stella will be instrumental in helping us attract a new artistic director who can both build on the incredible work Eclipse has achieved to date and support them in delivering their own vision for the company.”

Eclipse is currently delivering two crucial movements: ‘Revolution Mix’ and ‘Slate: Black. Arts. World.

Revolution Mix which is spearheading the largest ever national delivery of new Black British productions in theatre, film and radio, will see the return of Black Men Walking (nominated for the UK Theatre ‘Best New Play’ and Writer’s Guild ‘Best Play’ 2019) with new tour dates across the UK to be announced later this month. Slate: Black. Arts. World., which supports Black artists in the North to work locally, nationally and internationally, guided by a cohort of Enablers (Black arts professionals), is also hosting a number of writer residencies, talks and social events across the north over the summer.

For further information on upcoming tours and opportunities for black writers and artists, click here.

Eclipse announces Stella Kanu as new chair...