Ellen Richard, executive director of American Conservatory Theater, will be vacating her post in Spring 2015. In the five years she has spent in that position, Richard has led the company in a number of successes, including raising funds for and brokering the purchase of the Strand Theater on Market Street, where ACT will stage new work and emerging artists; securing grants enabling the company to offer no-cost rehearsal space to local artists at its black-box Costume Shop Theater; greatly expanding the company's education programming to include professional development for teachers and a semester-long program for international students; devising a community-based theatre program aiming to increase visibility for underrepresented voices and encourage multigenerational theatregoing; and, recently, creating the American Musical Theatre Conservatory, ACT's first musical theatre training program, which will launch this summer.
"I am very proud of what American Conservatory Theater has accomplished during my five-year tenure," said Richard. "I will always be grateful for the honor of helping lead this organization through an exciting period of growth and financial success."
There is no word yet on where Richard will take her considerable skills.
Nancy Livingston, chair of ACT's Board of Trustees, adds: "The Board of Trustees will be forever indebted to Ellen for her phenomenal ability to translate the dreams and aspirations of the organization into reality. Her creative approach to problem solving and her considerable business acumen have earned her enormous respect from her colleagues, as well as community leaders. Her legacy is appreciable, and all our good wishes go with her."
The Board of Trustees plans to begin the search for Richard's replacement soon.
Designer's graphic representing the future exterior of the Strand Theater.
Since taking on producing the shows she wanted to see while in college, this month’s Featured Member and two-time Lemonade Fund benefit producer, Megan Briggs, exemplifies how a theatre artist can blow past the constraints placed on early actors to create her own play and develop works that support the field. Read all about her here.