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The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre will have a new artistic director come next June.

The Royal MTC's board of directors has named Kelly Thornton as the incoming artistic director. Steven Schipper announced in March he'd be leaving; he'll stay on in the role until May 31, 2019.

Thornton has 25 years of professional theatre experience, including 17 as artistic director of the Nightwood Theatre in Toronto.

"Our goal was to find a dynamic and energetic artistic leader who undestood the vision and mission of Royal MTC and wanted to build on our success. Kelly has proven with her 17-year commitment to Nightwood Theatre that she has a passion for expanding the reach of a vibrant theatre organization," says board of trustees chair Dave Christie in a news release.