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Posted on 22 August 2013

We have new leadership for Belgrade’s Community & Education Company?

This September Claire Simpson will be joining the team at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre as General Manager of the Belgrade Community & Education Company, where she will work alongside Associate Director Justine Themen when she returns from the prestigious Clore Fellowship Programme.

Claire Simpson comes to the Belgrade with seven years experience in managerial roles for producing theatre companies. Since 2010 she has been General Manager at award-winning touring theatre company Paines Plough, during which time the company significantly increased its artistic output, producing around 10 productions per year. Claire said,

I’m thrilled to be joining the Community & Education Company at the Belgrade. It will be a great privilege to work with this renowned company, where Theatre in Education was founded almost 50 years ago, and to play a part in continuing its legacy. I am very much looking forward to working with Associate Director Justine Themen in delivering a varied and dynamic programme of arts activities for the young people and communities of Coventry.

Claire’s arrival at the Belgrade Community & Education Company coincides with the return of Associate Director Justine Themen, following a sabbatical year as a Fellow on the influential Clore Leadership Programme.

The Clore Fellowship Programme was set up 10 years ago to develop leadership talent in the cultural sector. The Fellowship comprises workshops and talks from some of the country’s top cultural leaders, complementing training in, amongst other things, leadership, finance, governance, communications & cultural diplomacy.

Justine has spent four months of the Fellowship on a secondment at the National Theatre, where she conducted research into opportunities for developing the National Theatre Studio programme for nurturing innovative new work. She was also involved in a collaborative learning enquiry for the Gulbenkian Trust, looking into best practice in participatory arts and she has been mentored by Michael Boyd, former Artistic Director of the RSC.

The Belgrade Community & Education Company is currently developing a two year programme to mark the 50th Anniversary of Theatre in Education at the Belgrade in 2015.

You can find out more about the Belgrade Theatre Trust (Coventry) Limited and how you can support the Belgrade Theatre by visiting the Support Us pages of our website.

The Belgrade Theatre Trust (Coventry) Ltd is a registered charity (No 219163), so all of the money raised and earned by the theatre is reinvested in the services it provides to the local community. Amongst other things, these services include, creating and staging high quality productions on the Main Stage and in B2, working with local communities and young people, many of whom are at risk of social and/or educational exclusion via the Community & Education Company and developing the careers of young people who want to work in the arts.