Masterson will work alongside Managing Director Paula Tomei as Co-CEO of the theatre,
while David Emmes and Martin Benson will become Founding Directors, working part-time to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“Martin and I are very happy that Marc has agreed to assume artistic leadership of SCR,” said Producing Artistic Director David Emmes. “Marc has more than 30 years’ experience running a theatre—11 of those at Actors Theatre, which, like SCR, is a complex organization with multiple stages, an influential new-play festival and a bustling education department. All of this makes him an ideal successor.”
“Marc’s passion for new plays matches our own,” said Artistic Director Martin Benson. “Half of the 200 plays he’s produced in Louisville have been world premieres. And he’s a very good director, too. We can’t wait to see what he does at SCR.”
|Martin Benson and David Emmes|
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to build the next generation of excellence for South Coast Repertory,” he said. “The theatre is already recognized for producing works of extraordinary caliber across a broad range of styles, and I am interested in bringing new artists into the repertoire, deepening the connections with the community and extending SCR's reach to other parts of the world.”
SCR’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Masterson during a special meeting late Wednesday afternoon. He will begin working at SCR part-time April 1 and move to full-time September 1.
Paula Tomei, who has been with SCR since 1979 and has been its managing director for the last 17 years, said she is excited about working with Masterson.
“When we started this search process a year ago, we said we would take as long as was necessary to find the right person for the job,” she said. “I think we’ve done exactly that. I look forward to working with Marc and continuing to bring the finest theatre to Orange County and beyond.”
Tom Phelps, president of SCR’s Board of Trustees, also predicted a bright future: “SCR has long been one of the country’s most successful and stable arts organizations, and that’s not going to change. Marc Masterson is an exceptional leader with a track record that put him at the top of an incredibly talented pool of finalists—all of whom were worthy and capable of the job. And he will have an additional advantage nearly unprecedented in a leadership transition: the chance to consult and work with the men who actually founded this theatre and ran it for 47 years.
“SCR is in the midst of an incredibly successful season—artistically and financially—and Marc’s arrival only adds to that. The board is eagerly awaiting SCR’s next chapter.”
For more on Masterson, and additional details on the transition, please see the bio and Q&A.