Byre Theatre in St Andrews appoints Julie Ellen as new director

A new director has been appointed to leads the Byre Theatre in St Andrews.
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Julie Ellen takes over at the helm from Kally Lloyd-Jones and Jessica Richards who have jointly held the post since September 2019. The appointment was announced by the University of St Andrews which runs the long-established theatre.

Julie joins the team following a term as artistic director and chief executive of Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling. She was also the first artistic director of The Beacon, and the founding creative director of Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, following spells as producer for Suspect Culture and Theatre Centre, London.She brings a wealth of experience at the helm of venues and organisations, and as a theatre director, as well as running a significant cultural organisation in a university environment.

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Julie said: “I am very excited at being appointed as director. The team and board have worked incredibly hard to present an amazingly busy and diverse programme to audiences from St Andrews and beyond, and I’m looking forward to working with them to take this much-loved institution to the next stage in its long history. This role also presents an opportunity to re-connect with St Andrews, a place like no other, which has a special place in my heart."

Julie Ellen is at the helm of the Byre Theatre in ST Andrews (Pic: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)Julie Ellen is at the helm of the Byre Theatre in ST Andrews (Pic: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)
Julie Ellen is at the helm of the Byre Theatre in ST Andrews (Pic: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

The outgoing joint directors have led the theatre through a significant period of change.

Kally said: “It was an incredibly difficult decision to leave the Byre but we each felt the need to make change in our lives. I will be returning to my creative work as a director and choreographer and Jess is pursuing a new path, following her passion for the outdoors. We will continue to live in the area and look forward to supporting the Byre in its next exciting chapter.

Professor Dame Sally Mapstone, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Julie’s deep knowledge of the sector, combined with her expertise, energy, and enthusiasm, are significant assets to the theatre, the university, and the town.”

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