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Oregon Children’s Theatre Promotes Marcella Crowson to Artistic Director

Crowson succeeds the company’s founding leader, Stan Foote, after 14 years with the company.

PORTLAND, ORE.: Oregon Children’s Theatre has named associate artistic director Marcella Crowson to be its next artistic director, effective immediately. With this promotion, Crowson succeeds Stan Foote, the company’s first artistic director, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 season after 28 years with the company.

Marcella Crowson.

“After interviewing a selection of very capable candidates from around the country,” said OCT board president Amanda Carter-Jura in a statement, “Marci emerged as our unanimous choice. We appreciate her artistic vision, her commitment to artistic and educational excellence, her understanding of the staff’s daily and long-term needs, and her deep respect and care for young people.”

Crowson was originally hired by OCT in 2006 to shape and grow the Educational Theatre Program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. In 2016, Crowson moved into the role of associate artistic director. Since then, she has also served on the board of the national arts advocacy group, Theatre for Young Audiences/USA. Her promotion to artistic director will have Crowson working under OCT’s dual leadership model with managing director Ross McKeen.

“Marci brings not only a history of accomplishments at OCT, but a strong vision for moving the company forward,” said McKeen in a statement. “I’m excited to collaborate with her on building that future.”

Recently, Crowson directed the OCT productions of Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall, Jason and the Argonauts, Flora & Ulysses, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

“Making art with, by, and for children is the best, most meaningful job in the world,” said Crowson in a statement. “It’s an incredible privilege to play a part in forging the next vision for OCT, mindful of our responsibility to our community’s health and vitality, with a continuing investment in new work, while telling great stories onstage that invite us all to imagine and create a brighter future together.”

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