SDUK announces new Exec Director

Last year Piers Haggard decided to step down as CEO of SDUK. Having set up the organisation Piers had always intended to hand over once SDUK was in a strong and stable position.

The board have chosen a model that adheres to our tag line ‘By Directors, for Directors’ in order to best achieve SDUK’s current aims. Just as we were set up by a director, it was clear that SDUK should be run by a working director, someone who understands all aspects of the industry, and understands the challenges directors currently face.

Thomas Hescott is a founding member of SDUK, and has sat on the board since the organization was formed and he has played an major part in SDUK’s campaigns. He is currently writing the director training and career development report commissioned by RADA, the National Theatre and Old Vic which will be published later this year.

Thomas takes on the new role of Executive Director, whilst SDUK’s administrator Liz Holmes is promoted to General Manager – a role more in line with the vital part she has played in the management of the organisation, and a role which will allow Thomas to continue his career as a freelance director alongside his responsibilities for SDUK.

Of his new appointment Thomas Hescott has said:

“I am delighted to be able to serve SDUK as the new Executive Director. Having been a part of SDUK from the beginning I have seen first hand what a difference this organization can make. I want to be a part of a diverse and vibrant industry which values access and equality within its workforce. I am excited to work in collaboration with theatres, trades unions, and other professional organizations to help support directors at every stage of their career”

SDUK co-chairs Kate Saxon and Jeremy Herrin:

“Piers Haggard’s work for SDUK has been fantastic. With Thomas Hescott and Liz Holmes working within a new structure, we will be able to keep fighting on behalf of stage directors, working towards better deals across the sector, and ensuring a broad access to the profession.”

Piers Haggard:

“Setting up Stage Directors UK has been at least as much fun as many TV productions that I have done, and I am hugely proud of all we’ve achieved in just over two years. Thomas Hescott is a perfect choice to take SDUK on to even greater heights, and I will be there right behind him.”