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Sarah Rasmussen Is Jungle Theater’s New Artistic Director

The South Dakota native will succeed founder Bain Boehlke beginning this summer.

MINNEAPOLIS: Jungle Theater has named Sarah Rasmussen as its new artistic director this summer, following a nationwide search. She will succeed founding artistic director Bain Boehlke, who announced his departure last year after 23 years leading the theatre.

sarah-rasmussen_320_opt“I am so proud of the thoughtful search process undertaken by our committee, and thrilled with the decision by the committee to name Sarah Rasmussen as my successor at the Jungle,” Boehlke said in a statement. “I have every confidence that this theatre will be in excellent hands under her leadership, and that she will be a wonderful addition to the Twin Cities theatre scene.”

The search committee for the new artistic director received more applications than expected, but Rasmussen’s credentials stood out significantly, according to Jungle’s board chair, Jeffrey Bores, and other members of the committee.

“We were pleased to have so many fine candidates, but Sarah stood out for her incredible passion for the theatre, her extensive knowledge and connections and her amazing vision for what theatre can be for so many,” Bores said in a statement.

Rasmussen’s credits include directing Jungle’s In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) in 2012, which won the IVEY Award for overall excellence, and later serving as assistant director for the show during its Broadway run. Rasmussen has directed and developed works at the Humana Festival, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, Hangar Theater, Soho Rep’s writer/director lab, PlayPenn and the Lark, among others. Rassmusen was also a 2011 recipient of the Princess Grace Award.

In addition to being responsible for the artistic vision and focus of Jungle Theater and selecting the season repertoire, Rasmussen will be asked to direct a minimum of two productions per season, while working collaboratively with executive director Margo Gisselman on budgeting, communication and fundraising.

“The artists and audiences in the Twin Cities are truly extraordinary,” said Rasmussen, who started her first theatre company at 14 in her hometown of Sisseton, S.D., in a statement. “This town is the place that inspired me to become a director. I am honored to play a part in its future. Bain has created an exquisite theatregoing experience, and I look forward to building on that legacy, inviting audiences to experience stories both familiar and new.”

Jungle Theater was founded in 1991 and has become a flagship example of the transformative power of the performing arts, playing a vital, continuing role in the economic, social and cultural life of its Minneapolis Lyn-Lake neighborhood.

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