Searchlight congratulates Soulpepper Theatre on appointment of Emma Stenning as new Executive Director

Soulpepper is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Stenning as the Company’s new Executive Director.

Emma is currently Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic, where she has been leading the company, in partnership with Artistic Director Tom Morris, for the past nine years.  Under her tenure, the organisation has delivered a £25m redevelopment of its historic theatre, transformed its business model and re-established its profile on the regional, national and international stage. Previously, Emma was Head of Producing at Manchester International Festival, Head of Theatre for the London region of Arts Council England, a Cultural Programme Advisor for the 2012 Olympic Games, and Executive Director at Battersea Arts Centre.

Emma is a 2005 Clore Fellow, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Bristol University, Winner of the Clore Prize, and recognized by the Cultural Leadership Programme as a ‘Woman to Watch’. Emma has written about the importance of mentorship and embracing risk and innovation. Emma was chosen by the Search Committee for her collaborative leadership style, demonstrated ability to build relationships, and her breadth of experience with helping to elevate a local company to new global heights.


From Vanessa Morgan, Chair of the Board: “We received a lot of interest from many very talented people, from across Canada and abroad. With so much incredible talent, Emma was the committee’s unanimous first choice. There is no doubt in our mind that Emma, with her experience, her energy, and her track record of collaborating with diverse artists, arts workers, donors, and government bodies, while mentoring the next generation of arts leaders, represents an exciting future for Soulpepper. We didn’t go about looking outside of Canada – quite the opposite in fact. It is a testament to Soulpepper and Canadian theatre that we received so much interest from across Canada and abroad. Our responsibility was to find the best person for the job, and we believe Emma represents that.”

From Emma Stenning“Soulpepper is a world class theatre company; one that sits at the heart of a vibrant, creative city, I feel both thrilled and privileged to be joining the exceptional team here as the organisation starts to shape its next chapter, and excited beyond belief to be making Toronto my home. It’s been wonderful to spend some time at the Young Centre, beginning to get to know the community of staff, artists and supporters who, collectively, make up Soulpepper. I feel welcomed, inspired and energised, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Sara Rankin