DENVER: Phamaly Theatre Company has announced that artistic director Bryce Alexander will leave the company to become artistic director of Naples Players in Naples, Fla, beginning in October. Regan Linton will lead Phamaly for at least the next year as the artistic director in residence. The interim position will be considered a part-time role and will allow Linton to continue her work as a national disability advocate. According to Theatre Communications Group, Linton will become the only artistic director in a wheelchair to lead a major U.S. theatre company.
“Bryce has raised the bar during his time with Phamaly Theatre Company,” said executive director Maureen Johnson Ediger in a statement. “His passion for including artists living with all disabilities, combined with his innate talent for nurturing thought-provoking theatre, made him a profound artistic leader for our company.”
Alexander has been with the company since 2007, and began as the artistic director in February 2015. During his tenure, the company instituted year-round season programming, doubled its staff, significantly increased its funding, and led the company’s first international tour to Osaka, Japan. He also oversaw the implementation of sensory friendly performances in addition to directing numerous productions. He holds a graduate degree in theatre performance from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Linton is a former board member, staff member, and performer at Phamaly. In her new role, she will focus on actor development, season implentation and development, and will continue to build partnerships with the theatre and disability communities. Linton was left paralyzed after a car accident in 2002 while pursuing her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California. She was the first actor in a wheelchair to be part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s repertory company.
“Having a person with a disability in a leadership role is an important statement for any theatre company to make,” said Linton in a statement. “This gives me an opportunity to engage with Phamaly’s vision in a more proactive way, and to engage with actors with disabilities in a new way.”