Seven Dials Playhouse has developed a new Associate Artist Scheme, announcing its first two Associate Artists. The Scheme provides an opportunity for artists and creatives, working nationally and internationally, to engage with and collaborate on the organisation’s programmes. Seven Dials Playhouse has also introduced a new Artistic Policy to shape the organisation’s ongoing programmes, and this policy will form the basis of their new season of work.
The organisation’s debut Associate Artists are award-winning photographer Latoya Okuneye and dramaturg Somebody Jones – both creatives will work alongside the organisation as part of the scheme. Latoya (TikTok Black History Month billboard campaign) is a London-based photographer who will work to create photographic responses to the themes represented in the productions in the Main House. Playwright and dramaturg Somebody Jones (All My Friends Are Dead, Soho Theatre) is a Los Angeles native currently living in London, whose work celebrates and champions Black culture in all its charms and complexities. Somebody works primarily within the genres of horror, magic realism, verbatim and Black fantasy, and will provide dramaturgical support to writers whose work will be presented as part of Seven Dials Playhouse’s next season.
Seven Dials Playhouse’s mission is to be the West End’s creative home for the development of professional theatre and artists. The organisation creates opportunities for people to collaborate on bold, creative, high-quality work. The new Artistic Policy has a particular focus on new writing, as well as work by artists and creatives who offer fresh perspectives and new ways of thinking. The policy will form the basis of Seven Dials Playhouse’s new season of work, comprising theatre productions and an Associated Programme of professional development that responds to the themes of the productions in the Main House.
The Artistic Policy is non-prescriptive in terms of the career level of artists and creatives that Seven Dials Playhouse collaborates with, therefore industry standard definitions of ‘emerging versus established’ are not central to programming approaches.
Commenting on the Associate Artists and the new Artistic Policy, Amanda Davey, the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Seven Dials Playhouse, says, “We are particularly excited to welcome Latoya and Somebody as our organisation’s first Associate Artists, and we remain committed to collaborating with artists and creatives across every strand of our programme. This is a seminal moment for Seven Dials Playhouse as we prepare to launch our new season of work. After a year in operation, it felt right to reflect on the organisation and reinvigorate our artistic policy to set our stall, so to speak. We believe the new artistic policy clearly demonstrates our direction of travel.
Latoya Okuneye, Associate Artist at Seven Dials Playhouse, comments, “I am super excited to work with Seven Dials Playhouse, and I’m excited to bring my photography to a space where it’s not usually seen. I’m excited for the openness and freedom to create work geared towards our shared goal of championing unique stories.”
Somebody Jones, Associate Artist at Seven Dials Playhouse, comments, “I feel so fortunate and excited to have this opportunity to be part of Seven Dials Playhouse’s new chapter. The new season of plays will be electric, and I can’t wait to jump into the work.”
Steven Kavuma, Head of Programming added, I cannot wait to see the impact that Latoya and Somebody will make on our artistic programmes, and the sector as a whole. I am also looking forward to announcing our new season of work soon. More than ever, we need new writing; we need plays that are unapologetic, we need plays that ask big questions about the kind of society we live in, and we desperately need plays that are joyous and make us want to escape.
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