Sarah Meropi and Sarah Benson.
NEW YORK CITY: Sarah Benson and Meropi Peponides are stepping down as administrators of Soho Repertory Theatre. Throughout their tenure, Peponides, Benson, and Soho Rep’s third director, Cynthia Flowers, created a three-way co-directorship in 2018 with the aim of forming a shared management that redistributed energy, was extra collaborative, and gave equal weight to divergent views. Benson’s resignation comes after 15 years with the influential Off-Broadway theatre; Peponides steps down after eight years with the corporate.
Underneath the trio’s management, Soho Rep produced full-scale productions by artists resembling Alice Birch, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Aleshea Harris, Anne Washburn, Kate Tarker, Sarah Kane, Lucas Hnath, and lots of extra. Extra not too long ago, the Off-Broadway theatre combated COVID-spurred unemployment with Undertaking Quantity One, bringing in artists as salaried employees members to assist envision a extra sustainable and equitable theatre. Undertaking Quantity One will proceed into the 2022-23 season with artists Hahnji Jang and Kate McGee on employees.
Peponides started her work with Soho Rep in 2014; she produced 18 new performs and quite a few studio workshops and oversaw Soho Rep’s Author Director Lab with co-chairs William Burke and Jackie Sibblies Drury. Peponides has additionally expanded the circle of artists concerned with Soho Rep, centering the work of artists of coloration and of LGBTQ+ neighborhood. Peponides subsequent plans to dedicate extra of her time and vitality to Radical Evolution, the multiethnic producing collective she co-founded in 2011, which creates inventive occasions that search to know the complexities of the mixed-identity existence within the twenty first century.
“Being part of Soho Rep has formed the artist and chief I’m in the present day,” mentioned Peponides in an announcement. “It’s inconceivable to overstate how transformative my time with the group has been, and I’ve immense pleasure within the physique of labor we’ve collectively realized throughout my time right here. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve this unbelievable neighborhood of artists, and I’ve now reached a degree the place I’m desperate to commit extra of myself to rising Radical Evolution, and to focusing by myself inventive follow. I’m additionally excited for this second of change for Soho Rep, and to see what future management will deliver to the group because it continues to thrive.”
Benson has directed quite a few award-winning performs and musicals with Soho Rep, together with Sarah Kane’s Blasted, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon, César Alvarez’s Futurity, and lots of extra. Throughout her tenure, Benson’s initiatives acquired 15 Obies and the Drama Desk Award for Sustained Inventive Excellence. Benson subsequent plans to deal with directing and increasing her inventive follow.
“Soho Rep has modified who I’m as an individual and artist,” mentioned Benson in an announcement. “It has been an immense present to have been surrounded for 15 years by good artists who’ve relentlessly challenged and expanded my inventive and private assumptions. Soho Rep has been the place the place I’ve discovered lifelong collaborators and been capable of make bizarre, formidable work with super inventive freedom. I’m prepared for more room and time for my very own inventive work, and I look ahead to seeing the imaginative energy that I do know future inventive leaders will deliver to Soho Rep.”
Peponides and Benson have already deliberate the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons. The 2022-23 season contains three world premiere commissions: Kate Tarker’s Montag, Shayok Misha Chowdhury’s Public Obscenities, and Jillian Walker’s The Whitney Album. Moreover, a cohort of commissioned artists whose work is in improvement will likely be in dialog with new management as they start to think about the subsequent part of innovation on the theatre.
To guide the seek for Soho Rep’s new leaders, a committee that features board chair Victoria Meakin and playwright Jacobs-Jenkins, authors and board members James Gleick and Claudia Rankine, and the Arts Consulting Group has been convened. A job description and functions will likely be made public in late October.
Soho Rep is a nonprofit group with a mission to offer radical theatre makers with productions of the very best caliber and tailored improvement at key junctures of their inventive follow. As of 2020, the theatre had an annual price range of $1.9 million.
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