Artists Rep Announces Luan Schooler as Interim Artistic Director

by | Nov 17, 2021 | News, Press

The theatre’s dramaturg and director of play development will serve as Interim Artistic Director, while the board continues its national search for ART’s next Artistic Director

PORTLAND, OREGON – November 17, 2021 Following the announcement that current Artistic Director, Dámaso Rodríguez, is stepping down at the end of the calendar year, Artists Repertory Theatre’s Board of Directors has appointed Director of New Works, Luan Schooler as the Interim Artistic Director. Luan has been at ART since 2015 serving as Director of New Play Development & Dramaturgy.

I am honored to be entrusted by the Board to carry forward the work that Dámaso and the entire ART team established, and to serve as a bridge between artistic visions.

Luan Schooler

Interim Artistic Director

Luan has been pivotal in ART’s artistic direction and will continue to guide the play selection for next season. “I am honored to be entrusted by the Board to carry forward the work that Dámaso and the entire ART team established, and to serve as a bridge between artistic visions. I am excited to work with our dedicated, smart, and imaginative staff to build a thrilling 2022/2023 season, and look forward to ART’s evolution when we have a new artistic director in place.”  In addition to overseeing the commissioning and development of new work, she has directed Artists Rep’s World Premiere of The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse, A Doll’s House, Part2 by Lucas Hnath, and The Strange Undoing Prudencia Hart by David Grieg.  Later this season, Luan will direct the Tony-nominated play The Children by Lucy Kirkwood as well as produce the Mercury Festival, a weeklong festival of in-person concert stagings of new plays developed online by ART during the 18 months that the theatre was closed due to the pandemic. 

“Luan is a wise choice to serve as ART’s Interim Artistic Director” says Executive Director J.S. May. “Her deep theatrical knowledge and familiarity with all aspects of our artistic programs enables ART to not miss a beat while the Board of Directors conducts the national search for Dámaso’s successor. I look forward to collaborating with Luan in her expanded role.”

The Board is committed to a transparent and equitable search process for the next Artistic Director. To help conduct the search process, the Board, in collaboration with Executive Director JS May and Luan Schooler, will hire a professional recruiting firm. That firm will guide the process with Resident Artists, staff, donors, members, and supporters to pursue candidates from across the country, and help with the interview and selection process. While it was the Board’s wish to have a new director in place before Dámaso left, they are committed  to taking the time needed to ensure a thorough and transparent process. “We look forward to the challenge of finding the next leader to continue that pathway into the future.” added Board Chair, Pancho Savery. “We believe that Luan is uniquely qualified to lead the transition and continue the theatre’s legacy of provocative theatre along with broadly diverse plays and casting.” The Board’s Succession Committee is currently interviewing search firms and expects the recruiting process to take about six months.

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