Patricia Cumper to leave Talawa Theatre Company

Patricia Cumper is to step down as Artistic Director of the Talawa Theatre Company in early 2012, at the end of the current season of work marking Talawa’s 25th anniversary. She would have been in the job for over 5 years.

“I’ve had a wonderful time at Talawa and handing over the company as it begins its journey as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation feels absolutely right,” said Pat Cumper. “The company’s dynamic staff and strong partnerships mean that it is well placed to bring quality Black British work to national audiences, to support the development of new and established theatre makers and to continue to change lives with its popular participation work. I look forward to watching it go from strength to strength.”

A new Artistic Director will be announced in October 2011.

Talawa was founded in 1986 by Yvonne Brewster, Carmen Munroe, Mona Hammond and Inigo Espejel to counter the lack of creative opportunities for actors from minority ethnic backgrounds and the general marginalisation of Black people from culture at large.

Upcoming highlights in Talawa's anniversary yearinclude a brand new production conceived by the aspiring participants of Talawa Young People's Theatre (TYPT), Talawa’s annual summer school. Taking inspiration from This is England 1986-2011, the TYPT cast will perform a devised piece at the Lilian Baylis Theatre from 25 - 27 August. In October, Talawa will remount the biting political satire The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe directed by Don Warrington at The Old Lecture Theatre in the V&A. The 25th anniversary season will culminate in February 2012, with a new production of Waiting For Godot featuring an all Black cast, in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse and directed by Ian Brown.

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