Tributes as theatre’s chief executive opts for change of scenery

SHEENA WRIGLEY, the chief executive at West Yorkshire Playhouse for the last six years, is to leave the Leeds theatre.

Sheena Wrigley with former artistic director of West Yorkshire Playhouse Ian Brown
Sheena Wrigley with former artistic director of West Yorkshire Playhouse Ian Brown

She will join Manchester’s new cultural venue HOME as its executive director.

Playhouse artistic director James Brining said: “We are sad to see Sheena leave the Playhouse; she is committed and talented and has contributed hugely to the development of our organisation.

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“She has been a leading voice for the importance of public funding for arts and cultural organisations and has helped to strengthen the foundations of this theatre.”

He added: “We send our congratulations to HOME as they begin their journey as a new arts venue and look forward to a continuing relationship with Sheena in her new role.”

Ms Wrigley joined the Playhouse in 2008. She has navigated the organisation through the intricacies of both government and local authority funding cuts and was instrumental in Mr Brining’s appointment.

She also played a key role in regenerating the board and redeveloping and revitalising the theatre. She leaves the Playhouse in a period of growth.

Ms Wrigley said: “It has been a privilege to be a part of West Yorkshire Playhouse for the last six and a half years.

“I leave excited by the work that we’re producing and the artistic collaborations we’re now part of.

“I’m proud of the journey our talented, energetic and dedicated staff, board and management have taken in revitalising the 
theatre and making West Yorkshire Playhouse one of the UK’s most pioneering producing theatres.

“We have achieved ambitious change during what has been a challenging time for the arts.”

She added: “I am grateful for their support, to the artists who have inspired and challenged us and to our major funders for 
their continued faith in our endeavour.”

During the past six years Ms Wrigley has worked closely with the theatre’s board to secure future plans for the Playhouse.

Sir Rodney Brooke, chairman of the Playhouse board, said: “She will be an enormous loss to West Yorkshire Playhouse.”