Curt Columbus Appointed New Artistic Director for RI's Trinity Repertory Company

News   Curt Columbus Appointed New Artistic Director for RI's Trinity Repertory Company Chicago's Curt Columbus, head of the summer Theater on the Lake and associate artistic director at Steppenwolf Theatre, has been appointed the new artistic director of Trinity Repertory Company, the theatre's board announced Oct. 31.

The 41-year-old Providence, Rhode Island company has been under the tutelage of Amanda Dehnert — who has served as acting artistic director — since the company's previous decade-long leader Oskar Eustis left for his new post as artistic director of New York’s Public Theater. Dehnert and managing director Edgar Dobie will continue to lead during the transition.

"Curt Columbus is one of America's finest theatre leaders, with a great depth of experience,” said search committee chair and Trinity trustee Jack McConnell. "We were struck by his passion for creating environments where both resident company members and national artists can excel; programs that engage the community; teaching that inspires and challenges both students and faculty; and creating and adapting new works. He embodies a collaborative leadership style that builds a compelling sense of community around the theater. All of this makes him the right artistic leader for Trinity Rep."

In addition to his duties at Steppenwolf and Theater on the Lake, the Yale graduate teaches at the University of Chicago and DePaul University. Columbus is a director, writer, dramaturg, and translator/adaptor of major Russian works such as "Crime and Punishment." Among his first duties — when he assumes his new position in January — will be choosing the new Trinity 2006-2007 season. His appointment also includes duties as chair of the Brown University/Trinity Consortium's graduate programs in acting and directing.

Following Eustis' resignation in January, Trinity Rep launched a national search to fill the position. The rigorous process began with more than 100 resumes whittled down to a final 12 people who fit the compay's criteria. The three final contenders spent several days over the past month in Providence meeting with staff, members of the acting company, trustees, faculty members of Brown University and the Brown/Trinity Consortium, and members of the Rhode Island community, according to a release.

For more information on Trinity Rep, visit the company online at www.trinityrep.com.