Lynette Linton has appointed five new artistic associates at the Bush Theatre, including Martha Plimpton and Adjoa Andoh.
Other initiatives by the new artistic director include a festival staging future Bush productions while they are still in development, and a raft of talent development schemes.
Announced alongside Linton’s inaugural season for the west London theatre, the senior artistic associates will be engaged for a year and will support programming at the theatre, mentor other artists and act as ambassadors.
Plimpton, currently starring in Linton’s production of Sweat in the West End, and Andoh are the two actors on the list, which also includes movement director Polly Bennett and producers Shawab Iqbal and Tobi Kyeremateng, who founded the Black Ticket Project.
The introduction of senior artistic associates is one of several new initiatives ushering in Linton’s leadership of the Bush.
Also announced are a series of talent development schemes including support for playwrights through a writer-in-residence programme and a free playwriting group for west London residents.
The first writer in residence – who will working with the Bush’s literary and programme teams – will be announced later this summer, while the writing group, offering an introductory course, will launch in August.
The Bush’s talent development programme, Project 2036, which was launched in 2018, will be expanded to include black, Asian and minority ethnic lighting, sound and set designers.
Offering bursaries and a package of support, it currently works with BAME writers, directors and producers.
A new festival will take place from next year, bringing about “a new era of making and presenting work” at the Bush. First Look Festival will give audiences the chance to experience the journey of new writing by presenting early forms of work that will go on to premiere in future seasons. It will be held for the first time in June 2020.
Linton’s season includes new work by writers including Richard Gadd and Bijan Sheibani as well as a major revival of Jackie Kay’s Chiaroscuro, directed by Linton.
Alongside Daniel Bailey, she will also direct Malachi Kirby’s Level Up, which will offer 1,000 free tickets to audiences under 26 when it runs next May.