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BOARD MEMBERS FOR NEW NATIONAL THEATRE FOR WALES ANNOUNCED     

BOARD MEMBERS FOR NEW NATIONAL THEATRE FOR WALES ANNOUNCED The Arts Council of Wales, has announced today, (March 4, 2008), the board members for the new English Language National Theatre for Wales.

The proposals for developing a National English Language Theatre for Wales are supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Minister for Heritage, said:

"This long cherished development has been one of my early priorities as Heritage Minister and the Arts Council for Wales should be congratulated for the sterling work it has undertaken in driving this project forward".

In December 2007, Phil George, was appointed Chair of the new organisation and the next step of finding and appointing Board Members has now been achieved. The Board Members for the National English Language Theatre for Wales will have an active involvement in the development of the ethos and structure of the new company under the leadership of the Chair. The newly appointed board members are:

Chris Ryde - Vice Chair
Steve Blandford
Jon Gower
Richard Hogger
Gemma McAvoy
Deborah Martell Powell
Judi Richards
Peter Stead

Phil George commented on the high calibre of applicants for the exciting and challenging positions within the new Theatre company:

"I was delighted by the number and the strength of applications for board membership. It shows the tide of goodwill in support of the National Theatre. The new board is full of experience, energy and diverse skills".

Chris Ryde, who has been appointed as Vice Chair, is Equity's National Organiser for Wales. He is Chair of the Wales Association for the Performing Arts, Chair of Audiences Wales, the Arts Council of Wales's audience development agency and is a Fellow of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Shrewsbury-born, Professor Steve Blandford is Associate Dean and Professor of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of Glamorgan's new Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries at the Atrium. Steve is also the Co-founder of The Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations and has over 20 years experience in working in Theatre.

Llanelli born Jon Gower is a writer, broadcaster and radio producer associated with Boomerang in Cardiff. Recent credits include documentaries about Hollywood actor Robert Mitchum's secret life as a poet and 'The Summer of Love' in 1967 in San Francisco. A former BBC Wales' arts and media correspondent, Jon has written three books, edited a further four volumes and penned one play for the stage and two for radio.

Richard Hogger is based in Capel Bangor near Aberystwyth. In 2001, he was appointed as the first Director of Creu Cymru - the Development Agency for
Theatres and Arts Centres across Wales. Richard's first posts involved developing theatre practice across communities in Norfolk and Darlington, followed by nearly 10 years at Eastern Arts Board, 5 as Director, Performing Arts. He spent 6 years as Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal Bury St
Edmunds before moving to Wales.

Cardiff based Gemma McAvoy is currently a Theatrical Agent for Emptage Hallett Talent and Literary Agency. Previously, Gemma worked at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and as the Education Co-ordinator at the Royal Shakespeare Company. A graduate of Theatre, Film and Television Studies from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Gemma has over ten years experience in working as a theatre professional in Wales.

Deborah Martell Powell is based in the Vale of Glamorgan. Deborah has worked in a professional services environment for nearly 20 years in business consulting and internal leadership roles. She is currently a director working with the international audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG' and has operated in both UK and European environments. Prior to joining KPMG, Deborah lectured in business strategy at the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Judi Richards currently works for Cardiff Council as Arts Manager. Judi has had an extensive career in the theatre, arts and media. Cardiff-born, she is a drama graduate of the Royal Welsh College and Music and Drama. During her career, Judi has worked with the Mid-Western Theatre Company in the US, the Royal Academy of Dancing and the Daily Express in London before returning to Wales where she has worked as Manager of the Sherman Theatre and General Manger of the New Theatre Cardiff.

Professor Peter Stead is a freelance writer and broadcaster who was a member of the History Department at Swansea University from 1966-97 and was subsequently a Visiting Professor at the University of Glamorgan. He is the author of 'Film and the Working Class:The Feature Film in British and American Society' and biographical studies of Richard Burton and Dennis Potter. For the University of Wales Press he published 'Acting Wales', an analysis of the Welsh acting tradition.

The Board will hold its first meeting on March 17 2008. Phil George commented on the next crucial stage in the development of the new theatre:

"We now face the hugely important task of finding the right artistic leader for the company".
 
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