ATLANTA: Synchronicity Theatre has announced that Lee Nowell has stepped down as its managing director. Nowell left the position on June 30 to focus on other creative projects. On July 1, Virginia Nugent stepped in as the company’s interim managing director and will assume Nowell’s roles and responsbilities until a full-time managing director is found.
Nowell started as Synchronicity’s managing director in 2015, and since then, she has been instrumental in ensuring the theatre’s financial viability and larger profile in Atlanta’s cultural landscape. During her tenure, the company’s main stage programming increased from 3 shows a year to 5, and the theatre experienced increased ticket sales and patrons. Nowell also oversaw the launch of several initiatives, including
the arts incubator project for new works called Stripped Bare, and an expansion of mission-driven educational programming such as Playmaking for Girls. Nowell also established a five-year strategic plan that increased salaries for artists, designers, and staff and eliminated all long-term debt.
Prior to her work at Synchronicity, Nowell was the senior coordinator for The SLAM Collaborative for 14 years, as well as co-artistic director of her own theatre, Metropolitan Theatre Alliance, and a veteran of Hedgerow Theatre, where she was nominated for the Drama League’s Directors Lab. She is an award-winning playwright whose works include Albatross, Urban Fairytale, Blue Angels Weekend, Preacher from the Black Lagoon, How to Survive Being Human, and Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project. Honors include an Inverness Playwriting Award, three Turner New Voices in the Works Grants, two NEA Grants, a Jennie Award, a Suzi Bass Award, and an NEA Distinguished New Play Development Award. She serves on the advisory board of the Essential Theatre and is in the vanguard of Atlanta’s Salon Theatre movement. Nowell received her drama degree from Kenyon College.
Nugent has 20 years of arts management and leadership experience across the United States, and has worked at Pittsburgh Opera, History Theatre, Minnesota Dance Theatre/the Dance Institute, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Chicago Dramatists, and the Actors Gymnasium. For 10 years prior, she worked on production in her native Australia. Nugent also runs a company called Mayday Creative Solutions, which specializes in stewarding organizations in times of transition, managing business operations, private coaching, and special projects.
Nowell will continue as an artistic associate with the company.