The Actors Conservatory, also known as TAC, has announced that founder and managing artistic director Beth Harper will retire at the end of June 2022, prompting the start of a nationwide search for her replacement.
TAC’s board of directors will be accepting applications for the position through Feb. 20. They expect to announce a successor by early April. To ensure a smooth transition, Harper, who has been at TAC for 37 years, will serve as director emeritus for two years.
Originally known as the Portland Actors Conservatory, TAC was founded in 1985. Today, the organization offers a comprehensive and accredited education program for theater and film actors. Its graduates include acclaimed Portland actors like Tom Mounsey and Samson Syharath.
TAC has a history of unleashing bold, boundary-breaking performances. Past TAC shows include José Rivera’s apocalyptic epic Marisol and David Greig’s supernatural Scottish farce The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, one of several collaborations between TAC and Artists Repertory Theatre.
While the pandemic forced TAC to pivot to virtual theater, it has continued to produce compelling works. Last year, the company’s class of 2021 collaborated with Artists Rep on an audio play titled The Vertical City, which took listeners on a dreamlike journey through Portland in a dystopian future with echoes of Blade Runner and The Hunger Games.