The National Theatre has appointed David Sabel as its first digital head of media to oversee its developing digital strategy, including its cinema initiative NT Live.

Sabel, who takes over his new role immediately, joined the National Theatre in September 2008 as producer of NT Live, which launched in June with the broadcast of Phedre, starring Helen Mirren, to 19 countries. It was followed by the live broadcast of All’s Well That Ends Well on October 1.

Under the scheme, performances are filmed live at the National Theatre in high definition and broadcast via satellite to over 70 cinemas and performing arts centres in the UK and 260 more around the world, including the US, Canada, South Africa, and Europe.

As part of his new role, Sabel will look to increase the reach of NT Live as well as develop more content around the productions in its repertoire. He will also develop new media tools and resources and experiment with new technologies, methods of production and distribution.

Sabel trained as an actor at Northwestern University in Chicago and Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He worked as a chef for three years before taking an MBA at Cambridge University before joining the National Theatre. He has also produced the National Theatre’s first documentary commission, Making War Horse, which will be shown on TV this autumn.