Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal Welcomes New Artistic Director Fatma Sarah Elkashef

After an extended leadership search, led by our board of directors and hiring committee, PWM is delighted to announce that Fatma Sarah Elkashef has been appointed as our new Artistic Director.

As a longstanding dramaturg with Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, and an outstanding theatre artist in our community, Sarah will shape the future of our organization with passion and advance dramaturgical practice at a national level. 

Sarah’s role as Artistic Director also establishes a new organizational structure for Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, creating a co-leadership team between Fatma Sarah Elkashef as Artistic Director and Lesley Bramhill as the newly-appointed Managing Director.

Fatma Sarah Elkashef

is a dramaturg and theatre maker with a practise in new play development and interdisciplinary creation. Born and raised in the U.K. to Egyptian and Dutch parents, Sarah has been based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal since 2011. Previously she was the senior reader at Soho Theatre in London and worked in New York City for eleven years as a producer, company manager, literary associate and director. Sarah is a graduate of Warwick University in English Literature and Theatre (U.K.), has an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College (CUNY, NYC), and a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). At PWM she founded the Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab to explore non-text centered approaches to making performance and the remote Writers’ Room to foster solidarity amongst playwrights during the pandemic. Since 2012 Sarah has worked across programs at the National Theatre School of Canada as a dramaturg, creator, mentor, and teacher. Read more about Sarah.

I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of PWM’s incredible work and for the time and care taken by the Board and committee during this process. I am excited to create more opportunities for thoughtful collaborative work across practises and cultures, and to welcome new voices and approaches to the organization. PWM has always encouraged my curiosity and dramaturgical exploration and I want to offer that support to emerging dramaturgs while shining a light on process in general.

Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Artistic Director of PWM

Following the departure of Emma Tibaldo, after fourteen influential years at the helm of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal in the position of Executive and Artistic Director, we look hopefully to the future of our organization under new leadership.

As a nationally-mandated theatre development centre, we’re thrilled to welcome such a visionary leader. It’s rare that you get the combination of a broad international background with a track record of engagement on the local and national stage. Fatma Sarah Elkashef brings that along with a breadth of experience in artistic creation, production, and management. Her passion for and breadth of knowledge in dramaturgy as well as her deep commitment to artists and the theatre community make her the ideal person to shepherd PWM into the future.

Naïma Kristel Phillips, President of the Board of Directors at PWM

In collaboration with Arts Consulting Group, and our board of directors, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal has shifted our organizational structure to better support our internal leadership.

In addition to the appointment of Fatma Sarah Elkashef as Artistic Director, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal is delighted that Lesley Bramhill, our former General Manager, will be moving forward with our organization in the role of Managing Director.

The establishment of this new co-leadership team honours PWM’s spirit of collaboration and we are excited to see how Sarah and Lesley will shape the future of our organization.

Image of Lesley Bramhill sitting on a stool.

I am grateful for the attention and care our board of directors gave to PWM’s succession process that has culminated in this new leadership structure. It is a new chapter of the organization that I am proud to be a part of. Together with the board, I look forward to working with Sarah on continuing to strengthen the organization.

Lesley Bramhill, Managing Director of PWM

Access to a downloadable PDF of this press release is available here:

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