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Strawdog Theatre Company announced today that Artistic Director Hank Boland is stepping down. Boland will retain his affiliation as a Strawdog Ensemble Member, and will serve as an artistic consultant on Strawdog’s upcoming 29th season.
A new “Artistic Vision Committee” comprised of Strawdog ensemble members Heath Hays, Anderson Lawfer and Mike Dailey, has been selected by the Board of Directors. The new committee will absorb the duties and responsibilities of the Artistic Director position for Season 29. The committee’s primary functions will be to oversee production, as well as work with Strawdog’s Literary Manager, Josh Sobel, to select programming for Season 30.
Boland began his tenure in November of 2012 as interim artistic director, becoming artistic director in 2014. In those four years, he has overseen fourteen productions on the mainstage, as well as helped shepherd the dozen shows that comprised the expanded programming in Strawdog’s former home, Hugen Hall. He was instrumental in expanding Strawdog’s programming to an eight-show season resulting in the doubling of audiences attending Strawdog productions.
A champion of new work, during his time as artistic director the company produced MISS MARX by Philip Dawkins and directed by Megan Schuchman (Jeff award for Best New Work); SWEETER OPTION by John Henry Roberts and directed by Marti Lyons; the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of IN A WORD by Lauren Yee and directed by Jessica McLeod and the upcoming world premiere of DISTANCE by Jerre Dye and directed by Erica Weiss. Additionally, Strawdog’s attendance records were set with productions of GREAT EXPECTATIONS in 2013 and its remount in 2014, AFTER MISS JULIE, and the final production in Strawdog’s longtime home, ONCE IN A LIFETIME.
“It has been an exciting, exhilarating and challenging four years. I am honored to have been given the trust to lead the company and humbled by the work we were able to produce together,” said Boland. “I’ve had the pleasure to work closely with many talented collaborators in this short time and I’m grateful to them for their partnership and for their role in making me a better artist. Thank you to all who have shared their talent, skill and support with our company over these years to create work that so clearly connects with our audiences.”
“We owe a great deal to Hank and his dedication to Strawdog during his time as artistic director,” said Strawdog Theatre Company Board of Directors President Seth Rickard. “He has helped Strawdog grow as an organization with the expansion of programming, the growth of infrastructure and the increase in tickets sales and audiences. The new Artistic Vision Committee, with the experience and passion of Dailey, Hays and Lawfer, will harness the strength of our ever-growing ensemble and empower Strawdog to share exciting and diverse stories that reflect our world in this coming season and beyond.”