John Durnin is to step down as artistic director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre at the end of December after 15 years in the role.
Durnin will leave the company having directed the biggest-selling show in the theatre’s history, High Society, which ran as part of its summer season.
In October, PFT won the Scotland section of the My Theatre Matters! most welcoming theatre award for the third year running.
Announcing his departure, Durnin said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make but, in the end, I have decided that this is the right time to leave as it gives me the time and space to work out my next career move, but it will have to be something very special to rival my experiences at PFT.”
PFT opened in 1951 in tent, moving into its current building in 1981. It is currently halfway through the first stage of its ongoing development programme, Vision 2021, which will ultimately create a second auditorium and major upgrading work at the theatre.
As one of Creative Scotland’s regularly funded organisations, PFT will be informed in mid-December of its next three years’ funding.
Colin Liddell, chair of PFT’s board of trustees, said “As artistic director, John has played a key role in the continuing success story of the theatre. As a result, PFT now enjoys a national and international reputation for the quality and excellence of its extensive in-house programme.
“John can be justifiably proud of his contribution over the past 15 years and I speak on behalf of the trustees in saying that we wish him all the very best for the future.”
Durnin’s final production for PFT will be the musical Singin’ in the Rain, which runs from December 1 to 23.
The trustees have yet to make a formal announcement concerning the appointment of a successor.