SAN FRANCISCO: Cutting Ball Theater has announced the departure of managing director Suzanne Appel, who will be the new director of external affairs at Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago. Appel will step down from her post at Cutting Ball this month and the theatre will begin a search for an interim managing director, followed by an extensive nationwide search for a permanent managing director.
“Suzanne has made a tremendous impact here at Cutting Ball,” said founding artistic director Rob Melrose in a statement. “Suzanne was our first managing director and an instrumental part of the company’s growth. Everyone in the Cutting Ball family is extremely proud of her work with us and of her next exciting move to Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago. We wish her all the best. She will be greatly missed.”
During her four-year tenure, Appel secured Cutting Ball’s first corporate funding and created a membership program that rewarded audience loyalty. She also helped the company’s operating budget nearly double and developed the company’s board of directors. Prior to Cutting Ball, Appel served as the associate managing director of Yale Repertory Theatre, the director of individual giving at Dance Theater Workshop, and the assistant director of the Wesleyan Annual Fund at Wesleyan University. She received an MFA in theatre management from Yale’s school of management and drama.
“These four years at Cutting Ball have been incredibly rewarding, and I have enjoyed every minute of working with artistic director Rob Melrose and associate artistic director Paige Rogers,” said Appel in a statement. “They have a unique vision for the theatre form, and their commitment to artists experimenting with text, movement, and music in new and classic plays makes Cutting Ball a vital piece of the artistic community in San Francisco. I am proud of the growth we have accomplished together, and the development of our board under the leadership of board chair Mary Anne Cook. I will miss the relationships I have developed with our local community in the Tenderloin. The arts have the capacity to build bridges between differences, and at no time has Cutting Ball’s mission to engage the imagination of our audiences been more important to the civic life of the Tenderloin and all of San Francisco. I look forward to bringing the lessons I have learned from this vibrant company and community with me to Hubbard Street Dance and to Chicago.”