News: Stage Sight announces a change in leadership as the organisation continues to represent and support off-stage workforce

Stage Sight have announced changes to its leadership structure, which will see three existing committee members take on new roles as co-directors, as Founder Prema Mehta moves on to continue to influence social change through other new artistic leadership roles.

The change in structure sees Mehta stepping back from her leadership role at Stage Sight, whilst remaining involved with further projects. Existing committee members Tony Gayle (Freelance Sound Designer), Michelle Rolfe (Producer at Birds of Paradise Theatre Company) and Mark Dakin (Technical Director at The Royal Opera House), will lead the organisation in its next exciting chapter.

Founded in 2017, Stage Sight’s vision is to create an off-stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability. Stage Sight will continue to deliver activities to ensure that diversity, accessibility and inclusion is at the heart of the theatre and performing arts sector.

Lighting Designer Prema Mehta founded Stage Sight as a not-for-profit organisation to address the lack of diversity and representation in off-stage roles. It has doubled in size since the start of the pandemic, and now includes over 200 active members, working collectively to make significant and long-term changes in the diversity and accessibility of the industry.

Prema Mehta comments, As Founder of Stage Sight, I am incredibly proud of how Stage Sight has influenced and inspired change in the sector. It is essential that we use this moment now to build diversity and inclusion into the core of each and every organisation. I’m handing the baton over to my brilliant colleagues and look forward to seeing how they and the committee continue Stage Sight’s journey to the next stage. I’d like to thank the committee for their support and encouragement as I move to focus on my next chapter where I will be furthering my vision to create an industry that is made for everyone, by everyone.

Speaking of the announcement, the new leadership team Tony Gayle, Michelle Rolfe and Mark Dakin have said: We are delighted to be working together as the new co-directors of Stage Sight. Prema Mehta has worked tirelessly over the past four years to create a strong support organisation for the sector, doing key work to help diversify off-stage roles, and we are thankful for her invaluable contribution to the organisation. Similarly to Prema, all three of us have lived experience of facing barriers, working within the sector in these roles, which has given us all an insight into how crucial it is to continue the good work already in action. As we face the next stage of the pandemic and beyond, we are committed to growing Stage Sight’s presence and role within the sector to make significant lasting change.”

Stage Sight is a collaborative network which offers a variety of events and networking opportunities exclusively for members. It is free to join, and the upcoming programme includes the Green Room sessions; an online drop in space to connect, discuss and explore a variety of topics for all individual members. Upcoming dates for these sessions are Wednesday 2nd February and Saturday 26th February. Also included are Professional Conversations which provide an opportunity for the organisational members to introduce themselves and a platform to discuss their work and wider industry related topics with individual members. These sessions are scheduled to take place on Friday 28th January and Wednesday 23rd February.

Together, the new Stage Sight co-directors and the committee will continue to learn and work to constantly improve the levels of representation within the off-stage workforce.

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