TTA Chief Executive Steps Down After Four and a Half Show-Stopping Years

Vanessa Lefrancois

TTA Trustees announce that Vanessa Lefrancois, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Taunton Theatre Association (TTA), operator of The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre is stepping down, having achieved her objective to grow Taunton Theatre Association and re-establish The Brewhouse as a critically acclaimed arts venue in the South West.

Val Hammond, Chair of Trustees said: “Vanessa has made an enormous contribution to the arts in Taunton and more widely through her vision, creativity and energetic leadership. Since her appointment in 2015, she has successfully led the renaissance of The Brewhouse Theatre, overseeing the revival of Somerset’s County Town venue and the development of its eclectic performance, participation, film and visual arts programmes. It has been inspirational to work alongside her.”

High spots from Vanessa’s tenure include four critically acclaimed Christmas musicals, legendary comedians, internationally renowned dance companies, performances by The Shakespeare Globe on Tour and a live recording for BBC Radio 3.

In her own words “It was an honour to be entrusted to revive the fortunes of The Brewhouse and a privilege to have worked alongside such a wonderful, dedicated team of staff, volunteers, Trustees and supporters. I am immensely proud of what Taunton Theatre Association has collectively achieved during my time with the company. We have entertained and inspired many people who have engaged with our artistic programmes, raised the profile of the town and contributed to the local economy”.

The Brewhouse now welcomes 72,000 attendees a year, who enjoy eclectic performance, participation, film and visual arts programmes, with up to 1,000 events a year to choose from. The turnover tops £1M and contributes millions to the local economy through touring companies and audiences who travel from far and wide to engage with the TTA’s exciting programme.

The Board of Trustees are working to identify and select a new individual to take TTA forward in the future. For the present Vanessa remains in her post and has the full support of TTA to continue to do this in the same positive way she has embraced since starting her role.

The Trustees do not intend to make any further statement at this time and will announce the new post in due course.


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