BOSTON: ArtsEmerson has announced that Ronee Penoi will serve as their new director of artistic programming. She will begin her work with ArtsEmerson starting Aug. 2. In this position, Penoi will oversee the strategies, programs, activities, and outcomes of ArtsEmerson’s signature work in artistic and civic engagement. Penoi will also lead the artistic engagement and guest experience teams. ArtsEmerson previously worked with Penoi in her most recent role as producer at Octopus Theatricals.
“After an extensive search process that attracted national and international candidates, I am excited to welcome Ronee Penoi to ArtsEmerson, to Emerson College, and to the city of Boston,” said ArtsEmerson’s executive director, David C. Howse, in a statement. “Ronee is an accomplished and well-respected producer in the American theatre. Her track record of centering artists, her artistic curiosity, and her commitment to racial justice and climate justice are just a few ways that she exemplifies our shared values here at ArtsEmerson. I am energized by the idea of what will come of Ronee’s collaboration with the team and our community.”
As producer with Octopus Theatricals, Penoi advanced the work of Cherokee artist DeLanna Studi (And So We Walked), Phantom Limb Company (Falling Out), Ripe Time (Sleep), Homer’s Coat (An Iliad by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson), and Theatre for One, among others. She is a two-time International Society of Performing Arts global fellow, and has been an Association of Performing Arts Professionals leadership fellow and Theatre Communications Group Rising Leader of Color. Penoi is a founding member of the Industry Standard Group (TISG), a commercial investment and producing organization with an intentional focus on increasing the presence of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) investors and producers in the commercial producing field.
Penoi’s artistic practice and advocacy draws from her Indigenous background; her father was enrolled with both the Cherokee Nation and Pueblo of Laguna (her mother is white, of Polish ethnicity). Her great-grandfather, Mark Penoi, attended Carlisle Indian School, and Penoi is passionate about sharing how the legacy of that traumatic boarding school experience has shaped her and other descendants’ lives.
“ArtsEmerson is known internationally for its ambitious artistic work, culture of care, and integrity,” shared Ronee Penoi in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to work with David Howse and the incomparable ArtsEmerson staff to continue this work while pressing ahead to address the next set of challenges: How does our arts practice and impact re-story our past and decolonize our future? I’m indebted to Rob Orchard and David Dower’s extraordinary artistic leadership that has paved the way.”
Penoi has also composed work with collaborator Annalisa Dias on #Resist and The Carlisle Project, and is a co-founder and collaborator with Groundwater Arts Collective dedicated to climate justice in the arts. Previously, Penoi was producer-in-residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and senior producing fellow and directing fellow at Arena Stage; she also toured nationally with Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy. She spent three years with the Consensus Building Institute, a nonprofit specializing in facilitation and mediation services. Her current anti-racism practice builds upon a decolonization framework and embraces systems change as a key component of that work. She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in music, with certificates in vocal performance and theatre & dance. She has been invited to guest lecture on producing at Princeton University, CalArts, Howard University, and for American University’s graduate Arts Administration program.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!