CHICAGO: Strawdog Theatre Company has announced the departure of artistic director Leda Hoffmann, effective Aug. 15. Hoffmann, who joined the company in January 2019, is leaving the company after accepting the position of artistic director of CATCO in Columbus, Ohio. Hoffmann is still set to direct Strawdog’s postponed world premiere of Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire, by Brian James Polak. A new date is still to be announced. In the interim, ensemble member Kamille Dawkins will serve as the company’s artistic director.
“It has been our pleasure at Strawdog to have Leda as our artistic director,” said board president Jennifer Nelson in a statement. “Her leadership and vision were immediately apparent and impactful, and obviously other companies were taking notice. While we wish we could have worked together longer, Leda will always be a part of our artistic family and we wish her the very best. We are thrilled to have ensemble member Kamille Dawkins step in as interim artistic director and look forward to her leadership in this time of transition.”
Kamille Dawkins is a graduate of the Savanah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., where she earned a BFA in both Performing Arts and in Film and Television. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Dawkins moved to Chicago in 2016 after completing her nine-month Emerging Professional Residency at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She has since joined the Chicago theatre community as an actor, musician, singer, writer, and assistant director. She was invited to join the Strawdog ensemble in 2017, shortly after performing in the company’s production Once in A Lifetime. Since then, Kamille has performed in several Strawdog productions and has served as both Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair as well as co-ensemble manager for the company. Dawkins is also an ensemble member of One Year Chekhov.
“It is an honor to be entrusted with the role of interim artistic director,” said Dawkins in a statement. “This transitions is made all the much easier with the support and confidence of my fellow ensemble members. We are sad to see Leda go, but are looking forward to working with her again and watching her succeed in her new position.”
Added Hoffmann in a statement, “I am so grateful for my time as artistic director at Strawdog and for the wonderful collaborators with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work. While I am thrilled about this new position and the opportunities it provides, I am sad to be leaving Strawdog and this theatre community. I look forward to returning to direct Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire.”
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