Shakespeare’s Globe has appointed Stella Kanu as Chief Executive, following the Globe’s announcement earlier this year that current Globe Chief Executive Neil Constable is standing down after 14 years.
Stella Kanu is currently Executive Director at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre), and has worked for over 30 years in the theatre, festival, and cultural sectors.
Stella will join the Globe in Autumn 2023, working with current Artistic Director Michelle Terry.
Recruitment for the role was led by the Globe’s Board, supported by executive recruitment company Green Park.
Coming up a Shakespeare’s Globe is a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, running from 27 April to 12 August 2023. Also running in repertory will be Macbeth from 21 July to 28 October 2023, and As You Like It from 18 August to 29 October 2023.
Stell Kanu said in a press statement: “Shakespeare’s Globe is more than a theatre or Shakespeare’s workplace. It is an extraordinary meeting place of the past and the future held together with storytelling that questions what it means to be human – flaws, triumphs, ambitions, and epic fails. It has proved it can hold the past while being responsive to the demands of now – inclusive, audience-engaging productions, great links in the community and across education, a great leadership team leading with heart and exceptional skills, supported by superb governance. I am thrilled to be building on the extraordinary foundation Neil has put in place in the pursuit of access for all. I remain humbled and ready to lead us into a future where access, equity and inclusion mean we can open our doors to everyone we can, where those who work with us are inspired to do their best work and those who support us see our true and lasting value. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to get started!”
Neil Constable, outgoing Chief Executive of the Globe, said: “I am delighted both on behalf of the Globe and personally that Stella will be taking over as Chief Executive. I have absolute confidence that I will be leaving it in good hands and look forward to celebrating her achievements as she takes on leadership of our unique and talented people. It has been the greatest privilege to serve the Globe for half its lifespan. I feel honoured to have guided it through the most extraordinary of tough times. Whilst we are on firmer financial footing, there is a long journey ahead, and I know she will have the full support of our brilliant Board of Trustees in forging the way forward. Shakespeare’s ongoing importance and relevance is clear – his works offer endless opportunities for discovery and exploration. I am certain that Stella is the natural champion the Globe needs – as the house playwright put it ‘Good luck go with thee!”
Margaret Casely-Hayford CBE, Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “Neil Constable’s contribution to the Globe following 14 years of dedicated leadership has been immense. He has left big shoes to fill, working tirelessly with the Globe Board and the wider leadership team to ensure our beloved wooden ‘O’ remains a triumph to celebrate for years to come. Our wonderful incoming CEO Stella Kanu combines an impressive mix of commercial skill and experience with vision, she has a passion and great knowledge of theatre, a love of Shakespeare and new thinking. I greatly look forward to working with her as the Globe takes its next strategic leaps forward into a future of growth and continued success.””
Michelle Terry, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, on behalf of the Directorate team, said: “We could not be more proud or more excited about Stella Kanu joining us as CEO at the Globe. We owe a debt of gratitude to Neil Constable – what’s past is always prologue and we wouldn’t be here without standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. Stella joins an incredible, predominantly female leadership team, who are all so delighted with not only the great experience Stella brings, but also her heart, soul, values, strength and commitment to the profound impact that art, education, and culture can have. Stella is the embodiment of all the Globe stands for and we cannot wait for her to lead us into the next chapter of the Globe’s history, as we continue to put Shakespeare to work for all.””
Nell Leyshon, Chair of the Nominations Committee, said: “We had expected this to be a competitive recruitment drive, but were thrilled to find quite so many brilliant and talented leaders applying to become the new Chief Executive of the Globe. Out of all of them, Stella stood out with her vision and passion, which we all found contagious. I look forward to seeing the Globe continue to go from strength to strength under her leadership.”
Bernard Donoghue, Chief Executive, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), said: “I am delighted to see Stella join the Globe. Having worked with her as former Chair of LIFT, I can attest without hesitation to her true skill and inspiring charisma. A responsible leader, with proven management skills, and a huge breadth of experience, Stella is brimming with vision and passion – I look forward to seeing her put her talents to work at Shakespeare’s Globe.”
Shakespeare's Globe, London