Milton Keynes Theatre chief executive Rachel Tackley is leaving the venue to become the new director of English Touring Theatre, as the organisation becomes the UK’s first producer-led touring company.
Tackley, who currently serves part-time as ETT’s creative producer, is to take up the role of director from spring 2008, when current director and chief executive Stephen Unwin steps down. While she has until now been able to work at ETT alongside her full-time job at Milton Keynes, the new role will require her to leave her post there.
Nic Lloyd, chairman of the ETT board, commented: “This is a unique position and Rachel brings to the post an outstanding track record as producer and a widely demonstrated commitment to theatre artists. Her experience in the commercial and subsidised sectors, both in this country and overseas is invaluable. Her passion and vision will drive an original and imaginative programme, by finding new ways of working with some of the country’s leading directors, actors and writers.”
Last year, Tackley was appointed as chief executive of Ambassador Theatre Group’s Milton Keynes Theatre – one of the organisation’s most profitable venues – having previously served as the group’s head of programming. She has also produced for touring company Shared Experience.
“I am thrilled to be taking over from Stephen as director of ETT,” she said. “I want to make the company a home for some of the country’s leading theatrical figures and create a range of exciting and ambitious productions to tour to audiences throughout Britain and abroad.”
Unwin announced earlier this year that he would be leaving ETT, which he founded in 1993, to pursue other projects. During his tenure, ETT produced in excess of 40 plays and visited more than 75 theatres in the UK and abroad.
ATG executive director Michael Lynas commented: “Rachel Tackley has been with ATG for the past five years and has contributed enormously to the success of the company, as both group head of programming and chief executive for Milton Keynes Theatre.
“Milton Keynes Theatre is one of our flagship venues, and we will be recruiting a replacement for Rachel in the next few months. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish Rachel every success in her future role.”