Traverse shares update to its creative leadership team

News 18 Mar 2021
Neon sign, reading 'Traverse'

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the related restrictions have placed unprecedented pressure on the Traverse, which we know has been felt keenly by our audiences and partners, as well as all of us within the organisation.

We regret to announce that one of the consequences of these unfortunate circumstances and their associated challenges is that Debbie Hannan, who was appointed at the end of 2019 and began as Co-Artistic Director Designate in 2020 will not be continuing in that role beyond the end of March.

Debbie will become an independent freelance artist again from April and our mutual ambition is to maintain a close working relationship on that basis throughout 2021 and beyond, including the realisation of multiple exciting projects Debbie has initiated during her time at the Traverse.

The Traverse creative team of Artistic Director Gareth Nicholls, Creative Development Producers Wezi Mhura and Robbie Gordon, and Literary Manager Eleanor White, will continue developing our internationally acclaimed work and delivering our ambitious new writing programme, engagement and creative development projects within our new online platform, Traverse 3. Together with our Artists in Residence, the wider team, freelance and independent artists, and partner companies, we will continue our dedicated preparations for when we can once again open our doors, showcasing the best new work from Scotland and beyond.

Debbie Hannan said:“The pandemic has impacted this country and the theatre sector hugely, and no-one has been spared. I want to thank all the brilliant artists, creatives, technicians and staff that I’ve worked with during my time in the Designate role and whilst I’m sad to not take up the role in full, I’m looking forward to working with the team at The Traverse on a freelance basis in the future.”

Linda Crooks, Chief Executive of the Traverse, said:“The past year has completely changed our world, presenting huge immediate challenges for us all, many of which will likely be felt for several years to come. During her short time working with us over this unsettling period, Debbie has brought immense wisdom, positive energy, a dynamic vision, and has proven an incredible advocate for change. Her contributions have helped us adapt to this new environment by transforming the way we work, and we will build further upon this as the Traverse continues to evolve. We sincerely wish Debbie all the very best and look forward to working together on future projects."

Morag Ballantyne, Deputy Chair of the Traverse Board, added: “The Board is hugely appreciative of Debbie’s contribution to the Traverse’s vision and mission during the challenging circumstances of the last year. We enjoyed working with her and valued her energy and purpose as we developed new ways of creating work to ensure that we stayed close to our diverse audiences and communities. We wish Debbie every success in the next stages of her career and look forward to welcoming her back to the Traverse and Edinburgh.”