Sita Thomas and Beth House have been appointed to guide Fio theatre out of the pandemic and instil a cultural vision for the future.
Fio, the Cardiff-based theatre company based out of the Old Library on Splott’s Singleton Road, has announced a new executive team to lead it out of the pandemic. Sita Thomas and Beth House have been appointed to revamp Fio’s cultural vision, with the help of funding from Arts Council Wales and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. The theatre company, founded in 2016 by Abdul Shayek, aims to shine a light on people in society who are under- or mis-represented. With a strong focus on accessibility and diversity within theatre, Fio tells stories that would otherwise go untold.
Sita Thomas, who has been appointed as Fio’s new Artistic Director, is a multidisciplinary director from Pembrokeshire. She is a Creative Associate at Wales Millennium Centre, one of four Headlong Origins Directors for 2020-21, and a presenter for milkshake! on Channel 5. She has previously worked as a Trainee Artistic Director at Bush Theatre in London and has held roles at several artistic organisations including National Theatre, National Youth Theatre, Southbank Centre and Royal Court. She also has a PhD from the University of Warwick where she explored cultural diversity in theatre.
Also joining Fio as Executive Director is Beth House, who co-founded fellow Cardiff theatre company Taking Flight 13 years ago. Through her involvement with Taking Flight she has worked closely with Deaf and profoundly disabled artists and also has experience in fundraising, having attended the National Arts Fundraising School in 2018. Originally from Hastings, her career has taken her from university in Birmingham to work in France and Ireland, before settling in Cardiff.
Alison Woods, the Chair of Fio, welcomed the new executive team, saying: “We are delighted that Fio is able to begin the next step on its journey with such an extraordinary new Executive Team. Sita and Beth bring with them a wealth of experience, a passion for transformative collaboration, and a commitment to building a genuinely welcoming and generous company that celebrates the creativity that lies at the heart of all communities.”
Commenting on her appointment, Sita Thomas said: “Now is the time for positive and radical change within the arts. Our team will work to make Fio a creative home and hub for Welsh black, Asian and global majority people, and for those who continue to face – and have historically faced – discrimination. We’re eager to work in partnership with organisations across Wales and beyond, to make change together, in solidarity and support for one another.”
Beth House added: “I’m honoured to be joining the Fio team at such an important time. I’m excited to work alongside Sita to navigate us out of the choppy waters of the past months and start rebuilding an open and responsive arts organisation. My work in the arts in Wales has always been about supporting people to build their creative careers and about making space for new leaders. I am absolutely champing at the bit to do more of this for Fio!”
More information on Fio theatre is available here.