Deborah Bestwick is to step down as director of Ovalhouse as the theatre prepares to relocate to a new building in Brixton.
Bestwick has led the south London theatre for 20 years, but said the organisation’s move to a new home required a “new generation” of leadership.
She said: “We want a new artistic director to have a long lead-in, get to know the building and its community and potential before we open the doors.”
She said while the company’s new leader would be looking to the future, she would continue to support it in a different way as a consultant, overseeing the completion of the construction work once she leaves in March 2020.
“My time at Ovalhouse has been a privilege and a pleasure. So many new artists have brought their work here and are now lighting up the theatre world with their talent and skill,” said Bestwick, who was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to drama.
Ovalhouse’s final season in its current building, in Oval, sees artists physically demolish the building. The company will move into a new purpose-built facility in neighbouring Brixton next year.
The £15 million building comprises a 185-seat theatre, a studio performance space and seven multi-use studios, which will be fully accessible – unlike its current home – and provide additional income streams.