NEW YORK CITY: Rattlestick Theater’s artistic director, Daniella Topol, has announced that she will transition out of her role at the iconic West Village mainstay after seven years to pursue a career in nursing and health care. During Topol’s tenure, Rattlestick has produced works by some of today’s most influential playwrights, including Martyna Majok (Ironbound), Diana Oh (mylingerieplay), Dael Orlandersmith (Until the Flood), and Samuel D. Hunter’s (Lewiston/Clarkston), among many more. Their productions have spotlighted the history of their such West Village neighborhood mainstays as St. Vincent Hospital (Cusi Cram’s Novenas for a Lost Hospital), examined the effects of long-term incarceration and posed questions about reintegration for former inmates (Cori Thomas’s Lockdown), and given viewers an interactive look at the complex challenges of homelessness (Martin Boross’s Addressless).
“Leading Rattlestick has been a terrific honor for me,” said Topol in a statement. “There is no other theatre I would like to run, and I am so proud of the work we have made, the incredible artists that we have produced and developed, our powerful community partnerships, and our passionate commitment to raising funds to renovate the theatre and make it fully accessible.”
Rattlestick will soon announce a 2022-23 season, which will include two world-premiere productions, one to be directed by Topol, as well as the fourth Global Forms Festival. The theatre also has a number of commissions and new initiatives underway. Meanwhile, funds have already been raised and allocated for capital renovation work to include an elevator, new ADA-compliant restrooms in the front and back of the theatre, and a lowered stage with flexible seating.
The search for Topol’s replacement is being led by ALJP Consulting, a firm that aims to create and foster more diverse and inclusive spaces for both artists and administrators. Daniella Topol’s move to a career in health care was inspired by her work on Cram’s Novenas for a Lost Hospital and her own volunteer work at the New York Presbyterian’s Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Topol’s focus will be on maternal care and reproductive rights.
Founded in 1994 by David van Asselt and Gary Bonasorte as Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the company produces mainstage productions, creates artistic development opportunities for artists to hone their craft, and provides opportunities for artists to engage with innovative work through residencies, fellowships, and special performances. As of 2020, the theatre’s budget was around $1.2 million.
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