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Christie Brown.

Christie Brown Named New Dramatists Executive Director

The company’s current finance and HR director, she will succeed Joel Ruark after his 26 years in the executive role.

NEW YORK CITY: New Dramatists has announced that current finance and HR director Christie Brown has been appointed executive director. She will lead the organization alongside artistic director Emily Morse, succeeding Joel Ruark, who departs after 26 years of leadership.

New Dramatists outgoing executive director Joel Ruark.

“There is simply no one more qualified to take the position of executive director at New Dramatists than Christie Brown,” said outgoing executive director Joel Ruark in a statement. “The New Dramatists community is quite fortunate that she will join Emily Morse. There is great light in the possibilities these two extraordinary women bring to the American theatre. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve New Dramatists and proud of our numerous accomplishments.”

This transition occurs as New Dramatists proceeds with the sale of its current building on West 44th Street and the selection of a new artistic home that is more inclusive of the entire New Dramatists community.

“Christie’s immense creativity and impressive managerial acumen makes her infinitely suited to step into the position of executive director,” said Morse in a statement. “She is exactly the leader we need at this moment, and I am eager and honored to collaborate with her to steward this exceptional organization, and work dynamically in service of the visionary artists comprising New Dramatists’ playwright company.”

Brown has 25 years of arts management experience and has been with New Dramatists for 15 years in various leadership roles. Her background includes new-play development and production dramaturgy, artist advocacy and literary management, directing fundraising initiatives, and for the last six years, nonprofit management in finance and HR. She has previously served as a mainstage and new-play dramaturg at Arena Stage, managed agent offices at ICM New York and Los Angeles, managed the annual fund for Signature Theatre, and was a member of the fundraising team for the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland.

Brown began as New Dramatists’ literary director in 1999 and then became primary fundraiser in July 2001. She was part of the management team that helped the organization navigate the tumultuous funding environment post 9/11 in New York City. Brown also helped New Dramatists secure seed funding to launch its PlayTime development studio, and went on to oversee several significant donations as development director and major gift officer. As finance and HR director, she was a part of the senior management team that guided New Dramatists through the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

“It’s an honor to join Emily at the helm of this magnificent organization, dedicated to supporting a group of extraordinarily talented playwrights,” said Brown in a statement. “We are ready to chart New Dramatists’ course forward with our unique mission: empowering playwrights to develop their work on their own terms.”

New Dramatists is a developmental laboratory for professional playwrights in New York City. The organization seeks to provide playwrights with time, space, and resources in the company of peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre. As of 2022, New Dramatists had an approximate budget of $1.3 million.

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