Kevin Shaw, artistic director and chief executive of the Oldham Coliseum, has announced he is stepping down after 17 years.
Shaw will leave the theatre later this month to pursue a freelance career in directing.
His last production at the Coliseum will be the theatre’s annual pantomime, which Shaw will direct for the 16th year running.
He said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead the Coliseum and I am extremely proud of our many achievements. I am incredibly grateful to the enormously loyal and talented Coliseum staff, creative teams and volunteers who have supported me, they are inspirational.”
However, Shaw said he felt the time was right to hand over responsibility of “leading the next phase of the company’s development to somebody else”, which he said would enable him to “seek fresh challenges and artistic opportunities elsewhere”.
During his tenure, Shaw directed more than 60 productions across 34 seasons at the Coliseum, and also established the theatre’s learning and engagement department, which now works with 5,000 people from surrounding boroughs each year.
The board is currently putting interim arrangements in place, which will be finalised early next year.
Last year, the theatre was granted permission for a £27 million new home, which is due to open in 2020.