We are thrilled to announce that Amit Sharma will join the Royal Exchange Theatre on an 18 month placement made possible by the Arts Council England’s Change Makers Fund.

The Change Makers Fund aims to increase the diversity of senior leadership in art and culture by helping to develop a cohort of leaders who are Black, minority ethnic and/or disabled by means of a targeted senior leadership training and development programme. Today the Exchange learnt that their application for Amit to be a second Associate Artistic Director, alongside Matthew Xia, had been successful and we are delighted that he will become part of our growing creative team from November 2016.

Sarah Frankcom, Royal Exchange Artistic Director, said...
‘We have been aware, and inspired by, Amit’s work for some time. From large-scale outdoor events to intimate studio shows, he has created some exceptional pieces of theatre which not only amaze theatrically but also challenge audiences and industry peers in their approaches to Access and Disability in the creative arts. We are thrilled that the Arts Council have also recognised Amit’s talent and awarded us this opportunity to work in collaboration with him. For the next 18months he will be a key part of our Senior Management Team developing his skills in a building based producing theatre and working closely with us to further develop our commitment to diversity in the arts. We are very excited that the Change Makers Fund has made this appointment possible.’

Amit Sharma 2Credit Matt Cetti Roberts 2

Amit has been Graeae’s Associate Director since 2011, and is a graduate from Graeae’s Missing Piece actor training course. His work has included traditional building-based performance and largescale outdoor events including PROMETHEUS AWAKES (La Fura dels Baus / co-commissioned by Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival), marking the first large-scale outdoor production to be artistically led by Deaf and disabled people in the UK. Most recently, Amit directed Jack Thorne’s new play THE SOLID LIFE OF SUGAR WATER (Graeae Theatre Company /Theatre Royal Plymouth).

AMIT commented
‘I’m delighted to have been offered the opportunity to work with such a powerhouse of British theatre and new talent. This cements the continuing relationship that has developed between Graeae and the Royal Exchange with both companies committed to placing diversity at the heart of what they do. I’m incredibly excited to have been selected as part of the Arts Council’s Change Makers programme and indebted to Graeae for giving me the platform to work with the Royal Exchange who have shown a huge desire in developing me as an artist. I can’t wait to get started on shaping the next chapter in my theatrical journey.’

Royal Exchange Executive Director MARK DOBSON said on getting the award...
‘Darren Henley, in his recent book, praised our commitment to diversity when he commented on how our work on stage truly reflected our city and the community around us. It is just as vital that this is true off-stage and at all levels of our Company. I’m thrilled that ACE has recognised our work in placing diversity at the centre of what we do and The Change Makers Funding will enable us to do this even more. Amit will join us as our second Associate Artistic Director and alongside Sarah Frankcom, Matthew Xia will champion diversity across all aspects of our work.’

ALISON CLARK, Director North, Arts Council England said...
“Our Change Makers programme is part of our commitment to ensuring that arts and culture across England reflects the diversity of our communities and I’m delighted that we have funded the Royal Exchange to work with Amit Sharma. I’m looking forward to seeing how the partnership develops through the next year and to seeing the resulting productions.”