Hampstead Theatre artistic director Anthony Clark has announced he will be leaving the north London venue in January 2010.
He has been at the helm of the theatre for the past seven years, joining shortly after its move to Swiss Cottage.
Clark will leave at the end of the theatre’s 50th anniversary season, which will conclude with a festival of new writing.
He said: “As we approach the end of a year in which we are celebrating past achievements and looking to the future, I feel it is a good time to hand over to a new artistic director, leaving me free to pursue my own freelance interests as a director and writer.”
During his tenure as artistic director, Clark has programmed seven seasons featuring 98 shows, and has developed the venue’s Creative Learning programme. Under his leadership the theatre has picked up The Wolff Whiting Award for two consecutive years, the Meyer Whitworth Award and The Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award.
Hampstead Theatre chair Dame Jenny Abramsky said: “Anthony has brought to Hampstead a passion and indestructible commitment to new writing.
“He has ensured the new theatre has provided a wealth of opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, ambitions and abilities.”
Hampstead Theatre will start the process of appointing a new artistic director over the summer.