Stage Door News

Toronto: Necessary Angel announces its new Artistic Director

Monday, May 27, 2019

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.” 


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 


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.

Photo: Alan Dilworth.