Gemma Bodinetz is to step down as artistic director at Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse theatres later this year.
During her 17-year tenure she has helped to contribute to Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture, built a Stirling Prize-winning theatre for the city and produced or directed dozens of productions.
“These have been an intense, passionate and extraordinary 17 years and I have been privileged to work with so many wonderful people in the best city in the world,” she said.
She explained that it was time to inject “fresh thinking and new energy” into the theatres.
“Last year we produced a new vision and business plan based on a commitment to create socially engaged, relevant theatre.
“The pandemic and world events have afforded the industry an opportunity for self-reflection and I too have thought long and hard about my role and what I think the most exciting future for the theatres might be when we come through all of this.
“After long and honest reflection I think now is the time for me to pass on the artistic leadership of the Everyman & Playhouse. I would be so proud if my ultimate legacy would be to help the theatres I love so much, engage with communities, audiences and artists with re-invigorated passion and fresh thinking.”
“It is with a heavy heart that we both respect and have accepted Gemma’s decision,” said LMTT chair, Andrea Nixon. “We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to her for her inspirational leadership in making the Everyman & Playhouse the brilliant theatres we know and love today.”
Gemma directed 24 productions herself and produced over 70 world premieres, many by new Liverpool writers. Among the most notable was her collaboration with Roger McGough on a trilogy of Molière plays; winning an Amnesty award for freedom of expression with Unprotected; closing the old Everyman with Macbeth and a triumphant re-opening with Twelfth Night; and the reimagining of the Everyman Repertory Company which included success in refreshing musicals Fiddler on the Roof and Paint Your Wagon and casting the first-ever, award-winning female Othello. As well as personal awards the theatres have won numerous awards, and Gemma has twice been Merseyside Woman of the Year