Toronto, ON – May 27, 2019

New Artistic Director for Necessary Angel

Necessary Angel Theatre Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Alan Dilworth, award-winning director, dramaturge and teacher as the company’s new Artistic Director.

In making the announcement, Nalini Stewart, Board Chair commented on what made Alan the ideal candidate in a field of forty-two applicants:

Alan is an artistic visionary with a masterful ability to bring his vision to life on the stage and in his programming. An examination of Alan’s work, particularly during his recent tenure as Acting Artistic Director at Soulpepper, reveals true artistic leadership, capable of embracing different perspectives, and fostering meaningful collaboration while championing new and diverse voices, and engaging audiences in complex, meaningful conversations. His passionate humanity and integrity can be evidenced in every facet of his work as a theatre artist.

Ms. Stewart concluded: “under Alan’s leadership, we look forward to establishing new partnerships in an exciting era of creative endeavour at Necessary Angel Theatre Company”.

On his appointment Alan remarked, “I am thrilled to be appointed the new Artistic Director of Necessary Angel Theatre Company. I have great admiration for the company, the leadership and artistry of its founding Artistic Director Richard Rose, and subsequent artistic directors, Daniel Brooks and Jennifer Tarver. For me, Necessary Angel Theatre Company has always been about the best of what theatre is: a space. A space for creation, process, collaboration, innovation and the unknown. A space where questions can be asked and new meanings can be made by artists and audiences alike. A space for encountering and wrestling with complexity, contradiction and questions of our time. A space for diverse stories and voices. And as a venue-less theatre company, Necessary Angel is a space-less space, with artistic excellence, innovation and partnerships at its core.

Mr Dilworth continued: “as the incoming Artistic Director of Necessary Angel Theatre Company I am unswervingly committed to continue my practice of prioritizing, championing and amplifying underrepresented stories and voices both personally and institutionally.

Early responses from the community have been overwhelmingly positive.

Pamela Mala Sinha, Playwright, Actor:

“Alan is a brave and soulful visionary. I can think of no better person to keep their eye on the complicated matters of our time than Alan. Not because of his gender or race, but because of his determination to embrace different perspectives and voices, the complexity of his thought, and the fierceness and depth of his heart. I am confident that Alan, as the Artistic Director of Necessary Angel, will continue to support the principles that I have fought to realize both as a woman and as an artist of colour. He is an Ally, in more ways than one.”

Richard Rose, Founding Artistic Director Necessary Angel, currently A.D. Tarragon Theatre

“I see a great future in Alan Dilworth running the company.”

Vanessa Morgan, Board Chair Soulpepper Theatre Company

Alan lead Soulpepper with professionalism, generosity, thoughtfulness, collaboration, and vision. He planned inclusive and transformational seasons despite severe constraints, oversaw the capstone projects for the Soulpepper Academy artists, directed critically-acclaimed productions and provided guidance to young directors, always with an eye to the best long-term interests and health of the company. The Board and everyone at Soulpepper are deeply grateful to Alan. We would not be here today without his remarkable leadership.”

Alan Dilworth - a brief profile

Alan started his career as a writer, director and performer, making theatre with the two companies he co-founded: Belltower Theatre (with Maev Beaty and Patrick Robinson) and Sheep No Wool (with Maev Beaty). It was at this time that Alan developed a passion for creating and staging new works, and championing new voices. Since then he has brought over twenty new works to the stage including his acclaimed world premiere productions of If We Were Birds by Erin Shields, Crash by Pamela Sinha, The Middle Place by Andrew Kushnir, and The Last Wife, The Virgin Trial and Mother’s Daughter by Kate Hennig. Since 2013, in addition to working across Canada, in the US and Europe, Alan has worked with Soulpepper Theatre Company as a resident artist, Co- Associate Artistic Director, and in 2018, during a period of crisis at the company he served as Acting Artistic Director. Alan directed numerous signature productions of established plays for Soulpepper including Incident at Vichy, Idomeneus, Eurydice, and Twelve Angry Men. His body of work has been celebrated for its striking, often spare imagery, outstanding ensemble work, and resonant performance and production dramaturgy.


  • Alan Dilworth's education includes an MFA (Directing), a BEd, and a BA (International Relations)

  • Alan was the first recipient of The Christopher Plummer Foundation Award for Excellence in Classical Theatre

  • Alan has been nominated for 7 Dora Awards for Outstanding Direction, 6 for Outstanding Production, and 5 for Outstanding Ensemble (winning 3), winner of a Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Production, and winner of three SummerWorks Theatre Festival Jury Prizes for Direction and Production

  • Alan is married to actor Maev Beaty, they have a young daughter

About the Search

Necessary Angel’s search was led by Searchlight Partners. The Search Committee was comprised of Board members Nalini Stewart, Astrid Janson, Richard Stursberg and Daniel Weinzweig (non-voting). Completing the committee were two highly respected members of the theatre community, Philip Akin, Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre Company and Robert Sirman, past Director and CEO, The Canada Council, Board member, The Theatre Centre. The three month search resulted in the receipt of 42 applications from across Canada. A long list of 22 candidates was given close consideration. The committee noted with pleasure, the balanced representation of both gender and diversity on the long list. On the short list of 8 candidates interviewed, there was gender balance, and the majority were of diverse backgrounds, reflecting the city itself.

About Necessary Angel Theatre Company

Necessary Angel is one of English Canada’s most original theatre creation organizations. Founded in 1978 as one of Canada’s first artist driven theatre companies, it has created over70 productions including 35 world premieres and 15 North American premieres. Work created by artists at Necessary Angel has been nominated for and won Governor General’s Awards for Drama, Chalmers Awards, and numerous Dora Awards in the city of Toronto. Work produced by Necessary Theatre has toured across Canada and internationally. A catalyst for ground breaking original work, Necessary Angel has collaborated with some of Canada’s most acclaimed theatre artists including Jordan Tannahill, Colleen Murphy, Marie-Josee Chartier, Daniel MacIvor, Jason Sherman, John Mighton, Brigitte Haentjens, David Young, Michael Ondaatje and Colleen Wagner among others.