The Watermill Theatre Reveals New Appointments To Its Board

Learn more about the new members here!

By: Apr. 23, 2024
The Watermill Theatre Reveals New Appointments To Its Board
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Two new appointments have been made to the Watermill Theatre's Board of Trustees. Michael Lynas, Chief Content and Creative Officer of ATG Entertainment, will become Chair of The Board, whilst Caroline Barber, most recently General Counsel for The Old Vic, joins as a trustee. In addition, Katie Breathwick, a TV and radio journalist who has been a presenter on Classic FM for nearly a decade, continues as a Trustee and has recently been appointed, Vice Chair.

Michael Lynas is Chief Content and Creative Officer of ATG Entertainment, leading an international team responsible for securing and delivering shows to the company's 64 theatres in the UK, US and Europe. Michael has worked in the theatre industry for over 40 years. Before joining ATG, he worked as a producer and executive director at Richmond Theatre, at Chichester Festival Theatre and in the West End.

Michael Lynas said, “I've been visiting The Watermill for nearly forty years and have enjoyed countless adventurous and inspiring productions, as well as the unique atmosphere of the theatre and its surroundings. I am delighted to be joining the Board at this exciting time in its history when the theatre has been named Theatre of the Year and has just announced plans for the wonderful Lord of the Rings to go to Chicago.”

Caroline Barber joined Cameron Mackintosh Limited (CML) as a theatre administrator after graduating. Here she developed a taste for the various legal aspects surrounding theatre production. She subsequently qualified as an intellectual property solicitor with specialist law firm Theodore Goddard. After a break to raise her children, she returned to CML as sole in-house lawyer and then moved on to The Old Vic where she was privileged to witness first-hand the transforming effect that theatre – and its people – can have on communities, improving both life opportunities and connections.

Claire Murray and Paul Hart (Joint Chief Executives) said, “We are delighted to welcome Caroline as a trustee and Michael as Chair of the Board, both of whom bring extensive experience of the sector and local connections that will be invaluable to The Watermill. Our trustees have been a huge source of advice and support over the last twelve months, helping us to develop our business model, ensure the preservation of our unique site and continue to pursue an ambitious programme of work on and off-stage.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Andrew McKenzie who, as Chair of the Board, has helped to steer the theatre through the challenges of the pandemic and the 100% cut to our funding by Arts Council England.”

The Watermill – recently named Theatre of the Year at the 2024 Stage Awards, alongside The National Theatre - is a 200-seat regional powerhouse, with an unparalleled reputation for producing bold, world-class theatre with local and national reach from its home in West Berkshire. The Watermill's productions regularly transfer to the West End or tour nationally and internationally.  Over the last five years, half of its productions have had a further life beyond The Watermill including Bleak Expectations, SPIKE, Amelie the Musical, Tell Me on a Sunday and Crazy for You.  It also has an extensive programme of community outreach, and schools touring work, and a firm commitment to inclusion, environmental sustainability and talent development.  In November 2022 Arts Council England cut The Watermill's National Portfolio funding – equating to a loss of £460k a year. The Theatre, now an independent charity without any statutory funding, went on to produce 8 shows in 2023, including the award-winning The Lord of the Rings, which will also have its US premiere in 2024.


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