PHILADELPHIA: Pig Iron Theatre Company, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, has announced that Laurie Ortega-Murphy will become the company’s new managing director beginning Feb. 8. Ortega-Murphy will succeed Maya Choldin, who stepped down in October 2020 to accept a position as the executive director of Theatre Calgary. During the national search for Choldin’s successor, board president Scott Reynolds served as interim managing director. Ortega-Murphy will serve alongside co-artistic director Dan Rothenberg and Quinn Bauriedel as well as the Pig Iron board of directors.
“I am thrilled to welcome Laurie Ortega-Murphy to Pig Iron,” said Bauriedel in a statement. “It is a pivotal time—for the company, the field, and the nation. Laurie brings joy to their work and also sees possibilities for theatre generally, and Pig Iron specifically, to reimagine our work ahead. They will help the company to begin the next chapter of forward-looking performance and to train the next generations of theatrical rabble-rousers. Laurie brings a wealth of experience from a variety of industries, which I see as a great asset to the company as we move beyond our 25th year.”
An administrator, artist, and educator, Ortega-Murphy has a background in independent school and theatre management, educational programming, and freelance producing. They are a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and most recently served as the director of customer success for Trackers Earth in Portland, Ore., and as the managing editor of the Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base. They also served as an openly queer and non-binary program director for Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, Ortega-Murphy has worked with Yale Repertory Theatre in management positions, New York’s New Victory Theater as the artistic programming fellow, and Chicago’s Tellin’ Tales Theatre as a board member.
In their new position, Ortega-Murphy will take a producerial lead on several projects in development, including a remount of the company’s 2006 production of Love Unpunished, scheduled for fall 2021 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the events of Sept. 11. They will also work on a new collaboration with filmmaker Josephine Decker, which is in development for fall 2022.
“I have deep admiration for Pig Iron as a company and Philadelphia as a city,” said Ortega-Murphy in a statement, “and I am honored to be invited into these communities. Our world needs ensembles like Pig Iron that explore the human experience through intensive collaboration, making space onstage for multiple perspectives and voices. I also look forward to continuing my work with colleagues across the nation in dismantling systemic oppression and to building a theatre industry that is joyful, equitable, and anti-racist.”
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