Toonspeak’s Artistic Director, Rachel Aisling Smith has resigned after a period of ill health.

Rachel worked with Toonspeak for six years and in the first three years as Creative Learning Director oversaw a shift-change in the company’s ways of working towards a more embedded youth engagement approach and broader, more targeted inclusion, alongside esteemed colleagues. As Artistic Director, Rachel collaborated with young people, staff and Board to create the company’s new long-term strategic plan, resulting in RFO status to secure Toonspeak’s future as a significant force for change in terms of progression opportunities for marginalised young people.

As Artistic Director, Rachel created the original concepts for major productions at the Tron Theatre, co-creating Ma Bit with David Cosgrove, John Kielty and Libby McArthur, and TELT alongside Mark Murphy, both holistically informed by the input of young people from initial consultation to final production.

Rachel has formed and nurtured fruitful partnerships for Toonspeak and been a passionate advocate both for the company’s work and for the voices of young people as artists and cultural leaders.

Rachel would like to thank the Board, all staff and artists, partners and funders, and especially our exceptional young people who made her job such a joy and a privilege.

Toonspeak wishes Rachel all the very best as she looks forward to new adventures.

Jodie Wilkinson

Chair, Toonspeak Board of Directors