Rachael Thomas appointed as Executive Director at Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre is delighted to announce the appointment of Rachael Thomas as  its new Executive Director (Finance & Commercial).

Rachael Thomas
Racheal Thomas

Rachael, who will take up her position at the Theatre at the end of November, is  currently the Castle Development Manager for Lincoln Castle, part of Lincolnshire  County Council.  Over the last 3 years, Rachael has project managed the delivery of  Lincoln Castle Revealed, a £22 million pound restoration and re-interpretation of  the castle and a brand new heritage visitor experience funded by the Heritage  Lottery Fund, LCC, European Regional Development Fund and the David Ross Foundation. The new-look castle opened in April this year, and has been a huge success, meeting its year one targets in just four months.  As home to an original 1215 Magna Carta, the castle played a key role in Lincoln’s 800th anniversary celebrations over the summer including an Arts Council funded programme of cultural events over the year and large scale outdoor concerts and events.  The castle has won many awards since opening including Runner Up in the National Lottery Awards.

Prior to working for Lincoln Castle, Rachael worked for ten years at Nottingham Playhouse as Head of Finance & Business Development, Head of Finance and Head of Finance & Administration.  Whist working part time at the Playhouse, Rachael also spent time working freelance as a business development consultant at the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham.

Before working for Nottingham Playhouse, Rachael’s earlier, previous roles have included Director of Phoenix Arts in Leicester, Director of the Merlin Theatre in Somerset, Programmer for Chisenhale Dance Space, as well as working for Sadler’s Wells.   Rachael has also sat on the Board for Ticketing Network and Theatre Writing Partnership and now sits on the Board for Lincoln Drill Hall.

Rachael’s career in the cultural sector to date has spanned 20 years, 17 years within the arts and 3 years in the heritage and museums sector.

Rachael’s role at Derby Theatre will involve her managing and developing the financial strategy and business plan for the Theatre, in line with its artistic vision. Rachael will work closely with Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, and she will be a member of the Theatre’s Senior Management Team.  Rachael will also lead on the strategic management of all organisational aspects including human resources, marketing, finance, production and administration.

Rachael said: “I’m delighted to have been offered the post of Executive Director and am looking forward to joining Sarah and the team at such an exciting time in the Theatre’s development.  The unique ‘Learning Theatre’ model that’s being pioneered with the University of Derby is visionary and ground-breaking; it represents a huge opportunity for the Theatre and University and could become something of a blueprint for the wider sector.  I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead enormously.”

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Derby Theatre) said:  “I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Rachael to the Theatre’s Senior Management Team.  She has worked in a number of senior roles for arts and cultural organisations across the UK developing a significant breadth of experience within the sector. As the producing theatre in the heart of Derby, our audiences are continuing to grow and with it, our reputation. I am confident that Rachael, with her wealth of experience and knowledge, will be a key and integral member of the team, helping us to take our vision forward. We very much look forward to her joining us.”

Rachael will take up her role at Derby Theatre on Mon 30 November.

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