LOS ANGELES: Center Theatre Group’s board of directors today announced the appointment of Meghan Pressman as the organization’s new managing director/CEO. Pressman joins CTG from Washington, D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she has served as managing director since 2014. Following an international search conducted by Phillips Oppenheim, CTG’s board of directors selected Pressman to partner with artistic director Michael Ritchie in leading one of the nation’s largest and most active theatre companies, which has an annual budget of $50 million.
As managing director/CEO, Pressman will oversee all of CTG’s management, finances, communications, marketing, institutional advancement, technology, and human resources. She succeeds Stephen Rountree, who stepped down last fall.
“It’s truly a delight and honor to join Michael Ritchie in the leadership of one of our country’s most essential and influential cultural institutions,” said Pressman in a statement. “This is an amazing opportunity to build on Center Theatre Group’s legacy of artistic ambition and excellence, and to cultivate an audience as diverse and vibrant as Los Angeles. Center Theatre Group is really at a great, pivotal moment in its history, having already brought so many amazing works of theatre to audiences from all walks of life. I look forward to working with Michael, the board, and the incredible staff to continue exploring ways to connect with new and different members of the community and ensuring the organization remains an integral part of L.A.’s cultural fabric for the next 50 years.”
“I look forward to a robust partnership with Meghan as together we move into this
exciting new chapter for Center Theatre Group,” said Ritchie in a statement. “Following the resounding success of our 50th anniversary season, we are well positioned to set a strong foundation for this organization’s future, both as an internationally renowned theatre organization and as a civic partner for Los Angeles. Meghan is a great leader for where Center Theatre Group is today and where we expect to be in the next 10 years.”
“I am thrilled about the board’s choice after an extensive and highly competitive international search which involved outreach to many of our stakeholders to help identify the best person for this critical leadership position,” said CTG board president Kiki Ramos Gindler. “Our search committee was looking for someone who could bring a fresh and strategic vision to our more than 50-year-old organization to continue steering it toward an exciting future. With Meghan’s deep roots in theatre, and her solid business training and fundraising experience, we are confident that she is the perfect individual to enhance Center Theatre Group and its impact on our patrons, donors, and other stakeholders both throughout the greater Los Angeles area and also across the field nationally.”
At Woolly Mammoth, Pressman has overseen the operations of a $5 million nonprofit organization with a national reputation as a center for theatrical research and development. Her role has included the supervision of all financial, operations, development, and marketing departments and shared supervision with the artistic director of the production and community engagement departments. During Woolly’s 2017-18 Season, she served on the leadership team of its artistic director search committee to replace the organization’s then retiring founding artistic director Howard Shalwitz, and simultaneously designed and launched the Woolly Legacy Campaign to fund the search, transition, and key building infrastructure. During her tenure Woolly Mammoth raised more than $5 million in new special project and multi-year grants and was one of only seven national theatres awarded a four-year $1.2 million Wallace Foundation “Building Audiences for Sustainability” grant.
Prior to joining Woolly, Pressman served as director of development at Signature Theatre in New York City, where she worked with the senior leadership and the board of trustees on long-range strategic planning; organized the advancement of the Signature Ticket Initiative, a groundbreaking program that makes all tickets available for $25 for the initial run of every production; and oversaw the solicitation, cultivation and expansion of the company’s diverse roster of capital and annual donors. Pressman previously served as Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s associate managing director, as well as the managing director for the Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s new-works initiative.
Pressman has also served various other theatre and arts organizations, including Yale Repertory Theatre as associate managing director, Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences as co-founding managing director, and the Chicago Improv Festival as an associate producer. Pressman holds an MFA in theatre management from Yale School of Drama, an MBA from Yale School of Management, an M.A. from Northwestern University and a B.A. from Boston College. At Yale she was the recipient of the Morris J. Kaplan Award and the Benjamin Mordecai Scholarship, both for recognition in theatre management. She is the vice-chair of the national board for the Theatre Communications Group (TCG).