AMERICAN THEATER | Charleston Stage adopts a 2-person leadership structure

Marybeth Clark and Julian Wiles. (Photo by Erika Diven Greco)

CHARLESTON, South Carolina: Charleston Scene announced the appointment of a new management team consisting of a managing director and an artistic director, to be put in place when founder and production artistic director Julian Wiles retires in May 2023. The former director Associate Artistic Marybeth Clark has been selected as Designated Artistic Director; she will oversee the artistic aspects of the business while the managing director will oversee finance, marketing and development. The position of general manager is not yet filled.

Marybeth Clark has worked for Charleston Stage for 23 years, beginning as Director of Education and becoming Associate Artistic Director in 1998. As a director, actor, educator and administrator, Clark helped launch and run the professional acting company resident of the company, the creation of the West Ashley Theater Center and Pearl Theatre, as well as overseeing the launch of the new Charleston Stage CityStage community performances and educational programs. She has made more than 60 productions, including Mamma Mia!, Elf The Musical, Of Mice and Men, and last spring’s production of Naughty boots.

Since the company’s inception in 1979, Julian Wiles has produced and/or directed over 350 productions, in addition to writing over 40 original plays and musicals for the company, including Gershwin at Folly, the seat of justice, and this coming season JFK and Inga Binga. Wiles was named a UNC Chapel Hill Distinguished Alumnus in 2021, was inducted into the SC Theater Association Hall of Fame in 2018, received the Governor’s Award for the Arts 2010, received a Special Recognition Award in 2004 from the Charleston NAACP for his work on The seat of justice and received the National Youth Theater Director’s Award in 1988.

“I am so grateful for the generosity of our patrons, donors and the entire Charleston community over the years,” Wiles said in a statement. “Their support has enabled Charleston Stage to continue to expand its artistic horizons, and I look forward to supporting Marybeth Clark, our Artistic Director, Designate and our next new Executive Director over the next year and in the years to come. to come. this candidate is selected. I have no doubt that they will bring their own unique perspectives and imaginative creative vision to the work of Charleston Stage as they lead the company through the next phase of Charleston Stage’s artistic growth and evolution.

Upon his retirement at the end of the company’s 45th season, Wiles will become director emeritus and will continue to be involved with the company in a limited capacity, leading one or two shows per season and being available to consult with new executives on demand. .

The Board of Directors has appointed the Chairman of Management Consultants for the Arts David Mallette to conduct a national search for the new CEO. Valerie Morris, Charleston Stage Board Member and Retired Dean of Charleston College School of the Arts, will chair the search committee. They intend to fill the position by January 2023.

Charleston Stage is South Carolina’s largest professional theater company, in residence at the historic Dock Street Theater. The nonprofit has presented more than 150 productions, premiered more than 30 new plays and musicals, and employs 33 full-time staff, guest artists, performers, and high school apprentices. In 2020, Charleston Stage had a budget of $2.7 million.

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