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Kate Bergstrom.

Kate Bergstrom Named St. Louis Rep’s Next Artistic Director

An experienced director and indpendent producer, she has helmed successful shows at the Rep in recent years.

ST. LOUIS: The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has named Kate Bergstrom the theatre’s new artistic director. Bergstrom, an experienced director with extensive regional credits, will assume the post starting May 13, following a six-month nationwide search after Hana S. Sharif’s departure last summer.

“The unwaveringly beautiful and crucial component of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is, of course, St. Louis,” said Bergstrom in a statement. “I am honored and humbled to return to this wonderful community in this role to celebrate—through excellent, engaging and relevant storytelling—this beloved region. The Rep is more than a theatre; it serves as a critical cultural heart in St. Louis by elevating and expanding the capacity for the extraordinary in us all. I’m excited to set down roots and galvanize that transcendent work, using my skills and experiences to foster engagement that uplifts and world-class storytelling that is both tremendously entertaining and vital.”

Bergstrom will be the Rep’s eighth artistic director in its 58-year history. Her most recent productions at the Rep, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play in December 2023 and The 39 Steps in 2022, were great successes with the Rep audiences. She has also directed at Marin Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, and more. As a festival director, she programmed the Big Eddy Film Festival in Upstate New York, where her responsibilities included fundraising, audience and community development, and partnership building. This grew from her tenure as founder and producing artistic director of On The Verge, a festival premiering female and LGTBQIA writers in Santa Barbara, Calif. As a performance coach and account manager at Stand and Deliver, she has worked with dozens of large corporate clients such as Google, Genentech, and Cisco co-leading multi-day programs and long-term adviserships toward improving external and internal organizational communication. Bergstrom holds an MFA in directing from Brown University and a BA in Directing and Acting from UCLA. 

“Kate is a bold and generous leader who works with a heart-forward approach to center an artistic vision that will bring out the best in the Rep,” said Danny Williams, the company’s managing director, in a statement. “At this critical juncture in the organization, her passion, energy, and commitment to St. Louis makes her an inspired choice to ensure a vibrant future for the theatre. I can’t wait to partner with Kate to realize a beautiful new chapter for our amazing company.”

To conduct the search for a new leader, the Rep engaged Arts Consulting Group (ACG). From a field of many applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the committee narrowed down the search to three extremely qualified candidates. Each candidate participated in Zoom interviews and full-day in-person meetings, during which the Rep staff were encouraged to meet and ask questions with the potential candidates. The above-mentioned process took six months and included Rep staff and leadership, along with a search committee of arts leaders and community stakeholders led by board vice president Ann Cady Scott, the board of directors, and ACG.

The Rep’s 2024-25 season, which kicks off in September with the suspense thriller Dial M for Murder, was programmed by Danny Williams and the current artistic team. Bergstrom will lead the selection of the Steve Woolf Studio Series this season and continue to deepen her relationship with St. Louis and the local arts community with an eye to bringing out a vision and strategic plan for the 2025-26 season and beyond.

Founded in 1966, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has sustained and built upon a commitment to artistic excellence by creating, developing, and curating adventurous new works and beloved classics from the most exciting emerging and established American voices. As of 2022, the theatre’s budget was around $9 million.

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