Eclipse Theatre’s new leadership

Eclipse Theatre, the Sheffield-based black-led national touring company, has announced a new leadership, taking over from Dawn Butler who left earlier this year after a decade in charge.

The new artistic director and chief executive is Amanda Huxtable, the former artistic director of Hull Truck, and she is joined by executive producer Shawab Iqbal, senior artistic associate at Bush Theatre.

Image shows Stella Kanu in the foreground with Amanda Huxtable and Shawab Iqbal, photo Sharron Wallace

Eclipse was founded in 2003 as a black-led producing company in an attempt to redress the imbalance of black representation in British theatre, particularly on the middle-scale touring schedule.  Its mission has been to provide diverse programming, representing “anyone who is marginalised for their race or ethnicity”.

“I am both exhilarated and excited for future possibilities” Huxtable said. “It is important to pause and reflect before embarking on that future, so I want to thank our previous artistic director, Dawn Walton and all who supported Eclipse Theatre in its exceptional role of leading the way towards a more representative and inclusive cultural landscape.

“Our ultimate aim is to create outstanding work and experiences for all our audiences. I cannot wait to lead the team towards our collective powerful opportunities in the future.”

Stella Kanu, who became chair of Eclipse’s board in September, said she was delighted with the appointments. “There is barely a venue across the North that has not come into contact with Amanda as director and visionary collaborator - now we will have the opportunity to see her dynamic artistic vision and leadership usher Eclipse into the next phrase of its exciting future” Kanu said. 

“Shawab Iqbal brings a world of producing and planning experience and has been firing up the sector with his thought leadership in recent years. These feel like extraordinary times ahead, we have two visionary, creative thinkers and doers who will inspire. They will connect with like-minded venues and support work for audiences across the region and beyond.”

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