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Duffer and Culebro. (Photo by Evan Michael Woods.)

Kathleen Culebro to Leave Amphibian Stage

Co-artistic director Jay Duffer will take over as the company’s sole leader.

DALLAS and FORT WORTH, TEXAS: Amphibian Stage founding artistic director Kathleen Culebro has announced that she will step down at the end of the season. Former managing director Jay Duffer, who was named co-artistic director in 2021, will be the company’s sole artistic director.

“For 25 years, Kathleen has poured her heart and soul into establishing this organization as a creative force in the national theatre landscape,” Amphibian Stage board president Jennifer Jolin said in a statement. “Although her departure is tinged with sadness, all of us on the board at Amphibian are cheering her on as she pursues new artistic endeavors.”

Culebro began Amphibian Stage on the campus of Texas Christian University and shifted to year-round programming eight years later at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Under Culebro’s leadership, Amphibian Stage has produced 83 plays, including 13 world premieres, and has helped develop almost 70 new plays. Culebro pivoted the company to audio dramas in 2020 and established the national arts festival SparkFest in Fort Worth. As a playwright, Culebro’s work has been produced in New York and developed at the Orlando Shakespeare Center. Her play The Amazing, Fabulous, and Spectacular Untruths of Juan Garcia was a semifinalist for the National Playwrights Conference and will premiere at Amphibian Stage this fall.

“After profound soul-searching and thoughtful planning alongside Jay Duffer, I’ve made the decision to embark on a new chapter outside of my role at Amphibian Stage,” Culebro said in a statement. “I will always be a part of this company that means so much to me, but soon it will be as an enthusiastic donor and patron, watching with pride as it continues to grow and evolve with fresh talent and leadership.”

Duffer first came to Amphibian Stage as an actor and was named managing director in 2019. In December 2021, he was promoted to co-artistic director.

“I’m honored to carry on this vibrant legacy and excited to lead Amphibian Stage to continued success and growth in a trajectory already set at its origin,” Duffer said in a statement.

Amphibian Stage produces innovative and engaging theatre that inspires new ideas, opens new doors, and increases our understanding of the vast world around us. As of 2022, the theatre had a budget of approximately $1 million.

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