Indiana’s Phoenix Theatre Announces Leadership Change

The Indianapolis theatre’s founding producing director departed after 35 years.

INDIANAPOLIS: Phoenix Theatre has announced that founding producing director Bryan Fonseca has left the company, and that Bill Simmons, the theatre’s capital campaign manager, began in the post of artistic director earlier this month. Fonseca has been named the theatre’s founding and producing director emeritus, and the Russell Theatre’s stage will be named the Bryan Fonseca Stage in his honor.

Bryan Fonseca.

“Bryan dedicated his life and professional career to building a first-class theatre that is also an integral part of the National New Play Network, offering world premieres of the work of important new playwrights,” said board president Frank Basile in a statement. “I can think of no more fitting honor and legacy than to name the stage in the Russell Theatre the Bryan Fonseca Stage.”

During his 35-year tenure at the company, Fonseca grew the storefront theatre into an $11 million institution that is situated on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

“The board of directors believe that the institution now needs to redirect its energy to a solid fiscal focus,” said Fonseca in a statement. “That there are other leaders more capable of putting their energies into meeting the remaining financial demands of the institution’s capital campaign and future operations. I am leaving to focus my creative energies elsewhere.”

According to the Indy Star, Fonseca has announced that he will open a new theatre, the River West Theater Company. The company will focus on producing works by and for diverse voices and audiences. The first production will be in September at Indy Convergence.