Posted: 16 March 2021

Fin Kennedy to step down as Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company

Fin Kennedy. Photo by Phil Adams

Fin Kennedy, Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company, will step down from his post after seven years of service.

Fin joined Tamasha in 2013 as Co-Artistic Director with Sudha Bhuchar and took the helm from co- founders, Sudha and Kristine Landon-Smith in Spring 2015. An award-winning playwright, he went on to found the company’s flagship artist development offer, Tamasha Playwrights. A writer-led collective of emerging playwrights from diverse cultural backgrounds, Tamasha Playwrights has since provided a stepping-stone for many of Britain’s contemporary writers of colour, feeding talent into mainstream theatre and beyond, with alumni including Tuyen Do, Asif Khan, Sharmila Chauhan, Yolanda Mercy, Iman Qureshi, Amy Ng, Mina Barber, Rabiah Hussain, Yasmeen Khan, Guleraana Mir, Nyla Levy, Matilda Ibini, Ross Willis and Danusia Samal. Fin was Tamasha Associate Artist from 2010-11 where he developed Schoolwrights, the UK’s first playwrights-in-schools training scheme.

Fin worked as dramaturg on all Tamasha’s national tours and is creator/co-creator of various Tamasha community, education and advocacy projects including TAXI TALES (ARC Stockton, BBC 2), HEAR ME NOW (RichMix/Ovalhouse/RADA), LEILA & JUSTICE, INC. (Barbican Box 2018) and co-designed Tamasha’s producer training programme IGNITE (Derby Theatre/Dukes Lancaster/Belgrade Coventry/Mercury Colchester). In 2018 Fin brokered a new training programme for novelists of colour, in partnership with publishing multinational Hachette.

For Tamasha Fin co-wrote with Rabiah Hussain and Afsana Begum experimental digital project WE ARE SHADOWS: BRICK LANE (2019-20) but has otherwise concentrated on training and producing a new generation of exciting new playwrights and producers, whose presence and impact in the theatre industry will be felt for many years to come.

Fin Kennedy said: “It’s a wrench to move on from such a much-loved company and its close-knit community of awesome and inspiring artists. I joined Tamasha to be an enabler behind the scenes, training and launching a new generation, much as I had done in inner city schools. I was a producer, dramaturg and fundraiser, creating the circumstances for others to shine, for example, through multi- artist projects like Hear Me Now. I committed not to produce my own work, or direct Tamasha’s shows, something I’ve stuck to. However, our world is changing fast, and today, more than ever, there is an onus on those in positions of influence to check their privilege. In the past year, Tamasha’s board and I have been having a really positive and honest conversation, and we’re agreed that the time is right for a handover. I’m very proud of everything Tamasha and I have achieved together, and the company will always have a special place in my heart. But mostly I’m proud of the scores of new storytellers we’ve launched, and all that they’re achieving. Who gets to tell their stories really matters, and I swell with pride every time I hear a Tamasha artist’s name discussed, see it on a flyer, or read it in a review. Tamasha is such an important portal into the industry, never more so than now.”

Deepa Patel, Chair of Tamasha’s Board of Trustees, added: It’s been a privilege and pleasure to work alongside Fin. His commitment to finding and nurturing new voices has been instrumental in developing Tamasha’s vision as the home for unheard stories. On behalf of the board and staff we thank him for his hard work and achievements during his time and wish him success in his future career. We will announce the details of our future leadership once they are finalised.

The appointment of a new Artistic Director will be made later this year.