As Cardboard Citizens enters its 30th anniversary year, Adrian Jackson MBE who founded the company in 1991 and has been the driving force behind its growth and success, has announced he will be stepping down from his role as Artistic Director and joint CEO at the end of July 2021.

Over the past three decades, Cardboard Citizens has garnered critical and public acclaim for outstanding theatrical creations that put the stories of people with lived experience of homelessness firmly in the spotlight. Under Adrian Jackson’s artistic directorship, Cardboard Citizens has blazed a trail in the field of arts for social justice, with an indefatigable commitment to bringing people on the margins of society to the centre of all of the Company’s work to build better public awareness and understanding about homelessness and to inspire positive change. Today the Company is a national and international authority on the arts and homelessness, and Jackson’s close links with Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Oppressed inform all of Cardboard Citizens’ work.

Looking ahead, Jackson will become an Associate Artist for Cardboard Citizens, as well as directing a major musical production this October as part of the Company’s 30th anniversary celebrations, to be announced soon; he will also be co-directing a full-length Cardboard Citizens production for BBC Radio 4. Plans are underway to revive his 2019 Edinburgh hit, Bystanders, for a UK-wide tour in 2022 and he will also remain a valued collaborator on future projects and masterclasses.

Adrian Jackson, founding Artistic Director of Cardboard Citizens, said: “Thirty years after founding Cardboard Citizens, having led or co-led the Company throughout that time, I have decided to stand down as Artistic Director and joint CEO at the end of July 2021. This has not been an easy decision to arrive at – Cardboard Citizens has been my life and a large part of my family for so long, and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together. But as a person who has been lucky enough to make work with the Company over a long period, I am glad to be able to make space for a new artistic leader, and hopefully right some of the imbalances in our sector, especially at a time when opportunities in the arts are so few and far between.

Cardboard Citizens has always been about the team, rather than individuals; we have been blessed with extraordinary people working with and for us, sometimes for many years. I cannot thank all of those people enough. When we started we were a curiosity and unique in the arts sector. Now much of what we pioneered has now become mainstream best practice, and many companies and organisations have entered the field of working with homeless and ex-homeless people. We have made a lot of change happen already, but I firmly anticipate that my successor will continue this journey and take us to new heights. Viva Cardboard Citizens”.

Prue Skene CBE, Chair of Trustees, Cardboard Citizens, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adrian on behalf of the Cardboard Citizens Board for his outstanding contribution to the charity, but more importantly for the difference he has made to the lives of hundreds of homeless people. Through the powerful productions he has produced, directed and written, through his Theatre of the Oppressed masterclasses which have inspired so many practitioners and others, and through his ceaseless commitment to highlight what it means to be homeless he is an inspirational figure in the world of arts for social change. We wish Adrian all the very best for the future”.

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Recruitment information

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