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New Artistic Director announced for Bristol Old Vic

Nancy Medina

Bristol Old Vic today announces that Nancy Medina is appointed as the company’s new Artistic Director. Medina takes up the role full-time in spring 2023 and follows Tom Morris who is stepping down after 12 years in the role.

As a director, her recent credits include Moreno (Theatre503), Trouble in Mind (National Theatre), Two Trains Running (Royal & Derngate/ETT), Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre), The Half God of Rainfall (Kiln Theatre/Fuel/Birmingham Rep), and Yellowman (Young Vic). Her forthcoming production of the world première of The Darkest Part of the Night by Zodwa Nyoni opens at Kiln Theatre on 14 July.

Nancy Medina said today, “I feel a great sense of awe and excitement to be embarking on a journey that will contribute to the great legacy of leading England’s oldest working theatre. I feel gratitude to be joining the amazing team at Bristol Old Vic and to further the outstanding work that Tom and Charlotte have initiated for excellence in creativity, innovation, artist development and engagement with the wider city of Bristol.

“I have lived in Bristol for 14 years, have grown as a person, as an artist, and I am happily raising my children here. It will be a great honour to listen, reflect, and engage with the people of Bristol and together imagine what the future of theatre and the arts can be in this shining city of the South West.”

Bernard Donoghue, Chair, Bristol Old Vic, commented, “I am absolutely delighted that Nancy Medina will be joining Bristol Old Vic as our next Artistic Director and Joint CEO.

“We were humbled to have had an astonishing calibre of candidates apply for this role, which reflects the strength of Bristol Old Vic, its place in UK and international theatre, and the legacy and achievements of Tom Morris over the last 12 years.

“Nancy is an inspiring visionary, a highly accomplished and award-winning director, and a passionate advocate for Bristol. Her commitment to our ambitions for Bristol Old Vic to be a producing powerhouse, an important civic space for Bristol and the region, and being an accomplice in the work on social justice, diversity, inclusion and equality is clear in everything she does.

“The Board, the executive team, our partners, stakeholders and I look forward to working with her in this next exciting chapter of the theatre’s life.”

Sado Jirde, Vice Chair, Bristol Old Vic, added, “I am delighted that we have appointed Nancy to the role of Artistic Director at Bristol Old Vic. She has worked nationally and internationally to produce plays that engage and enthral audiences from all walks of society. She is passionate about producing accessible and truthful theatre and we are extremely excited to be working with her.

“At a time in which institutions across the country are looking at the challenging legacies of our history, for Bristol Old Vic to appoint a highly talented Black Latinx woman as Artistic Director provides a real opportunity to effect real change in how we express the multiplicity of British identities, experiences, and histories. This is a significant moment in the story of the organisation and of Bristol’s cultural sector and Bristol Old Vic is delighted to be at the forefront of this work.”

Tom Morris, outgoing Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic, stated, “This is a brilliant appointment made by an outstanding board through a groundbreaking and incisive process. Nancy is a landmark director at the height of her powers and a visionary creative leader. Through her own rehearsal rooms and the extraordinary achievement of setting up the Bristol School of Acting, she has established an unmatched reputation in combining radical change with artistic excellence. This combination is precious and rare.

“To survive and flourish over the next decades, British theatre is going to have to change and that will need outstanding leadership. Through this appointment, Bristol Old Vic has put itself in the best possible position to be in the vanguard of that process.”

Nancy Medina is the recipient of the following awards – 2020/2021 Peter Hall Bursary (National Theatre), 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award (Royal & Derngate/English Touring Theatre), 2017 Genesis Future Director Award (Young Vic) and 2014 Emerging Director’s Prize (Tobacco Factory Theatres).

Her credits include Moreno (Theatre503), Trouble in Mind (National Theatre), The Half God Of Rainfall (Fuel/Birmingham Rep/Kiln Theatre) The Laramie Project (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), Two Trains Running (Royal & Derngate/ETT/RTST), Strange Fruit (Bush Theatre), Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low (NT Connections/Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It (GB Theatre), Curried Goat And Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate, Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence Of Memory (Rondo Theatre).

She is a visiting director at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Joint Artistic Director of the Bristol School of Acting.