Artistic Directors & Associate Directors

This page looks at the creative and administrative executives who ran theatre in the round in Scarborough from its creation in 1955 to 2009. It details the role and people who held the position of Artistic Director, Director of Productions, Associate Director and Executive Director.

Artistic Director

Between 1955 and 2009, when Alan Ayckbourn stepped down as Artistic Director of The SJT, there were three Artistic Directors of the company since Stephen Joseph formed Theatre in the Round at the Library Theatre.

Until 1965, the title of this position was designated both Artistic Director or Director Of Productions - for the purpose of this page, Director Of Productions is considered the annually appointed role between 1967 and 1971.

Between 1955 and 2009 (with the exception of just 1971), the role of Artistic Director was either unpaid (1955 - 1971) or no wage was claimed (1972 - 2009); it essentially only became a paid position from 2009.

Stephen Joseph (1955 - 1965)
Alan Ayckbourn (1972 - 2009)
Robin Herford (1986 - 1988)*

Whilst this website is not concerned with exploring theatre in the round in Scarborough post-2009, for completist's sake the subsequent Artistic Directors were Chris Monks (2009 - 2015) and Paul Robinson (2016 - present).

* During 1986, Alan Ayckbourn took a two year sabbatical at the National Theatre and Associate Director Robin Herford was appointed Artistic Director (variously called Artistic Director, Co-Artistic Director and Associate Artistic Director) dealing with the day-to-day running and artistic direction of the Stephen Joseph Theatre In The Round, although Alan Ayckbourn was also considered Artistic Director during this period.

Director of Productions

Following Stephen Joseph's death in 1967, the person responsible for artistic decisions and programming was appointed on a seasonal basis by the Scarborough Theatre Trust board each year. A Director Of Productions was appointed each year from 1967 - 1972. Alan Ayckbourn was then appointed Artistic Director at the end of the 1972 season. The role was unpaid (although accommodation was made available) for each year except in 1971 when Caroline Smith was paid £35 a week.

Rodney Wood (1967 - 1968)
Alan Ayckbourn (1969 - 1970)
Caroline Smith (1971)
Alan Ayckbourn (1972)

Associate Director (1976 - 2009)

At various points in the history of the company, Associate Directors (occasionally known as Assistant Directors) were also appointed.

Mervyn Watson (1976)
Robin Herford (1980 - 1983)
Malcolm Hebden (1984)
Robin Herford (1985)
Stephen Mallatratt (1986 - 1987)
Malcolm Hebden (1990 - 1996)
Laurie Sansom (2004 - 2006)

Executive Director

When the company moved to its third home in 1996 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, it essentially doubled in size - both in terms of venue and employees. As a result - and apparently as a condition by the Arts Council - the theatre was obliged to appoint its first Executive Director (the General Administrator).

Stephen Wood (1996 - 2015)

Director Emeritus

The honorary position of Director Emeritus was appointed in 2018 to mark notable contributions an achievements to the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Alan Ayckbourn (2018 - present)

All research for this section by Simon Murgatroyd. Please do not reproduce without crediting Simon Murgatroyd and the website.