ITHACA, N.Y.: Kitchen Theatre Company announced Rebecca Bradshaw as its new producing artistic director, and Cary Bland Simpson as managing director. Bradshaw previously served as associate producer of Boston’s Huntington Theatre, and Cary Bland Simpson was formerly director of corporate and special events at Only Make Believe.
Bradshaw and Simpson were approved by the Kitchen Theatre Company’s board of trustees in June. Bradshaw will succeed interim producing artistic director David Winitsky, and Simpson will succeed Stephen Nunley, KTC’s managing director of 16 years.
“The decision not to stay at the Kitchen–and to make more great theatre with and for this amazing community–was very hard, but feels very right.” said Winitsky in a statement. “I am so honored to have guided a company that I love into the hands of a stellar new generation of leadership that will take the Kitchen in socially conscious and artistically exciting directions.”
Rebecca Bradshaw is a director, producer, and casting director from Boston. She has directed for Lyric Stage, the Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, A.R.T. Institute, and Emerson College, among others. Bradshaw is leaving her position as associate producer of the Huntington Theatre Company, where she handled line producing, casting, and developing new work. She is a part of the affiliate faculty of Emerson College teaching directing and producing, and has taught casting seminars at Harvard University, Suffolk University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Lesley University, and Boston Conservatory. She is also a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. In addition to her duties at the Kitchen Theatre, she will be directing Witch by Jen Silverman at the Huntington this fall.
“The Kitchen Theatre is a gem in this community,” said Bradshaw in a statement. “I cannot wait to continue the compelling storytelling this company has succeeded at for years while finding ways to further engage the community and stretch the Kitchen’s national identity.”
Cary Bland Simpson, a queer theatremaker from North Carolina, was a founding producing artistic director of the Kenan Theatre Company, and a 2017 Actor’s Fund Performing Arts Legacy project fellow. They’ve worked at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Theater Development Fund, New York Theatre Workshop, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and Only Make Believe.
“I look forward to supporting the bold work the Kitchen is known for as we launch the 30th anniversary season and our return to live theatre, while finding as many pathways for new voices and community building as possible,” said Simpson in a statement. “I am excited to work with industry partners to continue dismantling systemic oppression in the theatre at large and in Ithaca, and to infuse this new era at the Kitchen with allyship, transparency, and joy.”
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