She will take up the post on Jan. 1, 2012. Rourke originally trained at the Donmar on the company's Resident Assistant Director Scheme in 2000 – working alongside Michael Grandage, Nicholas Hytner, Phyllida Lloyd and Sam Mendes. As a director, her work for the Donmar includes Frame 312, World Music and The Cryptogram.
As well as working at the Bush Theatre, she recently directed Men Should Weep at the National Theatre and is next due to direct a new West End production of Much Ado About Nothing at Wyndham's Theatre in May, starring Catherine Tate and David Tennant. She has also been associate director of Sheffield Theatres, and has also directed for the Royal Court and Royal Shakespeare Company. In the U.S., she has directed Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
In a press statement, Rourke commented, "I am thrilled and honored to have been asked by the Board of the Donmar Warehouse to become its next Artistic Director. Ten years ago, I started my career as the Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar. Nothing could make me more proud than to return to the place where I began. Both Michael Grandage and Sam Mendes have always been great friends and invaluable mentors and when I take over as the Donmar's Artistic Director I will inherit their legacy of twenty years of wonderful productions, extraordinary performances and great nights out at the theatre. Before I begin as Artistic Director of the Donmar, we will open the Bush Theatre's new home. I look forward to celebrating that moment with the Bush's exceptional team and Board of Trustees. With the new building secured, our playwrights' website bushgreen.org reaching its 4,000th member and a remarkably strong year of work, it has never been a more exciting time for the Bush and its audiences."
Grandage added, "Josie has been a wonderful colleague for many years and I think the Board have made an inspired appointment. She has been part of the Donmar's evolution since her first production as a director and will bring continuity as well a distinct style of her own. Her work at the Bush shows how she has transformed the theatre landscape in London, and the Donmar will now benefit from that energy and leadership. I wish her well as the organisation enters the next exciting stage of its development."