Suba Das, currently associate director of the Curve, Leicester, has been appointed as the next artistic director of HighTide.
Das joins HighTide in early 2019 and will work alongside Steven Atkinson, co-founder and artistic director of the company for 12 years, until Atkinson departs after curating the 2019 festivals.
Based in East Anglia, HighTide works across the UK to find, nurture and showcase the country’s best new playwrights and plays. Das leads Curve’s artist development programmes, overseeing the commissioning and development of new work by artists from across the region.
Curve’s Inside Out Festival, established by Das in 2014, has seen over 20 world premieres reaching more than 30,000 attendees and touring work to 100 cities and towns worldwide. Born and brought up in the North East, Das is a trustee of the North Music Trust, which operates Sage Gateshead.
Tim Clark, chair of the HighTide Board, said: “All of us at HighTide are delighted that Suba has agreed to be our next artistic director. We set out to find an outstanding and talented individual who would lead HighTide with passion, imagination, integrity and with a commitment to its mission, objectives and values. Suba’s approach to theatre and his tremendous achievements, particularly in the area of new writing, show that he completely meets this objective.
“He will be an inspiring leader, building on the huge successes achieved by Steven Atkinson at HighTide, and will continue to enhance the place that HighTide has earned in developing UK theatre over the last 12 years. With huge thanks to Steven for all his achievements, we now look forward to working with Suba to embrace our exciting future continuing to bring new work to diverse audiences in areas of low cultural engagement.
Suba Das said:
“What a privilege to take on the HighTide mantle. Over the past 12 years, HighTide has created the most stunning theatre and festival experiences across the UK. I’m grateful to Steven, the Board and team, and extraordinary supporters including Lansons, the Backstage Trust and Arts Council England for creating the conditions in which our country’s very best writers have been able to emerge, dream and astonish.
“I’m also thankful to the audiences of East Anglia and Suffolk, who have shown such appetite and excitement for bold new work by diverse voices, supporting so many artists to thrive. With a new festival now planned for Lowestoft, I look forward to deepening our commitment to the East as our home first and foremost. A place where we sit at the edge of the country, looking back at the whole of a shifting UK; and out at a changing Europe.
“I can’t wait to meet the writers and makers of the East especially and see how we might together tell the region’s stories with pride for each other and for communities all over the world.”
After reading English at Cambridge, Suba Das began his career as resident assistant director at Theatre Royal Stratford East, with productions including a site-specific production of Medea using his own translation, with choreography by Kenrick Sandy of the Olivier Award-winning street dance company Boy Blue Entertainment. In 2008, he became resident director at the National Theatre Studio and English Touring Theatre under Purni Morrell and Steve Unwin. In 2010, he co-founded Custom/Practice, staging Off West End Award-nominated site-specific productions across London of Othello, The Winter’s Tale and The Revenger’s Tragedy in collaboration with the Old Vic Tunnels and Hoxton Hall. In 2012, he was appointed Associate Director at Curve.
Directing credits at Curve include the world premieres of Wipers by Ishy Din and Pink Sari Revolution by Purva Naresh and new productions of Abigail’s Party and The Cat In The Hat with Rose Theatre Kingston and the National Centre for Circus Arts.
In 2017, Das made his opera debut directing the world premiere of Sukanya for the Royal Opera in co-production with Curve and the London Philharmonic.
Das has also directed for venues including Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse, the Young Vic and the Roundhouse, and taught and lectured at Cambridge and East 15, Mountview and Oxford drama schools.