Skip to main content

Pitlochry Festival Theatre celebrates Artistic Director’s new chapter


Pitlochry Festival Theatre has today announced that Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director, will leave the Theatre in November 2024 to take up a new leadership role.

Since her arrival in September 2018, Newman has been an exciting and driving force in Scottish theatre and has brought both innovative productions and critical acclaim to Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Notably, she was nominated for Best Director in The Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for the 2019 production of Faith Healer and the 2023 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, winning for the former.

Newman has consistently created a diverse and engaging programme, featuring an annual lineup of world première, classic plays, family theatre and new writing. This has included 5-star productions of Footloose and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which are currently playing. These follow her own smash-hit production of The Proclaimers’ musical Sunshine on Leith, last seen at Pitlochry in Christmas 2023.

Her award-winning work has attracted audiences from across the UK and further afield and has provided an exceptional platform for Scottish artists. During her tenure, the Theatre was also nominated for Best Theatre in the UK by The Stage Awards. Newman will direct a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, playing in Edinburgh and Aberdeen this autumn, and her final production at Pitlochry will be the much-anticipated Christmas 2024 staging of The Sound of Music.

During her time at the Theatre, Newman has instigated collaborations with theatre companies from around the UK including the National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, New Wolsey Theatre, Capital Theatres, Watford Palace Theatre, HOME Manchester, and Stellar Quines.

Beyond the stage, Newman has also offered dynamic artistic direction championing local and national projects to enable Pitlochry Festival Theatre to be the ultimate Theatre for All working across three platforms Inside, Outside and Online. Some highlights of this work include the multi-year Shades of Tay project and the acclaimed Sound Stage online platform, which has premièred audio plays from some of the UK’s leading playwrights.


Elizabeth Newman, Outgoing Artistic Director, Pitlochry Festival Theatre:

“It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre for the past six years. Working with the amazing team here in Pitlochry has been wonderful, and I’ve especially loved collaborating with Kris Bryce (Executive Director). His tenacity and energy have inspired me every day. It has been an honour to open the Theatre’s Amphitheatre and new Studio and to create diverse programmes of work for these new spaces with him and the rest of the team. I’m proud that we have produced more new Scottish work, supported more artists and participants, and reached more new audiences than ever before. While I will miss being here terribly, I look forward to joining audiences and working on projects with the organisation in the future. This is such an exciting time for Pitlochry Festival Theatre, and I have no doubt that the new Artistic Director will have a great time working with Kris, the Board, and the rest of the team to create the Theatre’s next exciting and important chapter.”


Kris Bryce, Executive Director, Pitlochry Festival Theatre:

“Working with Elizabeth has been an absolute joy. Her infectious enthusiasm and unwavering ambition have not only captivated our audiences but have inspired everyone who works at the Theatre. Navigating the challenges of the pandemic alongside her, and ensuring we remained a vital presence in people’s lives, was an honour. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past six years. Elizabeth’s legacy will undoubtedly influence and shape our future success.”


Crawford Gillies, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pitlochry Festival Theatre:

“Elizabeth’s journey at Pitlochry has been inspiring and her work in developing talent has been exceptional. She and our Executive Director Kris Bryce rank amongst the most influential people in British theatre today and we are enthusiastic about working with Elizabeth on future projects. With Kris ’continued leadership, I am optimistic about the Theatre’s future. We have now begun our search for a new Artistic Director, and I am confident that we will attract outstanding candidates to this high-profile role.”


Saxton Bampfylde will lead the search for a new Artistic Director over the next three months, seeking exceptional candidates through a robust, public application process. During any interim period, creative leadership will be provided by the talented artistic team that Newman has built during her tenure.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is Scotland’s largest building-based producing theatre company, and the new Artistic Director will join at a pivotal moment, leading the next steps in the Theatre’s creative journey and participating in the next phases of its capital development. This includes building upon the £10 million in government support that the Theatre has successfully match-funded to invest in a profitable, sustainable, and exciting future.