Playwrights’ Center Expands Staff and Welcomes 2020-21 Board Class
MINNEAPOLIS (September 21, 2020) — The Playwrights’ Center continues to grow its organizational strength in support of the communities it serves. The Center is pleased to announce: the hiring of May Adrales as artistic associate and Martine Kei Green-Rogers as fellowship associate; the elevation of Sarah Myers to lead higher education programs as the director of university programs and partnerships; and the movement of H. Adam Harris into the newly created position of engagement associate. The Center is also augmenting the Board of Directors, furthering its diversity and strength, with the addition of Jessie Houlihan, president of Stahl Construction, Cecilia Stanton Adams, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Allianz Life Insurance Company, Jonathan Jensen, market director at Chase Bank, and Leah Spinosa de Vega, executive director, global initiatives at Augsburg University.
“May Adrales, Martine Green-Rogers, H. Adam Harris and Sarah Myers are incredible leaders in the theater field and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have them join the Center,” said producing artistic director Jeremy B. Cohen. “Our artist-service organization is in a period of unprecedented growth, and of course we are all in a moment of huge societal shift, so these new hires and promotions on our team is a huge boon. Most critically, our Fellows and Core Writers will benefit from their expertise and support as we respond to the needs of storytellers and theater artists during this critical time, and we will continue to deeply invest in how the work of the Playwrights’ Center supports an ever-changing theater field.”
May Adrales remarked, “I'm excited to be working alongside passionate and dedicated theater leaders of this artist centered organization as they re-envision the future of the American Theater. It’s the artists who are going to be the real change and revolutionaries in this time of upheaval and social unrest. I want to be part of an organization that centers the artists and provides an inclusive and nurturing environment for their creativity to thrive.”
“I think storytelling has always mattered and always will,” commented Martine Kei Green-Rogers. “Some of the earliest civilizations used storytelling to disseminate information, history, culture, emotions, ideas, etc. I think that what we call ‘theatre’ now is rooted in that same sense of love, connectedness, and desire to capture the pulse of our society. I hope in my role, I can aid playwrights in continuing to find their connection to self and society and document the things that are on their hearts, minds, and souls now.”
“I’m excited, as we continue to grow our higher education initiatives, and deepen our community engagement efforts, to have Sarah and H. Adam leading those conversations.” Cohen added. “They are the embodiment of the Center’s incredible program staff.”
“It's inspiring to be somewhere as visionary and values-driven as the Playwrights' Center, where we can reimagine what's possible in higher ed and actually take concrete steps to serve students and faculty at a time when schools need our support and expansive thinking more than ever.” said Sarah Myers. “I truly believe that the work we're doing in University Programs and Partnerships is on the cutting edge of what's possible in the intersection of playwriting and pedagogy, when we really dream.”
Managing director Robert Chelimsky commented, “I’m a bit awestruck by our 2020-21 Board Class. We already have such a strong group of community leaders guiding our development, and now to have Jessie Houlihan, Jonathan Jensen, Leah Spinosa de Vega, and Cecilia Stanton Adams volunteer their strategic insights, their resources, and their energy to the Playwrights’ Center,” he continued. “In the midst of a critical period of growth, it’s an embarrassment of riches.”
“Storytelling is one way that cultural values live on in our community,” observed Ceilia Stanton Adams. “It's important that we find ways to fund this type of work and the talented artists that do this work for a living.”
Leah Spinosa de Vega added, “I am excited by the Playwrights’ Center's commitment to inclusion and equity, as well as by their holistic approach to supporting artists throughout the creative process.”
Jonathan Jensen stressed, “Providing the resources and support to playwrights to focus on their work is a great way to ensure that the world continues to see art in action. I am excited about promoting the Playwrights’ Center's work to help the organization to grow into the future and impact even more playwrights.”
“The Playwrights’ Center serves a vital mission: supporting the creators that inspire and expand the perspective of humankind. I am thrilled to join this progressive board,” remarked Jessie Houlihan.
These changes and additions to the Playwrights’ Center staff went into effect on September 1st. The new class of board members were elected unanimously over the summer and had their first Center board meeting on September 16th.