Theatre by the Lake in Keswick has appointed Liz Stevenson as their new Artistic Director to work in partnership with Executive Director, James Cobbold.
Liz is currently a freelance director and Artistic Director of Junction 8 Theatre. After training on the Theatre Directing MFA at Birkbeck College, she has directed plays for York Theatre Royal, Manchester’s Royal Exchange, the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff, Lancaster’s Dukes Theatre and the Young Vic, and was the Associate Director on the UK and Ireland tour of the National Theatre’s recent production of Macbeth.
As TBTL’s Associate Director, Liz directed 2017’s Christmas show The Secret Garden, which transferred to York Theatre Royal in 2018 to great acclaim, the world premiere of Alan Harris’ How My Light is Spent (in a co-production with the Royal Exchange and Sherman Theatre), and the smash-hit 2017 Summer Season production of Moira Buffini’s Handbagged.
Liz said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed. I’ve been coming to the area since I was a child and have such happy memories of this extraordinary place. Theatre by the Lake is the most welcoming and beautifully situated theatre I’ve ever come across and I love making work here. It’s an honour to be invited to lead the theatre’s artistic vision at this exciting time, making inspirational theatre for, with and about Cumbrian communities, and building on the theatre’s reputation for making bold and ambitious work.”
Liz has won many accolades including the JMK Young Director Award in 2015, and her production of Barbarians at the Young Vic was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2016.
James Cobbold, Executive Director of Theatre by the Lake said: “Liz is an exceptionally talented director with great vision, drive and ambition, and a love of both Cumbria and Theatre by the Lake. I’m greatly looking forward to working with her on the next exciting step of our journey.”
Theatre by the Lake is the only Arts Council-funded professional year-round producing theatre in Cumbria. The theatre has established itself as an important part of the UK regional theatre scene, delivering a programme of over 600 performances annually of home-produced and visiting work and establishing itself as a major attraction for both Cumbrian residents and visitors to the Lake District. The venue is one of the country’s few theatres operating a repertoire season, with six plays performed by a resident company of actors cross-cast across up to three shows each.
Vicky Robinson and Graham Lamont, Joint Chair of Theatre by the Lake commented:
“We’re delighted by the appointment of Liz. As well as being a familiar face in Keswick, her shows have been amongst our audience’s favourites over the last few years and she’s impressed us all with her infectious passion and enthusiasm. We know that she will be warmly welcomed by the local community and all at Theatre by the Lake.”
Liz will commence her role in May and will work with the TBTL team planning her first season for 2020, which will be announced in the autumn.