Chinonyerem Odimba appointed as new Chair of Theatre Bristol

Theatre Bristol is delighted to announce that Chinonyerem Odimba is joining the team as the new Chair, as she takes over from Nick Sweeting.

Chinonyerem Odimba is a Bristol based playwright, theatre director and poet. Her work for theatre includes ‘Joanne and Amongst the Reeds’ for Clean Break / The Yard, a modern retelling of ‘Twist’ for Theatre Centre, and ‘Medea’ at Bristol Old Vic. More recent commissions have seen her work at Hampstead Theatre, Kiln Theatre, Live Theatre, and Watermill Theatre.  Chinonyerem is currently Associate Artist at Live Theatre.

Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including the Adrienne Benham Award, Alfred Fagon Award, and the Bruntwood Playwriting Award. She is winner of the 2018 Sonia Friedman Award for a new play ‘How to Walk on the Moon’ written for C4/Talawa Theatre. She also writes for radio and TV. A new 30-minute drama ‘Adulting’ for 4Stories/Channel 4 is to be broadcast early 2020. She has been as an Assistant Director/Director for Bristol Old Vic and Theatre503.

She also teaches in theatres and universities across the UK, and previously worked in the Creative Media Industries before starting her own business as a Marketing and Audience Development consultant.

Theatre Bristol has also welcomed three new board members this year:

Jo Bannon, an internationally renowned artist working in performance, choreography and live art, and dramaturg, educator and writer.

Yee Tim Candace Lo, researcher, performance maker and producer, and alumni of Watershed’s Rife magazine.

Marketing consultant Sarah Bentley, who currently works with Trinity Centre and other Bristol artists and organisations.

They join artists James Stenhouse and Laïla Diallo and writer and dramaturg Sarah Dickenson.

Chinonyerem said ‘I am delighted to be joining the Theatre Bristol board as Chair. Having Bristol at the heart of my life for nearly 20 years, I feel excited about the work that Theatre Bristol has done so far, and what the future now holds for the organisation. The team are so dedicated to creating a fairer, more equal and representative landscape of theatre in Bristol, and these are values feel very important to me too, both as an artist and a resident in the city.

And an especially big thank you to my predecessor Nick Sweeting who has been a gracious and generous support during this important transition for us.’

Outgoing Chair Nick Sweeting, said “It has been a massive privilege to serve as Chair of Theatre Bristol and work with such a brilliant team, whose ongoing passion and energy in supporting and championing live performance is exemplary.  A whole raft of exciting plans and initiatives couldn’t be in better hands than Chino’s as she brings fantastic knowledge, experience and commitment to the leadership of TB .” 

Theatre Bristol is an independent organisation that exists to support and improve live performance, championing independence and the role of art and artists in society. We work to make live performance more equal and representative, to try and ensure a much wider range of people can make and participate in theatre.  The team provides free, bespoke support to help people develop ideas and careers. We also develop campaigns and collective action to address issues that will make real positive change.

Over the past year we have supported over 140 artists and companies to ensure they can make distinctive work that connects with people locally, nationally and internationally. We use the learning from this grassroots support to drive big initiatives like Bristol Dance Futures, a city-wide consortium that aims to create opportunities for everyone to experience the transformative power of dance.