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Leadership

Content in this section explores leadership in theatre: best practices, aspects that need to change, and more. It contains one of HowlRound’s most robust Journal series: The Changeover: Leadership in Transition, marking the period of unprecedented turnover of leadership in the nonprofit theatre in the United States and Canada from 2018 to 2021. In this series, incoming or outgoing institutional leaders are in conversation with one another about their tenure leading organizations and their hopes for the future.

The Latest

There's Nothing General About General Admission
Podcast
There's Nothing General About General Admission
With Rose Kim of Art Rat Theatre School
by Yura Sapi
22 September 2021
Transforming Organizational Structures
Podcast
Transforming Organizational Structures
With Eric Lockley of The Movement Theatre Company
by Yura Sapi
15 September 2021
Co-Productions and Rethinking Leadership
Podcast
Co-Productions and Rethinking Leadership
With Maurice Parent of the Front Porch Arts Collective
by Yura Sapi
30 June 2021
How To Prep A Staff For An Organizational Pivot
Essay

How To Prep A Staff For An Organizational Pivot

Rob Orchard and Susan Medak in Conversation, Part 2

2 December 2018

Susie Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep Theatre, talks to Rob Orchard about how to best prep staff for a major leadership change, how an outgoing artistic director can work with the incoming one, and more.

Two people smiling in front of a theatre
How To Prep A Board For An Organizational Pivot
Essay

How To Prep A Board For An Organizational Pivot

Rob Orchard and Susan Medak in Conversation, Part 1

25 November 2018

Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep Theatre, speaks with Rob Orchard about a board’s involvement with changing leadership, reevaluating a company’s artistic mission in the lead up to hiring someone new, and more.

Following Curiosity and Keeping the Apocalypse at Bay
Essay

Following Curiosity and Keeping the Apocalypse at Bay

Tony Taccone and Pam MacKinnon in Conversation

18 November 2018

Berkeley Rep’s outgoing artistic director Tony Taccone talks with new artistic director of A.C.T. Pam MacKinnon about moving from freelancing to running an institution and vice versa, the language used to talk about a company’s vision, subscriptions as economic foundation of theatre, and more.

director in rehearsal with three actors
"I Only Do Work that Terrifies Me"
Essay

"I Only Do Work that Terrifies Me"

Rebecca Novick and Marissa Wolf in Conversation

11 November 2018

Director, dramaturg, and founding AD of Crowded Fire, Rebcca Novick, speaks with Marissa Wolf, the new AD of Portland Center Stage—and former AD of Crowded Fire as well—about knowing when you’re ready for change, leaving communities you’ve helped build, parenting in the arts, and more.

An actor and a puppet on stage
What Do I Want This Next Decade to Be?
Essay

What Do I Want This Next Decade to Be?

Kim Whitener and Mara Isaacs in conversation

4 November 2018

Kim Whitener, the former executive director of HERE, and theatre producer and consultant Mara Isaacs sit down to talk about moving from institutions to the freelance world (and vice versa), the generosity of other theatre creators, work-life balance, and more.

director in a rehearsal room talking to two actors
Aligning Values with Actions
Essay

Aligning Values with Actions

Bill Rauch and Diane Ragsdale in Conversation

28 October 2018

Bill Rauch, the inaugural artistic director of the Perelman Performing Arts Center, and Diane Ragsdale, assistant professor at the New School, sit down to discuss long overlaps between outgoing and incoming leaders; equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives; the responsibility of an artistic leader is the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp; and more.

silhouette of performer playing guitar while audience watches, holding flashlights
The Final Act
Essay

The Final Act

Sunsetting a Nonprofit Arts Organization

23 October 2018

Scott Artley talks about the decision to wind down activities of Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis after over thirty years on the scene and details the steps taken to “sunset” the organization in a respectful, beautiful way.

woman, smiling and holding a mic, addresses audience
Walking Narrative-Subverters
Essay

Walking Narrative-Subverters

Joyce Rosario and Meiyin Wang in Conversation

21 October 2018

Joyce Rosario, interim artistic director of the PuSh Festival, and producer and curator Meiyin Wang sit down to talk about whether the next crop of leaders is being set up for success, working across differences with colleagues, their respective transitions, and more.

director giving an actor notes
Teach Them How to Say Goodbye
Essay

Teach Them How to Say Goodbye

Howard Shalwitz and Carey Perloff in Conversation

18 October 2018

Howard Shalwitz, co-founder of Woolly Mammoth, talks with Carey Perloff, longtime director of American Conservatory Theater, about their decades-long tenures at their respective companies, covering everything from the throughline of founding manifestos, to the five- to six-year cycles companies go through, to how lonely it is to be an artistic director, and more.

actors hugging onstage
Shifting Institutions, Shifting Audiences
Essay

Shifting Institutions, Shifting Audiences

Brendan Healy and May Antaki in Conversation

17 October 2018

May Antaki speaks with Brendan Healy, the new artistic director of Toronto’s Canadian Stage, about leadership changeovers happening across Canada, how his approach to being an AD has shifted over the years, his desire to cultivate curiosity inside audiences, and more.

Punching Up
Essay

Punching Up

Stephanie Ybarra and Maria Goyanes in Conversation

16 October 2018

Stephanie Ybarra and Maria Goyanes discuss their similar artistic journies and their goals for the future.

