BOSTON: SpeakEasy Stage Company has named David Beardsley its first executive director. Beardsley will work alongside founder and producing artistic director Paul Daigneault.
“We are so thrilled to welcome David to SpeakEasy and are excited for this next chapter in the company’s history,” Daigneault said in a statement. “We look forward to drawing on David’s extraordinary managerial skills, vision, and passion for theatre to help lead SpeakEasy into this new period of growth.”
Daigneault and the SpeakEasy board have noted that both the artistic and managerial leadership roles at the company have expanded in recent years, and designed the executive director position to support their next stage of growth and evolution. The board has also elected Constance Gist Guindo, a higher education professional at Northeastern University, to be co-chair of the board of directors, ushering in a new era of joint board leadership.
Gist Guindo, who has served on the board for two years, will work closely with Beardsley and the board’s finance and development committees, while incumbent board chair Andrew Fullem will work with the nominating and community engagement committees. Daigneault will now serve solely as the company’s artistic director.
“This new structure will allow the board to provide in-depth support to the staff as it manages change and focuses on SpeakEasy’s future,” Gist Guindo said in a statement. “David’s background in marketing and audience development, combined with Paul’s experience and artistic vision, will provide SpeakEasy with the strategic leadership needed for continued growth and impact.”
Beardsley, who will join SpeakEasy on July 31, most recently served as the chief of marketing and audience engagement for the Trustees of Reservations. He has also served as the director of enterprise with the Trustees, and was previously the executive director of Boston’s Hill House. He also has over 15 years of experience in media, communications, and publishing, and is a playwright.
“I am thrilled to be joining the immensely talented team at SpeakEasy, which is producing some of the most exciting theatre in New England,” Beardsley said in a statement. “I find SpeakEasy’s commitments to equity, inclusion, and belonging, and to working with local talent, especially compelling, and I am honored to be given a chance to contribute to such urgent work.”
SpeakEasy’s search for an executive director was led by Syrah Gunning and Brett Egan of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland.
SpeakEasy Stage Company was founded in 1992 to provide emerging local artists an opportunity to hone their craft while building a thriving theatre scene in Boston. From its humble 40-seat beginnings to intimate block box spaces at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Centers for the Arts, SpeakEasy has grown into a leading voice in Boston’s thriving theatre ecosystem. As of 2022, the theatre had a budget of approximately $2.6 million.
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