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South Coast Rep’s Marc Masterson to Step Down Next Spring

Masterson departs after 7 years leading the California theatre toward more new work and community ventures.

Marc Masterson.

COSTA MESA, CALIF.: The board of trustees of South Coast Repertory (SCR) and artistic director Marc Masterson have reached a mutual agreement that, after seven years of service, his contract will end at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.

“We certainly wish Marc well in his future endeavors,” said SCR board of trustees president Alan Slutzky in a statement. “We thank him for his excellent leadership in expanding and diversifying the artistic repertoire and our community-based initiatives, as well as the audiences served during his tenure.”

In 2011 Masterson succeeded the theatre’s founding artistic directors, David Emmes and Martin Benson, after an extensive search. Under Masterson’s leadership, SCR has increased its production of world premieres by more than 40 percent and launched two major community-based initiatives: Dialogue/Diálogos, a bilingual site-specific community-based project in Santa Ana, Calif., and CrossRoads, a new-play commissioning program to generate work that reflects the diversity of Orange County. Plays and productions have moved from SCR stages to theatres in New York, Chicago, Berkeley and around the country, including Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2,which SCR commissioned and premiered this past spring, and another production ran closely thereafter on Broadway.

“I have been thrilled to lead the excellent company of artists and theatre makers at South Coast Repertory for the past seven years,” said Masterson in a statement. “I have found inspiration in the community and vibrancy in the work, which has been among my proudest accomplishments. It is time for me to explore other chapters of my career and seek new partnerships in making theatre for a contemporary audience.”

Masterson will continue as artistic director through the end of the 2017-18 season, directing Shakespeare in Love in January and leading programming for the 2018-19 season. The search for a new artistic director will begin in early 2018.

SCR, founded in 1964, annually stages 13 productions, a mix of new, contemporary and established plays.

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