The multi award-winning director and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah will succeed incumbent Young Vic Artistic Director David Lan from February 2018, it has been announced.
Kwame, the outgoing Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage whose credits also include New York’s Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, will announce his first season of work as Artistic Director in the new year.
The exciting appointment sees him follow in the footsteps of Lan, who earlier this year announced he would be stepping down in 2018 after 18 years in the role.
Kwame’s recent production of One Night In Miami… at the Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. His works as playwright include One Love (Birmingham Rep), Marley, and Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), and he served as the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010-15, being awarded an OBE in 2012 for Services to Drama.
Kwame Kwei-Armah in rehearsals at the Olivier Awards 2017 with Mastercard (Photo: David Levene)
Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared. But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started.”
Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Young Vic Board, says: “After meeting Kwame the panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint him as the next leader for this remarkable institution. Kwame’s wealth of experience directing, writing and working with the local community in Baltimore and beyond will translate beautifully to his new role leading the work on the Young Vic’s three stages as well as its pioneering outreach and education work in London.”
David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director, says: “The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world.”