NEW YORK CITY: Ensemble Studio Theatre has named Sarah McLellan as its new executive director. She will begin her new job on March 5, succeeding Paul Slee who served in the role for 10 years.
“We are also ready to embrace this opportunity for change and feel so lucky to have found Sarah McLellan who will be bringing a new generation of leadership to EST,” said artistic director William Carden in a statement. “In managing another theatre for the last four years she has proved herself to be an inspired advocate and leader who shares our passion for developing artists and new work.”
McLellan has served as managing director of New York City’s Clubbed Thumb since 2014. Prior to that, she worked as the assistant administrative director of the Juilliard Drama Division, the artistic and management programs associate at Theatre Communications Group, and she spent four years coordinating the Apprentice and Workshop programs at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She was a participant in the Juilliard Professional Intern Program, and is a member of the NYFA Emerging Leaders Bootcamp. McLellan received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she focused on theatre production and administration.
“As a long-time admirer of EST’s artistic tradition and legacy, I am thrilled and honored to partner with Billy and the phenomenal EST Board and staff,” said McLellan in a statement. “The driving inspiration of my professional life has been to support and nurture adventurous, risk-taking art and the artists who create it. I can’t think of a better institution than EST to make an impact on the future of the American theatre, and to support the artists who make that future a reality.”
During his tenure, Slee helped to engineer the strategic plan to integrate EST’s core artistic programs with its new-play development program for artists. Slee’s legacy is also marked by the generous support he helped EST receive from the Radio Drama Network, the City of New York, and the Department of Cultural Affairs to fund the company’s new performance space, studio theatre, and renovations of its office.
“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as executive director of Ensemble Studio Theatre since June 2007,” said Slee in a statement. “I’m deeply grateful to Billy and to my staff colleagues, and to the Board of Directors and legions of EST artists and patrons, for all that we’ve accomplished together to build a stronger company and bring so many wonderful new plays to life. I look forward to returning often to see what’s next, and to experience the new theatre space when it’s built. I am so proud to have played this role for so long, and I wish much success to Sarah McLellan as she embarks on this forever new adventure in theatre.”
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