LA JOLLA, CA: La Jolla Playhouse has announced the appointment of Eric Keen-Louie to the title of executive producer. Keen-Louie previously joined the Playhouse in 2018 as producing director.
Keen-Louie’s newly created position will make him lead producer of the Playhouse’s subscription season. He will also take charge of overseeing the development and growth of the theatre alongside artistic director Christopher Ashley and managing director Debby Buchholz.
In his new role, Keen-Louie will collaborate with Playhouse staff to assemble creative teams, casting, budgets, and artistic development for all productions in the subscription season. He will also continue to work with the artistic department regarding planning, programming, and the overall artistic status of the organization. As lead point person for the Playhouse’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work, Keen-Louie will work alongside each department to pursue the organization’s EDI goals.
“From day one at the Playhouse, Eric has shone brilliantly as an innovative leader and trusted collaborator for countless projects, onstage and off,” said Ashley in a statement. “His passion, producing expertise, and fierce dedication to nurturing and championing diverse artists and audiences, made him our unequivocal choice for this vital new position.”
Added Buchholz in a statement, “Eric is deeply respected in the field, both locally and nationally, and he brings a wealth of experience and an invaluable perspective to the table. We are so delighted to have him step into this key role at the Playhouse.”
“With the calls for theatres around the country to take tangible action to advance social justice, I can think of no better place to call home at this moment than La Jolla Playhouse,” said Keen-Louie in a statement. “I am honored to work alongside Chris, Debby, and the remarkable staff and board, as we continue to nurture a Playhouse that is more equitable, inclusive, accessible, and anti-racist. As a gay, third-generation Chinese American, I have not always felt that there was a place for someone like me in theatre. The creation of this position is a reminder that there is and I hope it brings more visibility to the need for continued change and expansion of leadership in our field.”
Keen-Louie joined the Playhouse in 2018 as producing director, overseeing productions including the world premieres of The Coast Starlight, Kiss My Aztec!, and Diana. He previously worked at the Old Globe for seven years as associate producer and later as associate artistic director. During his time at Old Globe he guided almost 50 productions, co-created the Powers New Voices Festival, and helped launch the arts engagement programs Community Voices and Globe for All. Keen-Louie also spent three years at New York City’s Public Theater as the assistant to the associate producer and director of special projects.
Independently, he produced Kingdom and the GLAAD Media Award-winning when last we flew. He also assisted Broadway producer Margo Lion on Hairspray and Caroline, or Change. He is a recipient of the Edward & Sally Van Lier Arts Fellowship for Producing, an alumnus of American Express Leadership Academy, and a member of LEAD San Diego’s Impact 2021 cohort. He is the secretary for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s board of directors and chairs the organization’s inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility committee and new works committee. He graduated with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature from New York University and an M.F.A. in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University, where he received a Dean’s fellowship. He shares his commute to La Jolla with his husband Anthony Keen-Louie, an administrator in student affairs at UC San Diego.
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