I was delighted to wake up this morning and read the headline from The Baltimore Sun that Kwame Kwei-Armah had been named Center Stage’s new Artistic Director. Having been an employee in the development department at Center Stage for two years before coming to GBCA, I have been waiting to hear who the new artistic leader of the State Theatre of Maryland would be with bated breath.
I couldn’t think of a better choice for Center Stage than Kwame, and I can’t think of a better choice for our community. When Jed Dietz, director of the Maryland Film Festival and the Center Stage trustee at the head of the search committee for the new Artistic Director, met with me back in the fall to talk about what the thoughts and opinions of the theatrical and cultural community in Baltimore were around the search, I knew it marked a new direction for Center Stage. Throughout the process, I have appreciated how much Center Stage involved certain stake holders in the theatrical community. We were provided the opportunity to meet with each candidate, and hear them talk not only about their vision for Center Stage, but for Baltimore as well. Kwame is going to be a perfect fit–he’s a multi-talented artist with true vision.
Hiring its first black artistic leader, and making Kwame one of only a handful of black artistic directors in a major regional theatre across the country, Center Stage is sending a message locally, nationally, and given that Kwame is British, internationally. And from where I stand, it is a sweet message to hear. I look forward to the start of Center Stage’s new era.
Until next week,