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Stephen Joseph Theatre executive director to step down after 25 years

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Stephen Joseph Theatre executive director Stephen Wood is to step down from his post after 25 years and an association with the company totalling 40 years.

Wood, who first worked with the theatre as a press officer in 1976 when it was known as the Library Theatre, is leaving to pursue freelance projects and consultancy work. Although he worked at the National Theatre after his stint as a press officer for the Library Theatre, he has worked with the Stephen Joseph Theatre since it opened in in its current guise in 1996.

“It’s time to move on and the 60th anniversary year of the company feels like the right time. I have a number of projects to get into,” he said.

Alan Ayckbourn, who has been associated with the company since 1957, said: “Stephen has long been associated with the company throughout its various incarnations ever since its Library Theatre days. Throughout his association with it, initially as press officer and finally as executive director, he has played a huge part in its growth and development. He is someone I have always considered a guardian of the company’s founding principles, innovation, originality and excitement, pursued through the highest achievable artistic standards.”

Ayckbourn added that “SJT will badly miss his passion and integrity”.

Wood said that the theatre’s chairman, Richard Grunwell, had asked him to remain in post to see through a renovation of the venue, which will create a brand new outreach centre and on-site wardrobe and prop storage facilities.

“I will, of course, remain at the SJT to see my successor into post,” he added. No date has yet been set as to when Wood will formally step down.

Grunwell said that it would be “hard to find a more loyal and committed executive director”.

“I thank him for his achievement in contributing to the SJT’s reputation, nationally and internationally, as a theatre of excellence,” he added.

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