Artists Repertory Theatre has announced that Arts Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in executive searches, will guide its hunt for a new artistic director.
“The search committee selected ACG because like ART, it recognizes the critical role theater plays in our culture and national conversation and accepts responsibility to make positive change through our work, practices, and policies,” Drea Schmidt, the search committee chair, said in a press release. “We believe that the ACG team brings a depth and breadth of experience to identify a visionary AD for Artists Rep.”
Artists Rep’s board chair, Pancho Savery, has vowed that the search will consider a diverse array of candidates from across the United States.
“This will only be the third artistic director in ART’s history,” Savery added. “ART was the first LORT [League of Resident Theatres] theater in the United States to hire a Latino AD, a leading-edge decision. ART continues its commitment to break new ground and create space for extraordinary theater from new voices.”
Artists Rep announced that it was seeking a new artistic director last October when Dámaso Rodríguez, who had held the position for nine years, decided to step down.
During Rodríguez’s tenure, Artists Rep produced multiple landmark plays, including E.M. Lewis’ five-hour Antarctic epic Magellanica. Whoever succeeds him will have a daunting legacy to live up to—and will inherit the company’s financial struggles.
For years, Artists Rep has been embroiled in a costly renovation. While the company sold half of its space to a development firm for $9 million and received millions more in donations, much of that money was used to pay debts. A capital campaign of over $10 million was required to fund the renovation—and last year, Rodríguez estimated that construction wouldn’t be complete until 2023.
This isn’t the first time that Artists Rep and ACG have been connected. Last year, ACG announced that Rodríguez would be its new vice president.