Managing Director of Universal Arts takes top theatre role at Creative Scotland
By Thom Dibdin
Laura Mackenzie Stuart, managing director of Edinburgh fringe venue Universal Arts, has been appointed to the key post of Portfolio Manager: Theatre, Talent and Own Art with Creative Scotland.
The appointment is one of three positions at Creative Scotland announced on Tuesday 27 September, completing the agency’s senior management team. Kenneth Fowler comes in from Scottish Natural Heritage as Director of Communications and Helena Ward, previously of TRC Media, will be the new Portfolio Manager for Creative Industries and Skills.
Commenting on the appointment of Mackenzie Stuart, Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland said: “Laura’s extensive experience in theatre production and development will make a significant contribution to our development of Scotland’s thriving theatre sector and, importantly, our continuing investment in talent.”
Mackenzie Stuart was deputy director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society from 1990 to 1998, when she set up Universal Arts with Tomek Borkowy. Beside running the successful Edinburgh fringe venue, the company has created and co-produced medium to large-scale theatre shows and cultural events. It has grown from its specialist interest in East European production to tour productions around the whole of Europe.
She was Chair of the Associated Independent Venue Producers (AIVP) and has lectured extensively on the performing arts and commercial development at universities in Scotland and overseas.
Commenting on her appointment, Mackenzie Stuart said, “This move reflects the changing priorities and pressures on public funding for the arts in Scotland and follows a pattern of bringing in expertise from outside the traditional funded organisational sector.”
Welcoming the appointment, a statement from Universal Arts says that Mackenzie Stuart will continue as a director but will no longer take an active role in the day to day running of the company. It adds that her move to Creative Scotland offers her an opportunity to continue pursuing her interest in Scottish theatre in both the UK and abroad but on a much wider scale.
Laura Mackenzie Stuart will take up her post on 17 October.
The full press release from Creative Scotland is on their website: www.creativescotland.com
Further details of Universal Arts on their website: www.universal-arts.com