ADV – Leaderboard

Brandon Carter.

Artistic Director Brandon Carter to Leave American Shakespeare Center

The theatre’s first leader of color, who has acted with the company since 2018, will step down after 4 years in the position.

STAUNTON, VA.: After nearly four years as artistic director of American Shakespeare Center, Brandon Carter will step down, the company announced last week. Carter, who made history as the first person of color to hold an executive position at ASC, leaves behind a legacy of visionary leadership and groundbreaking initiatives.

“Serving as artistic director of the American Shakespeare Center has been a profound honor and a significant milestone in my early career,” said Carter in a statement. “The board of trustees and I shared a clear objective, and I have fulfilled my role. Approaching the conclusion of my contract with ASC, I, alongside my beautiful family, made the thoughtful decision to transition back to my roots as an actor. I extend my heartfelt gratitude and continued support to ASC’s dedicated staff, ushers, talented artists, esteemed board members, and the Shenandoah Valley. I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together. “

“We have the greatest respect for Carter,” said Kimberly West, speaking on behalf of ASC’s board of trustees, in a statement. “He kept our lights burning brightly in a dark time, and he will always be an important part of our story. This leave-taking is a goodbye to that time, and a hello to a bright future for him and the ASC.”

Carter’s achievements include producing 32 productions, including two world premieres, a revival, and the introduction of ASC’s first produced playwrights of color. He acted in residence for six years in 30 productions, notably portraying Prince Hal and King Henry in the Henry IV and Henry V cycle. After the lifting of the Covid lockdown, Carter played a pivotal role in restoring Equity relationships, attaining LORT-D status, and guiding ASC to full-capacity seating. His leadership fostered groundbreaking programming initiatives, with over 70 percent of staff and actors representing diverse communities. Carter revitalized key positions and introduced innovative concepts such as ASC’s 7-Actor rep, DEI Training, flexible workweeks, intimacy choreography, and the revival of the Artist’s Renaissance Season.

Carter, a native Virginian, is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and holds a MFA from Penn State University. He is an original cast member, production manager, and producer of Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root, which won the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Prize for its promotion of human rights. Carter is also a former artistic associate with the Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Founded in 1988, American Shakespeare Center strives to illuminate the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, classic and new, to refresh the individual, foster civil discourse, and create community in the Blackfriars Playhouse and beyond. As of 2022, the theatre’s budget was $3.2 million.

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!

ADV – Billboard