We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Inga Hirst as their new Director of Creative Learning & Engagement. Inga most recently spent six years as Head of Learning and Participation for internationally renowned theatre company Frantic Assembly and joins the Exchange as a key member of the senior management team. Inga will help to shape the theatre’s future and continue the development of the Exchange’s ground-breaking learning and participation programme, which has delivered exceptional work in schools, created pioneering and sustainable community projects, developed an award-winning Young Company, formed an Elders Company, and delivered an Audience manifesto.

Inga said “I am delighted to be joining Sarah, Mark and the team at the Royal Exchange. Throughout my career I have been driven by a commitment to widen participation and engage the most marginalised in our communities. This is an incredible opportunity to lead the Creative Learning and Engagement department into a new phase and connect more diverse people and Greater Manchester communities with their world-class local theatre.” 

Inga has managed and delivered bold, engaging and high-quality arts participation programmes and departments for 13 years. For Frantic Assembly she developed the free training programme for young men, IGNITION, into a programme of national significance as well as increasing the company’s work with schools across the globe and establishing a new MA in Collaborative Theatre Making with Coventry University. Previous to this role Inga was Education Manager at artsdepot in North London. She was also one of the founders of disability theatre company Access All Areas and chair of the board for 7 years. 

Mark Dobson, Royal Exchange Executive Director said “We are delighted that Inga will be joining the team here, she is a dedicated and visionary practitioner and has an intrinsic knowledge of what drives and sustains relationships between arts organisation and their communities. We look forward to exploring the next evolution of our Creative Learning & Engagement programme with her.”

This new role follows the departure of the theatre’s Director of Engagement Amanda Dalton, who for the past 20 years has inspired an innovative programme of creative participation throughout the organisation and across Greater Manchester. We are delighted that she will remain part of the theatre’s future as an Associate Artist.