APPOINTED BRITISH COUNCIL DIRECTOR ARTS, INDIA7 February 2019
I left Tara on 7 February 2019 to take up this exciting new post. News article penned by my colleague-in-arms of the past decade Jatinder Verma MBE – Tara’s Artistic Director and co-founder.
Jonathan Kennedy joined Tara in 2007 as Executive Director. During his decade-long service, he has been part of momentous developments in the company. Starting with the 'Hotbed' repertory season, when 4 young Asian directors produced 4 shows at Tara, he has been vitally important in the company establishing its Tara Theatre firmly on the map as the venue of choice for connecting worlds in a small theatre.
In 2014, he secured support for the ground-breaking Black Theatre Live initiative - bringing together 7 other regional theatres to consistently support BAME touring theatre in partnership with Tara. Over the 3-years of this initiative, 8 mid- and small-scale tours have been produced, reaching over 62,000 diverse audiences... an achievement that is in no small part due to the energy and relentless commitment from Jonathan.
While this initiative was underway, Jonathan provided critical support to Artistic Director Jatinder Verma and Associate Director Claudia Mayer in the stunning renovation of Tara's building, which was unveiled to the public in September 2016.
Resigning in 2017 to concentrate on a freelance career, during which time he continued to work on the Black Theatre Live initiative, Jonathan returned to Tara in 2018 (we couldn't keep him away!) as interim Executive Director to help the company prepare for a new Executive Producer (to be announced shortly).
During Jonathan's time at Tara, the company has faced immense challenges - not least in funding. His fierce championing of Tara and BAME theatre more widely, has ensured that the company's vision of connecting the worlds of West and East burns as bright as ever.
With his appointment as Director Arts, India, the British Council has gained a passionate champion of diversity and an infectious lover of theatre to take forward the Council's own mission to bring the artistic worlds of India and Britain closer.
BY JATINDER VERMA, TARA ARTS’ ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDERBack