Disabled writer, performer and activist Richard Boggie, Executive Director and Joint CEO of the Gate Theatre Shawab Iqbal, and Ash Mann, Managing Director of international digital agency specialising in the arts and culture sectors, Substrakt, have been appointed to our Board of Trustees at Northern Stage, following an open call for new members. 

As a registered charity, the board is responsible for the governance of Northern Stage, working closely with Joint Chief Executives Natalie Ibu and Kate Denby to ensure the company delivers on its mission - theatre from the North East, theatre for everyone; and that it is effectively and properly run.

Simon Elliott, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Northern Stage said,

It is a pleasure to welcome our three new Trustees.  Not only do they bring invaluable skills and experience, they also help us in our journey to ensure the Board reflects the communities that we serve.  Northern Stage now has the most diverse Board that it has ever had, and the journey continues.

Richard Boggie is a disabled writer, performer and activist from Newcastle. Richard graduated from Newcastle University and his professional background is in HR gained over 30 years in utilities and higher education. He is now the Development Manager of Difference North East, a charity that campaigns for disability equality in our region. He is well known for his poetry performances as Bogsey and is an emerging playwright. Richard identifies as disabled due to a genetic eye condition, and is waiting for a new guide dog. When he’s not working or writing he enjoys playing the ukulele and running. But not at the same time. Richard says,

I am delighted to be joining Northern Stage. I am passionate about theatre and the arts and want to help ensure that Northern Stage is a place for everyone.

Shawab Iqbal has spent over a decade working across theatre and dance. He is currently Executive Director and Joint CEO at the Gate Theatre. Shawab is also Vice Chair of Tamasha Theatre, Senior Associate at the Bush Theatre, sits on the Arts Council’s London Area Council as a Mayor of London appointment, and is a member of the Arts Council's Race Advisory Group. Prior to this, Shawab was Executive Producer at Eclipse Theatre, Learning and Participation Producer at Boy Blue, Producer at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Administrator at New Adventures, as well as building an extensive freelance portfolio working with both established and emerging artists. He is a former independent governor at Newham Sixth Form College, where he sat on the Audit and Scrutiny Committee and was the lead for equality and diversity. Shawab is also a qualified teacher and former ChildLine counsellor. He was also the co-founder of the #AllofUs campaign, designed to support Black, Asian and ethnically diverse arts workers who have been made redundant due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ash Mann is the Managing Director of Substrakt, a digital agency who design and build digital products and services for cultural organisations in Europe, Australasia and North America. Over the past two decades Ash has also worked in digital roles in-house at arts, charity and higher education organisations. He is particularly interested in working with organisations to interrogate the thinking that underpins their digital activity to ensure they are delivering experiences and services that work for both their audiences and their business. In early 2021, Ash founded the Tech in Culture EDI Alliance, a peer-to-peer network that looks to identify, explore and embed good practice around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in organisations working with the cultural sector. Since 2016 Ash has produced the Digital Works programme of content and events which examines all of the many things that digital could and should mean for the cultural sector.

Richard, Shawab and Ash join Carys Rose Thomas and Danielle Oliver who were appointed following an open call for young trustees aged 18-25, alongside chair Simon Elliott and Natalia Blagburn, Anne Bonner, Laura Collier, Andrew Killey. Vikas Kumar. Jemima Levick, Charles Penn, Prof. Julie Sanders and Tim Smith.

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