NSDF is thrilled to announce that Nathan Powell has been appointed as our next Artistic Director and Joint CEO. Nathan, who is currently Artistic Associate at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, takes up the position from James Phillips from May 2022.

Nathan is a Director & Writer, making work nationally from his home in Liverpool and has long been an advocate for work created with young people and community groups. Alongside his role at the Everyman and Playhouse, Nathan is the EDIA associate at award winning company for young people, 20 Stories High. He has worked extensively developing work with and for young people and emerging artists across the country. Nathan is currently developing shows for Derby Theatre and HighTide. Recent credits include Love Liverpool (Liverpool Playhouse), A Sense of Belonging (Action transport Theatre), HomeGirl (Derby Theatre as writer), The Spine (National Tour), 846 and 846 Live (Theatre Royal Stratford East as writer), Macbeth (Orange Tree Theatre). 

As Artistic Director, Nathan will work closely with Executive Director & Joint CEO Kiki Kollimada to curate the festival and develop a year-round artistic programme that nurtures young talent and places NSDF at the forefront of the future of theatre making.


Nathan Powell says:

“I am absolutely gassed to be joining the NSDF team! We find ourselves in a really important time for theatre and the artists entering the industry. As audiences make their way back into theatres and artists are finding themselves in rehearsal rooms again, we have an opportunity to assess and shift the way we make work, why we make work, who we make it for and who gets to make it. NSDF sits in the perfect position to take this challenge on and work with the artists, that one day soon, are going to make our theatre ecology; one that is more fair, equitable and built to last! I’m excited to work alongside NSDF artists and the staff team to develop not only the festival, but a year-round programme that allows artists to make work, connect with theatres and companies and build new exciting and collaborative relationships. NSDF has proved that it is able to evolve in ways that make it the most useful thing it can be and I couldn’t be prouder to be working alongside Kiki to take NSDF into this next, vital chapter. Let’s have it!”


Kiki Kollimada – Executive Director says:

“I am delighted to embark on this next chapter with Nathan. He is bringing to NSDF his passion for community and wealth of experience in working with young people in theatre, championing the possibilities for their future. Along with our invaluable freelance community, and our 66 year legacy of alumni & partners, NSDF is primed for our next adventure, while continuing the work we revolutionised during the pandemic; keeping young people connected to their artistic futures. Nathan’s predecessor James Phillips set NSDF on a path of widened opportunity for young people, and Nathan is expertly positioned to continue that important work. I am very excited to be working with him, and for what lies ahead.”


Sarah Nicholson – Chair of the Board says:

“As a young person who had the opportunity to participate in NSDF, I am acutely aware of what this organisation can mean and the impact it can have on people’s first experience of our sector. The Board could not be more thrilled that Nathan and Kiki will now lead and build on what James and the Associates have led and developed over the past 3 years. With a passion for working with young people and having an inclusive and kind approach, we know this partnership will inspire future generations to collaborate, question, discuss, explore and make theatre, as it has for nearly seven decades. Welcome aboard!