It has today been announced that Sita McIntosh, former Chief Operating Officer of leading UK theatre website WhatsOnStage, has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Leicester’s Curve theatre.
A Curve Trustee since 2018 with over 34 years’ experience in UK theatre, McIntosh brings a wealth of knowledge across the sector, including working for West End, Off-West End and regional venues and ticketing agents. As part of her role at WhatsOnStage, McIntosh also co-produced the WhatsOnStage Awards, the largest publicly voted theatre awards in the UK.
In recent months, McIntosh has established Inclusive Audiences, an initiative committed to the development and diversification of audiences, which works with productions to cultivate audiences with historically low engagement with theatre.
McIntosh follows current Chair Ian Squires, who will step down following six years in post.
Speaking about the announcement, McIntosh said:
“Having joined the board at Curve almost four years ago and being part of the team through some exceptionally challenging times since then, I am thrilled and honoured to have been appointed Chair. I’m very excited to step into the enormous shoes left by Ian Squires and build on Curve’s extraordinary work and reputation already established by Chris and Nikolai.”
Over his tenure, Squires has overseen Curve’s most successful period to date, with the 2019 Made at Curve production of West Side Story bringing almost 50,000 people to the theatre and earning a raft of five-star reviews. He was also instrumental in guiding the theatre through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ian Squires said:
“It has been an enormous privilege to lead Curve as the chairman of its board for these last six years. We have a fine, talented and committed team that have produced the most extraordinary results. Who thought we could do better than West Side Story in 2019? Or top last year’s newspaper response to A Chorus Line – ‘Leicester: officially the home of world class theatre’? And now they’ have, they’ve done it again with a musical Billy Elliot beyond compare.
“But if life was all five-star reviews there’d be nothing to challenge us and challenges there have been (Covid-19 – I’m talking about you here) as well as the twists and turns that come upon the life of any theatre. Happily, with a united and clear-thinking board, smart management and brilliant creative skill we have come through. Curve is well-placed to fulfil its promise of becoming a theatre with a sustained national and international reputation based in a great regional city.
“Partings like these are always of ‘such sweet sorrow’ but I leave with the hugely experienced Sita McIntosh succeeding me, a refreshed and energetic board in place and the supremely gifted Chris Stafford and Nikolai Foster on the bridge. My thanks to all with whom I have shared the last half -dozen years. Take good care of the place and, above all, enjoy it.”
Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director, Arts Council England said:
“We are pleased to welcome Sita McIntosh as the new chair of Curve – I’m sure her knowledge gained as a board member and her wealth of experience in business, theatre and production will prove invaluable as she steps up to this new role.
“Sita’s commitment to audience development and diversity – and bringing theatre to audiences from all backgrounds – will be a great asset to Curve as it continues to produce, programme and tour bold and diverse work. I must also pay tribute to Ian Squires, as the departing Chair, whose dedication and work over the last six years has seen the theatre grow, adapt and enjoy great success.”
City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said:
“On behalf of our city, I am delighted to welcome Sita McIntosh as the new chair of Curve.
“Sita’s vast experience in theatre and her dedication to inclusivity perfectly place her to take the reins from Ian Squires who, over the last six years, has established Curve as a beacon of high-quality arts and cultural engagement in Leicester.
“I know Curve will be in safe hands with Sita at the helm and look forward to seeing Leicester’s much-loved theatre go from strength to strength over the coming years.”
McIntosh’s time as Chair will begin with the Made at Curve production of The Wizard of Oz. Directed by Nikolai Foster, the musical is set to be Curve’s most ambitious show to date. To find out more, visit www.curveonline.co.uk