Both joined the theatre in 2005, overseeing the organization’s 50th anniversary in 2012 and the recent £22 million redevelopment of the Festival Theatre. Under their tenure, the company has staged more than 100 productions including 22 new plays, winning 40-plus awards for the work and more than doubling audience numbers, playing to 95 percent capacity in 2014.
48 productions transferred beyond Chichester to the West End, on tour or abroad. The theatre's 2014 production of Gypsy is currently in previews in the West End ahead of a April 15 opening at the Adelphi Theatre. Church's production of Taken at Midnight recently played at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
In a press statement, Church commented, "It has been a privilege and a joy to have been the custodians of this very special theatre for the last decade and to have worked alongside some of the country’s most skilled actors and creative teams. I hope, between us, we have helped contribute to the current strength of British theatre and demonstrated the important role of subsidy in creating vibrant regional arts organisations that are rooted in their community but also have the ability to provide national and international impact. It will be painful leaving a theatre that feels like our creative home but regional theatres thrive on new ideas and new energies. I like to think we will hand this wonderful theatre over to its next caretakers in an excellent position to build further on its extraordinary history."
The formal process to appoint a new artistic director will begin in August with the board expected to announce a successor at the end of 2015. The new executive director will be appointed once the artistic director designate is in place.
For further details on Chichester's current projects, visit www.cft.org.uk