Kwame Kwei-Armah Announced as New Artistic Director for Young Vic

by Michael Eddy
Kwame Kwei-Armah
Kwame Kwei-Armah

The UK’s Young Vic announces that Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018. Kwei-Armah will succeed David Lan further to the announcement that he would be stepping down in 2018 after 18 years in the role. Kwei-Armah will announce his first season of work as Artistic Director in the new year.

“After meeting Kwame the panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint him as the next leader for this remarkable institution,” says Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Board. “Kwame’s wealth of experience directing, writing and working with the local community in Baltimore and beyond will translate beautifully to his new role leading the work on the Young Vic’s three stages as well as its pioneering outreach and education work in London.”

David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director, says: “The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world.”

Kwei-Armah, an award-winning director and playwright and the outgoing Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage where he directed extensively. Directing credits also include New York’s Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. His production of One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play.

His works as playwright include One Love (Birmingham Rep), MarleyBeneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), Elmina’s KitchenFix UpStatement of Regret (National Theatre) and Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010-15, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.

“To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared,” says Kwei-Armah. “But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started.”

Further information from the Young Vic: