News Story

Dale Rooks, Director of Learning, Education and Participation (LEAP) at Chichester Festival Theatre, has been awarded an MBE in The King’s Birthday Honours list 2024 for services to theatre and young people.

Justin Audibert, Artistic Director and Kathy Bourne, Executive Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, said: ‘We could not be more thrilled that our brilliant and inspirational colleague Dale Rooks has been recognised in the Honours list. In her role as Director of Learning, Education and Participation, she has built our industry-leading youth theatre and a large-scale programme of work to support young people and the community.

‘She is beloved and revered by the thousands of Youth Theatre members who have experienced the life-enhancing – and in many cases, life-changing – work she has led; by the vast audiences who have cherished her wonderful theatre productions; and by the countless individuals of all ages, from young carers and refugees to isolated older people, whose lives have been enriched by the projects she has established and championed. We know that they will all be as happy and proud as we are to celebrate this wonderful honour with her.’

Mark Foster, Chair of Trustees, said: ‘Dale Rooks is widely recognised in our city, county and increasingly nationally for her exceptional work with and contribution to young people and the community. In addition to her work at CFT, Dale also volunteers to support young people as a governor of Bishop Luffa school, a trustee of Creative County West Sussex and a trustee at the West Sussex Music Hub, alongside many other projects. All of us at Chichester Festival Theatre are absolutely delighted that her service, contribution and impact has been recognised, and we warmly congratulate her on this honour.’