Simpson and Flea producing director Carol Ostrow are looking for a dynamic leader for the completion of The Flea Theater's long tenancy at 41 White Street, and to lead The Flea once it moves to its own new three-theatre performing arts complex at 20 Thomas Street in 2016.
"The Flea has been a source of joy for me for 18 years, and I couldn't be more proud of all The Flea has achieved," said Simpson in a statement. "It feels like the right time to add another, newer vision to our future. The Artistic Director's role in our exciting new home will present a singular leadership opportunity."
Ostrow added, "Jim has been a wonderful partner who continues to inspire us all. We have become a mainstay in Tribeca, and a true part of the Lower Manhattan community. We remain committed to the goals that Jim laid out when he started The Flea. Our new space will be the beginning of the next chapter for The Flea, and will enable us to fulfill our mission to represent the wide range of what is possible Off-Off-Broadway."
The Flea was founded in 1996. Its resident company of actors, The Bats, provides a stream of learning opportunities for the next generation of theatre professionals.
Currently at The Flea, Smoke by Kim Davies is playing in the Downstairs Theater, and a group of 11 young resident directors, under the guidance of Simpson, is premiering The Cutthroat Series: Grand Guignol Duels, a series of 11 one-act plays from the Parisian theatre of the same name. Simpson is also currently in rehearsal with the world-premiere production of I See You, by Kate Robin, which opens at The Flea in November. The Flea is also constructing a new three-theatre performing arts complex in Tribeca, with completion and opening scheduled for 2016.