Journal and News

Independent Theatre Council elects new Co-Chairs and Scotland-based Vice Chair

(Left to right: Ria Parry, Dougie Irvine, Keisha Thompson)

The Independent Theatre Council (Management Association and Representative body for 500 Independent and smaller scale Performing Arts organizations and practitioners) at its AGM today announced new Co-Chairs and a new Scotland-based Vice Chair.

The ITC Board is made up of 15 arts leaders of ITC member companies, elected by the ITC membership.

ITC’s current Chair Gareth Nicholls  (Artistic Director of Little Earthquake Theatre Company Birmingham) stands down after 6 years on the ITC Board and 2 years as Chair.

New Co-Chairs will be:

Ria Parry (CEO of North Wall Oxford) and Keisha Thompson (former CEO of Contact Manchester and Independent Artistic Director)

Vice Chair will be Dougie Irvine (Artistic Director of Visible Fictions Glasgow)

Ria Parry said:

‘I am delighted to take on the role of Co-Chair of the Independent Theatre Council with Keisha Thompson. The ITC team work tirelessly on behalf of the independent sector, providing hugely needed support, advice and hope for artists and companies managing the complexities of our industry. I look forward to joining them as we navigate the challenges of the next few years.’

Keisha Thompson said:

‘It is an honour to step up as Co-Chair with the brilliant, Ria Parry, for ITC. It is such a pivotal time for this sector and I am keen to do my best to be an advocate for those running organisations and freelancers. Our predecessor, Gareth, did a brilliant job as Chair. I’m looking forward to carrying on the momentum.’

Dougie Irvine said:

‘I’m delighted and honoured to serve the independent theatre community with this appointment – and to help ITC flourish and continue with the great work that it has done over the past 50 years. The ITC has always led by the finest of examples – supporting companies, artists and creative personnel – and I look forward to giving something back to the organisation that has been so important in the development of my own company’s ethical and professional journey.’

Gareth Nicholls (Out-going Chair) said:

‘It has been a privilege to support ITC as a board member, Vice Chair and Chair over the last six years. Throughout some of the most challenging times our precious sector has faced, ITC has found the resources, energy and clarity of thought to help protect the well-being and working conditions of our members and those our members employ. As we all continue to face such turbulent times, I strongly believe ITC is needed now more than ever, and I’m so pleased to be leaving the board in the brilliant hands of new Co-Chairs Ria Parry and Keisha Thompson, and new Vice-Chair Dougie Irvine. All three are hugely inspiring cultural leaders and advocates for our sector who care deeply for our members. 

It is important to acknowledge that any organisation is only as strong as the people within it, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Charlotte, Zoe, Rachel, Jackie, Kevin and Fred for all of their unwavering hard work. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to the members of our board who continue to dedicate their time to nurturing ITC with the utmost care, generosity, diligence and respect.

Finally, I’d like to thank our members. I know for many independent organisations and producers, the greatest challenge you face right now is simply surviving. But know that your work is important and valuable, even if it doesn’t always feel like it is treated with the respect it deserves. Find moments of joy and connection where you can and celebrate all that you achieve, knowing that ITC is here to support you whenever you need them.’

Charlotte Jones (CEO ITC) said:

‘The Independent sector faces huge challenges and the ITC Board is a strong resource for advocacy, profile-raising and providing wisdom and ideas. The role of Chair crucial in convening and harnessing the power of the board. I look forward to working with Ria, Keisha and Dougie in supporting the work and raising the voice of performing arts companies throughout the UK.’

See ITC’s full board here

ITC is a community of over 450 performing arts companies and producers. Join us to take advantage of the considerable benefits that we offer our members.

Join us