Cutting Ball Names Ariel Craft Artistic Director

Craft will succeed Paige Rogers in the leadership role this July.

SAN FRANCISCO: The Cutting Ball Theater has named Ariel Craft to be its new artistic director. She will begin the post on July 1, succeeding Paige Rogers, who founded the company with her husband, Rob Melrose, in 1999. Rogers and Melrose will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors, and Rogers will be artistically involved in the company’s 20th anniversary season.

Ariel Craft and Paige Rogers. (Photo courtesy of the Cutting Ball Theater)

“I could not be more excited about this journey ahead,” said Craft in a statement. “It is a privilege to take the artistic reins of such a strong company. At a time when theatre companies are often living month-to-month, Cutting Ball has a loyal base of donors and subscribers, thrives upon a thrilling set of core creative values, is critically acclaimed for artistic achievement, attracts artists from around the world, and has put down meaningful roots in the Tenderloin.”

Craft, 28, has been associated with the Cutting Ball Theater since 2015. Most recently, she directed Paula Vogel’s Mineola Twins. Her production of Phèdre  at the theatre in 2017 garnered her a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Direction.

“Rob and I worked hard to put Cutting Ball on solid footing, but we also have other artistic goals that we’d like to pursue,” said Rogers in a statement. “The great news is that Ariel is one of the most exciting and creative artistic minds anywhere. Bay Area audiences and Cutting Ball are really lucky to have her.”

Craft adds, “My aim is to build on Rob’s and Paige’s great work and to continue to take the kinds of artistic risks that have made Cutting Ball the unique haven it is for artists and audiences alike.”