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Stephen Bailey Appointed Artistic Lead by Disabled-Led Theatre Company

Leading national and international disabled-led theatre company Vital Xposure has announced the appointment of Stephen Bailey as its new Artistic Lead.


The award-winning neurodivergent director and producer has longstanding experience in creating new accessible work.


Winner of the 2022 Royal Theatrical Support Trust Sir Peter Hall Director Award, he was resident assistant director at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2020 and has previously worked with theatres including the National Theatre, Graeae, Hampstead and the Kiln.


“I am thrilled to join Vital Xposure as Artistic Lead,” said Stephen, who runs ASYLUM Arts and most recently directed The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man by Tom Wright for Nottingham Playhouse.


“Working with the board and current team, I'm excited that we're embarking on an ambitious new chapter which considers disability as a lens rather than a subject.


“Following VX's mission to share vital stories and expose hidden truths, we will pursue an artistic policy of disabled artists collaborating with other marginalised groups. In the coming year, we'll forge new partnerships with organisations within and beyond the theatre sector to access untold narratives of celebration and persistence.


“I am eager to employ the skills and expertise of the disabled arts community to uplift essential, untold stories from other communities”.


Vital Xposure was founded in 2011 with access and social justice at its heart. The company produces and tours innovative, accessible new work, profiling hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell, bringing new and diverse audiences to venues. Their vision is for marginalised artists to become creative leaders, with their work celebrated in the heart of our culture.


Stephen joins the company as the team prepares for the next stage of the VX Labs, a three-year development programme which aims to extend disabled-led practices to bring together artists and regional partners to co-design an infrastructure for inclusive models of performance, creating new work and bringing new stories to the stage. 


2024 will also see the completion of the second year of Wellspring, a writers development programme for disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent playwrights and script writers which seeks to showcase fresh, determined voices in theatre through disabled-led storytelling.


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