Redefining What Tomorrow Looks Like
Essay

Redefining What Tomorrow Looks Like

Hana Sharif and Kwame Kwei-Armah in Conversation

15 October 2018

Artistic directors Hana Sharif and Kwame Kwei-Armah discuss transitions in leadership in the US and UK and how they've helped define success in their respective institutions.

David Dower and David Howse stand next to each other.
A User’s Guide to Leadership Transition in the North American Theatre
Essay

A User’s Guide to Leadership Transition in the North American Theatre

14 October 2018

David Dower, artistic director of ArtsEmerson, introduces the leadership series with thoughts and advice from his past experiences with major leadership transitions over his thirty-year career.

photo collage of Malawi actresses
The Changing Theatre Landscape for Women Artists in Malawi
Essay

The Changing Theatre Landscape for Women Artists in Malawi

4 October 2018

Isaac Mafuel examines the role women have played in the theatre industry in Malawi, from its birth in the late 1960s until now.

The Path Forward at the Network for Arts Administrators of Color and ArtsBoston
Video

The Path Forward at the Network for Arts Administrators of Color and ArtsBoston

Thursday 24 May 2018
Boston, MA, United States

The Network for Arts Administrators of Color and ArtsBoston presented The Path Forward: A Conversation on Racial Equity in Arts Leadership  livestreamed from the National Museum of Singapore on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 24 May from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EDT (Boston) / 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PDT (San Francisco).

 

Shifting the Leadership Paradigm
Essay

Shifting the Leadership Paradigm

the Berkshire Leadership Summit and Beyond

9 April 2018

Sara Brookner interviews the steering committee of the Berkshire Leadership Summit, which brought together a hundred present and future US and Canadian women leaders to discuss equity and advancement in the theatre field.

2018 Edwin Booth Award: Young Jean Lee
Video

2018 Edwin Booth Award: Young Jean Lee

Friday 23 March 2018
New York City, NY, United States

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center presented the the 2018 Edwin Booth Award: Young Jean Lee on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 23 March at 6:30 p.m. EDT (New York) / 5:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 3:30 p.m. PDT (San Francisco). Follow @HowlRound on Twitter for updates, and use #howlround.

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Video

The Intersections Summit at Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018
Milwaukee, WN, United States

Milwaukee Repertory Theater presented the Intersections Summit livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Friday 23 March and Saturday 24 March 2018.

Amplifying Voices: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts 
Video

Amplifying Voices: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts 

Boston Center for the Arts

Tuesday 20 February 2018
Boston, MA, United States

The Network for Arts Administrators of Color presented Amplifying Voices: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts at Boston Center for the Arts archived on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 20 February at 6 p.m. EST (Boston) / 5 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3 p.m. PST (San Francisco). 

Interview with Werewere Liking of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock / Interview avec Werewere Liking du Village Ki-Yi M’Bock
Essay

Interview with Werewere Liking of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock / Interview avec Werewere Liking du Village Ki-Yi M’Bock

8 January 2018

An Interview with Werewere Liking founder of the Theatre Company Village Ki-Yi M'Bock in Côte d’Ivoire. / Une interview avec Werewere Liking, la fondatrice du Village Ki-Yi M'Bock en Côte d’Ivoire. 

Paving the Way: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts
Video

Paving the Way: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts

Tuesday 12 December 2017
Boston, MA, United States

ArtsBoston presented Paving the Way: A Conversation with Leaders of Color in the Arts livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 12 December 2017 at 6 p.m. EST (Boston) / 5 p.m. CST (Chicago) / 3 p.m. PST (San Francisco).

Day by Day
Essay

Day by Day

Finding the Voices of Deaf Leadership on Stage

14 September 2016

Educator and director Luanne Davis Haggerty directs a musical with a Deaf and hearing cast and considers how the rehearsal room creates and reveals forms of Deaf leadership.

Changing the Script for Women Directors
Essay

Changing the Script for Women Directors

Diane Paulus and Liesl Tommy

24 August 2016

Carey Purcell talks to Diane Paulus and Liesl Tommy about all women creative teams.

The Women’s Leadership Conference at American Conservatory Theater and The Wellesley Centers for Women
Video

The Women’s Leadership Conference at American Conservatory Theater and The Wellesley Centers for Women

Monday 22 August 2016
San Fransisco, CA, United States

American Conservatory Theater and The Wellesley Centers for Women presented the opening session of the Women’s Leadership Conference livestreamed on the global, commons-based peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv from San Francisco on Monday 22 August at 10 a.m.-12 p.m. PDT (San Francisco) / 12 p.m.-2 p.m. CDT (Chicago) / 1 p.m.-3 p.m. EDT (New York) / 17:00-19:00 GMT / 6 p.m.-8 p.m. BST (London). Follow @ACTSanFrancisco@HowlRoundTV and share your thoughts using #ACTWLC and #howlround.

Women’s Leadership
Essay

Women’s Leadership

Research Results and Recommendations

21 August 2016

The American Conservatory Theater with Wellesley Centers for Women present findings on a three-year study on the gender equity of leadership opportunities in the nonprofit American theater.