Sheffield Theatre: Artistic Director Robert Hastie appoints new associates

Robert Hastie

Robert Hastie

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, Robert Hastie, today announced the appointment of three new Associates for the company – Javaad Alipoor, Artistic Director of Bradford based Northern Lines; award-winning director Caroline Steinbeis, and leading casting director Wendy Spon, also renewing her association with the company for whom she was previously Head of Casting.

Hastie said today, “Javaad and Caroline are two of the country’s most exciting young directing talents, working in ways that will stretch and inspire Sheffield Theatres. Wendy has one of the wisest and most generous theatre heads I know, with a love and knowledge of actors that is second to none. It’s wonderful to have her return to Sheffield as Creative Associate alongside her work at the National Theatre, and to welcome Javaad and Caroline as Associate Directors. All three will play important roles in helping to shape the future of Sheffield Theatres.”

 Javaad Alipoor is a writer and theatre director. He joins the company as Resident Associate Director, combining his associateship with his Arts Council funded role as part of the Change Makers Programme. As Artistic Director of Northern Lines he works within hard-to-reach communities to make high quality professional practice shows that respond to big international political questions for theatre and non-theatre spaces. His latest work, Believers Are But Brothers examines violence, masculinity and extremism (supported by HOME, National Theatre Studio, Ovalhouse, TRANSFORM Festival and Theatre in the Mill) plays at Oval House on 7 and 8 April and TRANSFORM in Leeds on 20 and 21 April. Previous work includes Orgreave: An English Civil War, about the Miners’ Strike and the Arab Spring and My Brother’s Country – about murdered Iranian pop icon Fereydoun Farrokhzad.

Caroline Steinbeis was the recipient of the 2009 JMK Award. She was previously on attachment at the National Theatre and in 2008 completed the Director’s Course at the NT Studio. ‘She was International Associate at the Royal Court under Dominic Cooke, developing and directing workshops and new plays from all over the world. As a director, her credits include Edward II (Arts Theatre, Cambridge), The Tempest (Royal and Derngate), The Crucible, Brilliant Adventures (Royal Exchange), We Want You to Watch (National Theatre), The Broken Heart(Shakespeare’s Globe), Show 6 of Secret Theatre (Lyric Hammersmith), Talk Show, Mint, A Time to Reap(Royal Court), Earthquakes in London (National Theatre as Associate, and the UK tour director), Fatherland(Gate Theatre and Radical Jung Festival, Munich), and Mad Forest (BAC for which she won the 2009 JMK Award).

Wendy Spon returns to Sheffield Theatres, where she was previously Head of Casting. She is currently Head of Casting at the National Theatre – a role she has held since 2006. Her other roles have included Deputy Head of Casting, National Theatre, and Head of Casting, talkbackTHAMES Studios. Her freelance work includes casting for the Young Vic, Almeida Theatre, Playful Productions and Angel Eye Television for Channel 4. In 2014 she cast the film of London Road for Cuba Pictures.