Bolstering its UK team, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment has promoted Sophie Gardiner to Head of Drama, Executive Creative Director and hired Melissa Gallant as Creative Director to work alongside Katie Draper. Gardiner was previously Creative Director and will now oversee Playground’s growing UK television production and development slate. That includes the adaptation of Howards End which is penned by Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan for the BBC and Starz; the Anthony Hopkins-starring King Lear for the BBC; and Little Women for the BBC and Masterpiece.
Gallant was formerly Head of Development at Fifty Fathoms and also worked in development and production at Tiger Aspect, including on such series as Peaky Blinders, Robin Hood and Murphy’s Law.
Draper, formerly a Senior Development Executive at Playground, has also been upped to Creative Director. Before joining Playground, she was a development executive at Kudos and also worked in development and production at Tiger Aspect. Her credits also include Peaky Blinders.
Playground works across theater, film and television in the UK and U.S. Recent standouts include miniseries Wolf Hall for the BBC and Masterpiece; the TV adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser for the BBC and Starz; and Starz’ limited series The White Princess. Howards End is currently in production with Heidi Thomas’s adaptation of Little Women in pre-production.
The company also has Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and on the West End, in partnership with Sonia Friedman Productions, has Casey Nicholaw’s Dreamgirls, and the record-breaking Olivier Award winner Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, which heads to New York next year.