Dan Bates, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres, to take a short sabbatical

Sheffield Theatres Chief Executive, Dan Bates, will take a short sabbatical to explore opportunities for the company in the Far East.

The sabbatical, which has been part-funded by the Arts Council and British Council’s Artists’ International Development Fund, will provide an opportunity for Bates to explore international collaborations for the Theatres as well as meeting with industry leaders to share and gather best practice.

Bates plans to forge new cultural links, developing creative partnerships and opportunities for international touring and transfers. His journey will begin in Singapore where he will be based at The Esplanade, working alongside Benson Puah’s (CEO) team. He then continues on to Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and South Korea, ending in Australia.  He will be meeting with industry leaders at West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, Melbourne Arts Centre, the National Taichung Theater in Taiwan and Seoul Arts Centre.

Dan Bates will take his leave from mid-February, returning to Sheffield Theatres at the beginning of June. During the interim Claire Murray, currently Communications & Fundraising Director, will assume the role of Chief Executive.

Dan Bates commented:

‘After 30 years of producing theatre across Yorkshire and eight years leading Sheffield Theatres, this feels like the right time to take stock and look further afield for inspiration. We have enjoyed tremendous success as a company, and as Rob begins his second season as Artistic Director, I feel we are in an excellent position to pursue our international ambitions.

‘I spent a short time with one of my counterparts in Singapore last March and found their approach both fascinating and invigorating. It's vital that we, as a sector, seek to innovate and improve our practice, and I am excited by the shared learning that will result from this visit and how this can support our growth as an organisation.

‘I am so grateful to the Board for supporting me in pursuing this venture and to Rob, Claire and the senior team who will be looking after these very special theatres in my absence.’

Photo by Nigel Barker

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Sheffield Theatres is the largest theatre complex outside London. Across our three auditoria: the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Crucible Studio, we offer a huge variety of home-grown and touring productions, as well as a thriving programme of participatory events and activities.