The Board of Pentabus Theatre Company are delighted to announce the appointment of Sophie Motley as the company’s new Artistic Director. Sophie will succeed Elizabeth Freestone who, after five years at the helm, leaves the company in January 2017 to pursue freelance opportunities.
Sophie Motley grew up in South Shropshire and has been based in Ireland since 2002. She studied at the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College, Dublin, and trained on Rough Magic's SEEDS 3 and the National Theatre Studio Director's Programme. She is currently co-Artistic Director of WillFredd Theatre and Associate Director of Rough Magic in Dublin. Recent Directing work includes Millions of Years (ENO Baylis) BEES!, Jockey, CARE, FOLLOW, FARM, (WillFredd Theatre), Tejas Verdes, Vincent River (Prime Cut) The Sleeping Queen (Wexford Festival Opera), Everything Between Us, Plaza Suite (Rough Magic). As Associate Director Sophie has worked on The Last Hotel (Landmark Productions/Wide Open Opera). Sophie works regularly with Dutch composer Michel van Der Aa, most recently as dramaturg on Blankout (Dutch National Opera). She was Staff Director at English National Opera and Resident Assistant Director at the Abbey Theatre.
Pentabus Chair Ros Robins said:
“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sophie Motley as the new Artistic Director of Pentabus. Pentabus has a long tradition of appointing talented young directors and we are confident that Sophie will continue to build on the extraordinary success of the company under Elizabeth’s Freestone’s leadership. Sophie brings a wealth of experience of creating theatre with and for rural audiences and we look forward to her joining the company at the beginning of 2017. In announcing Sophie's appointment we would also like to pay tribute to the extraordinary contribution made by Elizabeth to Pentabus’ success in recent years. She has been a great advocate for rural theatre across the UK, has created excellent and inspiring work and has led the company with great professionalism. We wish her all the best for the future.”
On taking up the role Sophie said:
“I am thrilled to be coming home to Shropshire to work with Pentabus. I can't wait to build on the company's legacy and reputation for excellence, to explore new forms of theatre making and connect with more audiences both around the UK and internationally. Rural issues are at the centre of my practice as a theatre maker and the opportunity to question, engage with and celebrate rural people and stories is a new and exciting challenge. Elizabeth makes brilliant theatre and has led important national conversations about rural theatre making and excellence, I look forward to building on this vision."
Outgoing Artistic Director Elizabeth Freestone said:
"I'm so pleased Sophie is taking over as Artistic Director. She's an inventive and classy theatre maker, and the rural world runs in her blood. I know she'll lead the company with ambition and openness, reaching and in dialogue with rural artists and audiences everywhere. I've had an amazing time working at Pentabus with its incredible team, supportive Board and wonderful audiences. I wish Sophie all the best for this exciting next stage of the company's life."
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