STUDIO THEATRE ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP CHANGE
• Keith Alan Baker ends tenure as Managing Director and Artistic Director, 2ndStage
• Meridith Burkus appointed new Managing Director
Studio Theatre Board President Gerry Rosberg announced today that Keith Alan Baker has ended his tenure as Managing Director and Artistic Director, Studio 2ndStage. “We are profoundly grateful to Keith for his 28 years of valued service to Studio Theatre, and wish him the best as he pursues a career sabbatical.” Baker served as both Managing Director and Artistic Director of Studio 2ndStage, which celebrates its 26th year this season. David Muse, Studio’s Artistic Director said, “Keith was invaluable to me when I arrived in 2010. His long experience at Studio has been instrumental in ensuring a successful transition in leadership.” Muse will assume artistic leadership of all of Studio’s programming. “In 2ndStage, Keith helmed a program dedicated to nurturing emerging and established theatre artists that will serve to inspire Studio’s artistic choices for years to come.”
Baker joined Studio Theatre in 1986 as a house manager and as a directing student at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. Over the course of his tenure, Baker served in various positions before assuming the role of Associate Managing Director and then Managing Director in 2003. In partnership with Founding Artistic Director Joy Zinoman, along with longtime collaborators Serge Seiden and Morey Epstein, Baker oversaw many of Studio’s major projects, including Studio’s expansion to a two-theatre facility in 1997 and its 2004 purchase and renovation that created its current landmark four-theatre performance and training complex.
Baker also served as the Artistic Director of Studio 2ndStage following its 1988-89 pilot season, directing or co-directing 26-plus productions, including the work of David Mamet, Romulus Linney, Daniel MacIvor, Naomi Iizuka, and Suzan-Lori Parks and more recently 2ndStage summer musicals, including the sold-out Jerry Springer: the Opera, Passing Strange, and Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. He also adapted several works for 2ndStage, including Kerouac, The Wild Party and Wonderland Alice. Baker received the 1999 Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist and two Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Direction (Hair 1998, Reefer Madness 2008).
Rosberg also announced that Meridith Burkus, Studio’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, has been appointed Managing Director. “Meridith joined us in May and impressed everyone from day one. She has shown herself to be a smart strategist with enthusiasm for Studio’s programming and potential, a proven record of fundraising and developing new audiences, and an expertise in organizational design. Her knowledge and experience are the perfect complement to David’s vision for Studio’s next period of growth. I look forward to working with Studio under their shared leadership.”
“I’m excited to deepen our partnership,” says Muse, who has worked with Burkus on a number of strategic projects since her arrival in May. “Meridith’s perspective and creativity—along with her wide-ranging leadership experience at major theatres as well as other non-profits—position us to make a lasting impact on our neighborhood, our city, and the field at large.”
Burkus joined Studio Theatre in May 2014 as its Director of Strategic Initiatives. She brings ten years of arts management experience to the position—encompassing theater, music, film and public media. Most recently, Burkus held the position of Director of External Relations at StoryCorps, the Peabody Award-winning radio program and national oral history project, working to optimize StoryCorps’ impact on a national scale. Under her leadership, StoryCorps increased its operating budget by 25% and launched several new initiatives and recording locations across the country. She previously held positions in marketing, public relations and development with several New York City organizations, including five seasons at The Public Theater as Director of Individual Giving. At the Public, she significantly increased annual contributions to various programs and initiatives such as Shakespeare in the Park, Public Lab, Joe’s Pub and the Under the Radar Festival, in addition to being a key player in the successful completion of the recent $40 million capital campaign to renovate The Public’s historic home on Lafayette Street.
Now in its fifth season under the leadership of Artistic Director David Muse, Studio Theatre is Washington’s premiere venue for contemporary theatre, “where local audiences will find today’s edgiest playwrights” (Variety). One of the most respected midsized theatres in the country, Studio Theatre produces the work of today’s greatest writers, augmented by occasional productions of modern classics, performed by acclaimed actors in intimate spaces. Throughout the Theatre’s 37-year history, the quality of its work has been recognized by sustained community support as well as with 312 nominations and 61 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in professional theatre.
The press release is by Beth Hauptle, Director of Marketing and Communications, The Studio Theatre.