The Artistic Advisors Circle (AAC) is contracted through the end of the calendar year and includes artists who represent a range of theatre backgrounds and expertise. Among them: Austin, Texas-based educator, performing artist and writer Shavonne Coleman; New York-based Cambodian-American playwright and theater maker Vichet Chum; Seattle based artist, director, and SCT’s Director of Education Johamy Morales; Gregory Award-winning director and MFA directing professor at Boston university Malika Oyetimein; and educator and playwright and theatre professor at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo Ramon Esquivel.
“It is important to bring new voices to the table to guide the theatre’s artistic work as we emerge from the pandemic and re-envision the future of SCT,” says Managing Director, Kevin Malgesini. “I look forward to the AAC’s leadership in stewarding the artistic planning process, as well as their guidance and recommendations for new works and future productions.”
As the leading generator of new works, producing 119 since 1975, SCT had more commissions on other stages across the country than any other TYA theatre in 2019. SCT’s development of new work is critical to the stories young people experience on a national level, and the AAC will help ensure that decisions made now represent SCT’s future vision.
“I have known and loved Seattle Children's Theatre ever since I was a child. As I have grown up and made a career in theatre and education, I've come to appreciate just how special, ambitious, and important the theatre is nationally and internationally,” says Esquivel. “Like any institution, it needs to reflect, grow, and change in order for it to continue to thrive and maintain that influence. To be able to discuss with other theatre artists and educators the near future of the institution is an honor and a privilege.”
The artists have varied and personal histories with SCT as educators, artistic producers, and audience members. As the Director of SCT 2018-2019 production And in this Corner: Cassius Clay, Oyetimein believes that “When we create theatre for young artists - we are giving them permission to explore their limitless potential”, adding that she hopes to “aid in illuminating the specificity of Seattle Children's Theatre’s mission of providing children of all ages access to professional theatre.”
In addition to providing artistic and strategic leadership to reach more audiences through relevant storytelling and representation, the AAC also supports the institution through budget impact decisions and as it begins the national search for the next Artistic Director. “We, in partnership with SCT, have the opportunity to revolutionize this moment in the TYA field as we shift support and serve our young people and prepare for the future”, says Johamy Morales.
“The Artistic Advisors Circle’s work during this time is invaluable in setting us up for success in the next season and beyond because they are helping us keep new work active in the pipeline, and ready when an Artistic Director joins the team,” said Malgesini. “The Board of Trustees is actively pursuing this process and we are looking forward to SCT’s next chapter.”
To learn more about the Artistic Advisors Circle, click here.