Pilot Theatre’s Marcus Romer to leave touring company
Pilot Theatre’s Marcus Romer has announced he is to leave the company after 22 years in charge of the York-based organisation.
During his time as artistic director, Romer has spearheaded a number of notable projects, including what is believed to be the first live-streamed theatre production, This Child, in 2008.
He also ensured the company’s entry into Arts Council England’s national portfolio of funded organisations in 2011.
Romer will step down from his role early next year to pursue freelance work that he says presented itself following the company’s feature film The Knife That Killed Me, which was released in April this year.
He told The Stage: “Lots of other freelance opportunities are coming my way in terms of live performance and digital – it’s where the practice has taken me. And it’s a real opportunity to leave the organisation in a very robust and inheritable position as an NPO [national portfolio organisation].”
Romer added that the name Pilot Theatre was “not to do with air travel, it’s always to do with starting something new”, and said it was time for someone new to take over.
He explained: “The company has given a lot of practitioners their first step and launch into the industry. It did that for me, and we’ve done that for many, many writers, directors, performers, artists. [My departure] is an opportunity for someone new to come in, who can really help to shape and move the organisation forward.”
Pilot Theatre chair Chris Bailey said he wished Romer every success in the next stage of his career.
“Letting go of a company that you conceived and have led for more than two decades must be one of the hardest things to do, in the arts or in any other field,” he said.
“Recognising this, I and my fellow trustees have been working with Marcus for some time to ensure the transition to new creative leadership looks toward the future as well as building on his remarkable record.”
Bailey added: “Pilot will change and our work will develop, and our confidence in being able to do that is truly Marcus’ legacy to the company.”