During the 2017-2018 season, Managing Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre Susie Medak was planning for the departure of the company’s Artistic Director, Tony Taccone. The event marked the theater’s first leadership transition in 23 years. To prepare for the upcoming artistic director search and transition, Medak interviewed a variety of leaders from across the regional theater industry in front of her board of trustees. The Leadership Transition Speaker Series includes some, but not all, of the guest speakers who helped to prepare Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s board of trustees for the artistic director search. Those included in the series are Bill Rauch, Des McAnuff, KJ Sanchez, Liesl Tommy, Michael Ritchie, Mitzi Sales, Oskar Eustis and Sharon Ott.
The purpose of the exercise was to expose the trustees to the wide range of issues and opinions that exist across the national theater landscape. Medak’s goal was to ensure that when the search committee, and then the board, met with candidates, the trustees would be thoughtful about issues in the field, open to new ideas and ways of working and capable of digging deep into conversations with each candidate.
Berkeley Repertory Theatre hopes that by making these interviews available to the public, this content can help other trustees, as well as students and scholars, expand their working knowledge of the challenges of transitions within institutional theaters, questions of artistry, new play development, community engagement, inclusion, leadership models, fundraising, marketing, and other institutional issues at play during this moment in time.
This series is from the Theater Management Knowledge Base, a body of arts management material created by Yale School of Drama Theater Management students and faculty, overseen by an editorial board of leading practitioners. For more information or for help in selecting cases suitable for your educational or organizational purposes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Date: 2019-10-01
Suggested Citation: Susie Medak, "Leadership Transition Speaker Series: Interviews by Susie Medak at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2017)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Interview INT-001, October 1, 2019.
Keywords: California, Board of Trustees, Leadership, Leadership Transition, Organizational Culture, Organizational Direction, Performing Arts, Theater, Succession
Teaching Note: No