STAUNTON, VA.: American Shakespeare Center (ASC) has announced that managing director Amy Wratchford will be departing from the company, effective Dec. 31. Wratchford has served as ASC’s managing director since May 2010. In the news release, the company stated that ASC is headed toward an intentional “dark” period in January and February 2021, which will include beginning a quarterly budget planning process in which future programming is tied to achieving fundraising benchmarks. As part of the plan, over the next three months, the company will “ramp down” full-time staff. ASC is still working on plans to present its annual Christmas Carol this December.
“It has been an amazing 10 years,” said Wratchford in a statement. “We’ve successfully produced our SafeStart Season under impossible odds and have a strong plan for 2021. It is time to bring in new eyes and fresh energy.”
During Wratchford’s tenure, she oversaw the growth of the company’s annual operating budget from $2 million to $4.2 million. Additionally she has led advocacy efforts at all levels of government, represented the company on state and national grants panels, and consulted with organizations across the country. Wratchford also serves on the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center’s Community Advisory Board, Shenandoah Valley Governor’s School Advisory Council, and the Staunton City School Board.
“Amy has had a steady hand on the tiller for a decade of growth and change at ASC and every one of us owes her an extraordinary debt of gratitude for the sacrifices she has made to keep us going,” said artistic director Ethan McSweeny in a statement. “Beyond the playhouse, she has done an incredible job enhancing the vital economic contributions ASC makes to Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues and the many artists that have had an opportunity to work with her.”
In a statement, Rodney Young, chair of the ASC board of trustees added, “Amy has provided invaluable leadership and devoted service to the American Shakespeare Center for a decade. Amy’s selfless devotion to the mission and success of ASC has been constant, and was never better exemplified than her steady leadership during this most difficult year managing the unprecedented upheaval and disruptions visited on ASC and the theatre industry by the COVID-19 pandemic. The board respects and accepts her decision to step down with sadness but with an appreciation and gratitude for all her contributions to ASC and we wish her great success and joy in her future professional endeavors.”
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