Hampstead Theatre has announced Roxana Silbert has decided to step down as its Artistic Director.
The reason has been cited as the 100% cut in Hampstead’s Arts Council grant, in the recent 2023 – 2026 funding round.
The theatre has said that the £766,455 cut means it will need to change direction and is moving away from being a solely new writing venue. Hampstead’s Executive Producer, Greg Ripley-Duggan, is going to be responsible for the transition to a new model.
Roxana Silbert said in a statement: “Due to financial constraints, which are well documented, and after thorough reflection, it feels appropriate for me to resign my post at Hampstead Theatre. This has not been an easy decision. Hampstead will have to recalibrate and change in order to go forward and I wish it every success. I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the staff, freelancers, writers and artists – onstage and backstage – for their wonderful contributions to the work on our stages and beyond. And, of course, to our audiences who have made everything worthwhile.”
Irene Dorner, Chair of Hampstead Theatre, said: “Obviously, we have all been devastated by the cut to Hampstead’s grant, and we will all be very sad to see Roxana go. She has been an inspirational leader for Hampstead and has directed some truly wonderful productions on both our stages. As part of our new strategy, we trust that she will often be able to return to Hampstead as a visiting director.”
Hampstead Theatre has had a long tradition over 60 years of championing new writing.
A stark press statement from the theatre said: “It is tragic that a leading writers’ theatre, having launched so many careers over the years and created work that has been enjoyed across the UK, should be treated in so summary a manner.”
The theatre is currently playing Stephen Karam’s new play Sons of the Prophet until 14 January 2023.