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Emily Comisar. (Photo by R Tolar)

Emily Comisar Named Exec Artistic Director of Oklahoma City Rep

The company’s current managing director will merge that role with that of artistic director, which Kelly Kerwin will leave in June.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.: Oklahoma City Repertory Theater (OKC Rep) has named Emily Comisar to the position of executive artistic director. Comisar currently serves as the company’s managing director, and this position combines her current role with that of the artistic director, which Kelly Kerwin recently announced she is leaving.

“We are fortunate to have Emily take this leadership role,” said board president Clifford Hudson in a statement. “She is a very capable executive with lots of creative talent and has been a pleasure to work with since she joined OKC Rep. I am confident she will continue to provide a level of creative leadership to which we have become accustomed and I look forward to working with her in this capacity.”

Outgoing artistic director Kelly Kerwin said in a statement, “It was a privilege to work alongside Emily these past two years. She was an insightful thought partner during my time as artistic director, and she deeply believes in OKC Rep’s mission, vision, and values. I have no doubt that she will step into this newly formed role with her signature fervor and fearlessness. I am heartened to leave OKC Rep knowing the theatre is in great hands.”

Comisar originally joined the staff of OKC Rep in 2022 as director of development, and was appointed to the role of managing director in July 2023. Comisar holds an MFA in Theater Management & Producing from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has worked for many years as an independent producer, general manager, and fundraiser for the arts both in New York City and Oklahoma City. She is also a member of the faculty for the University of Oklahoma Online MA in Arts Management program.

“I’m thrilled to step into this role at a company whose work has been so inspiring to me, and grateful to our board of directors for the opportunity to shepherd OKC Rep into its next phase,” Comisar said in a statement. “Oklahoma City has a vibrant and growing arts community, and I look forward to deepening the many partnerships and relationships that have been core to OKC Rep’s success since its reboot in 2022.”

Comisar will assume the role of executive artistic director in July, following Kerwin’s departure.

OKC Rep is dedicated to championing new ways of making theatre, supporting innovative artists, and growing the cultural ecology of Oklahoma City. The company produced its first play in 2002 and has produced more than 77 productions over the past 22 years. As of 2022, its budget was around $590,000.

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