New executive director is unveiled at Chichester Festival Theatre

Kathy Bourne, Executive Director at Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo credit CFT
Kathy Bourne, Executive Director at Chichester Festival Theatre. Photo credit CFT

Chichester Festival Theatre has appointed Kathy Bourne as its executive director in a return to the venue.

The appointment was announced by CFT board chairman Sir William Castell.

Kathy Bourne is currently executive producer at Jonathan Church Productions. Church was the CFT’s artistic director for ten years.

From 2006-2015, she was associate and festival producer at Chichester Festival Theatre where she was responsible for managing over 75 productions. She will take up her new post in May, sharing the leadership of the theatre with artistic director Daniel Evans.

Sir William said: ‘The board and I are delighted that Kathy Bourne will become executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre. Kathy is a superb theatre producer with extensive experience in both the subsidised and commercial sectors. She dedicated many years to working at CFT bringing outstanding shows such as Gypsy and Young Chekhov to fruition. As a long-time Sussex resident, she and her family are also deeply connected to our local community. I look forward with keen anticipation and confidence to her new partnership with artistic director Daniel Evans.’

Kathy Bourne said: ‘I am thrilled to be re-joining Chichester Festival Theatre as executive director. It is an honour to be given the opportunity to work alongside Daniel and the incredibly-talented Chichester team to continue to build on the success of this exemplary theatre. I wholeheartedly share their exciting vision for the future, which I look forward to developing and delivering alongside them in the years to come.’

Daniel Evans added: “I couldn’t be happier that Kathy is returning to the Festival Theatre in this role. Over her previous time working at CFT, she earned the respect and affection of our artists and staff, as well as many of our partners in our city and region; and she has myriad admirers in the wider theatre industry. I am so excited to start a new chapter working alongside her.”

Kathy Bourne has over 30 years’ experience working in theatre. As associate and festival producer at Chichester Festival Theatre between 2006 and 2015, she managed over 75 shows, as well as CFT productions on tour. She was lead producer for the Children’s Touring Partnership on tours of Goodnight Mr Tom, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Swallows and Amazons and Running Wild with co-producers Fiery Angel. She also oversaw many of CFT’s transfers into the West End including The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. As Head of HR, Kathy launched CFT’s apprenticeship scheme, offering young people formal training in areas including technical, producing and education.

In 2015 she left Chichester to join Jonathan Church Productions where she manages all business matters for the company, producing shows in the West End including Frozen, Pressure and Misty, as well as productions internationally and on tour.

Prior to Chichester, she was producer at Spymonkey; head of the theatre division at Tiger Aspect; General Manager of Tamasha Theatre Company; and development and events manager at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Kathy Bourne replaces Rachel Tackley who stepped down as executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre at the end of the Festival season last year.

In a statement she said: “After working with Daniel Evans to produce two hugely successful festivals, I have decided to step down at the end of Festival 2018. I have loved being part of Chichester Festival Theatre, and it has been thrilling to drive the Theatre forward to its next chapter. However, despite our achievements over the last two years, Daniel and I agree that our differing leadership styles are not the right combination for the Theatre at this point. I have therefore decided that the time is right for me to step down.”

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