We've appointed two new trustees to our board, following an open call for applicants aged 18-25. Carys Rose Thomas, a 22 year old recent Newcastle University graduate and 24 year old aspiring producer Danielle Oliver attended their first Northern Stage board meeting this month.

Chair of the Board Simon Elliott said, “Northern Stage is held in trust for all the people of the North East, and it’s important that the Board of Trustees is diverse in make-up and inclusive in its work, in order to better reflect the society we live in. In welcoming Danielle and Carys to the Board, we are embracing voices from an emerging generation, whose views and opinions may well be different and will certainly enrich all our work as Trustees. Northern Stage has gone from strength to strength in the last five years and we are so excited about the possibilities ahead.

A video was created to support the application process and there was an open workshop led by current trustees to explain what a trustee does and to give potential applicants the chance to chat to board members and ask questions.

Carys Rose Thomas said, “When I initially heard about the opportunity, it took a few hours of googling for me to even begin to get my head around the role. But through the application process I learnt a lot about what it is to be a trustee. Chair of the Board, Simon Elliott and the other trustees, as well as Kate (Denby - Executive Director), Lorne (Campbell - Artistic Director), and the rest of the team have been incredibly helpful and I look forward to the responsibility which comes with this role.

A recent Newcastle University English Literature graduate, Carys writes theatre criticism and reviews, and is passionate about accessibility within the arts. Her interest in Northern Stage was sparked during her degree, when she began reviewing shows for Newcastle University's student newspaper The Courier. Since graduating, Carys' interest in Northern Stage and what it brings to the theatre scene in the North East has continued. She is excited to channel that interest into her role as trustee, and hopes to both celebrate the good work Northern Stage do, whilst continuing to strive for the voices of underrepresented groups within theatre to be heard.

Danielle Oliver is a 24-year-old queer aspiring producer who lives in Newcastle and works in a box office. She studied Law at Durham University and, after contributing to 21 student productions and volunteering on 2 theatre committees, she graduated in 2017. Danielle believes her greatest life achievement has been caring for her family through illness, and is a passionate advocate for innovative accessibility within the arts. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to utilise her skills and experience to support Northern Stage’s mission.

Carys adds, “I hope more theatres follow Northern Stage's example in hiring young Trustees in efforts to diversify the voices within theatres. The key to making theatre accessible is listening to the voices of those who are marginalised within the theatre world. I hope that I will be able to bring a fresh perspective to Northern Stage's board, and amplify the voices of other marginalised groups who cannot speak for myself.

Photo credit: Topher McGrillis