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Ernie Nolan. (Photo by Unicorn Theatre.)

Ernie Nolan Named Unicorn Theatre Artistic Director

Nolan succeeds Cynthia Levin, who will retire after 45 years at the Kansas City theatre.

KANSAS CITY, MO.: Unicorn Theatre has named Ernie Nolan their new artistic director. He will assume the role on July 1 ahead of producing artistic director Cynthia Levin’s retirement.

“I am thrilled with the outcome of our nationwide search for a new artistic director,” Unicorn’s president of the board of directors, Sally Everhart, said in a statement. “Ernie’s artistic vision perfectly aligns with Unicorn Theatre’s, and his leadership style, coupled with his warm personality, will ensure the theatre remains a hub of artistic collaboration and growth in Kansas City.”

Nolan is a playwright, director, and choreographer who previously served as the artistic director of Emerald City Theatre. He has served on the theatre faculty at DePaul University and will be transitioning to Unicorn from his role as the executive artistic director of Nashville Children’s Theatre. In 2007, Nolan choreographer Unicorn’s production of La Cage Aux Folles. He holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from DePaul.

“I can’t wait to join Kansas City’s vibrant and thriving artistic community,” Nolan said in a statement. “Like Unicorn, my career has been about developing new stories or remixing familiar stories for contemporary audiences. I can’t wait to continue that work at my new artistic home.”

Unicorn Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts organization in Kansas City that produces contemporary plays and musicals. The company strives to be one of the preeminent homes for new plays in the country. As of 2023, the theatre had an approximate budget of $914,805.

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