Ensemble Studio Theatre will welcome Sarah McLellan as its new executive director beginning March 5. The company’s current executive director, Paul Slee, will depart EST after 10 years.
McLellan comes to EST having served as the managing director of Clubbed Thumb since 2014. Prior, she was the assistant administrative director of the Juilliard Drama Division, artistic and management programs associate at Theatre Communications Group, and spent four years coordinating the Apprentice and Workshop programs at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
“As a long-time admirer of EST’s artistic tradition and legacy, I am thrilled and honored to partner with [Artistic Director] William Carden and the phenomenal EST Board and staff,” said McLellan in a statement. “The driving inspiration of my professional life has been to support and nurture adventurous, risk-taking art and the artists who create it. I can't think of a better institution than EST to make an impact on the future of the American theatre, and to support the artists who make that future a reality.”
“It's been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as executive director of Ensemble Studio Theatre since June 2007,” said Slee. “I'm deeply grateful to Billy and to my staff colleagues, and to the Board of Directors and legions of EST artists and patrons, for all that we've accomplished together to build a stronger company and bring so many wonderful new plays to life. I look forward to returning often to see what's next, and to experience the new theatre space when it's built. I am so proud to have played this role for so long, and I wish much success to Sarah McLellan as she embarks on this forever new adventure in theatre.”
“It’s hard to imagine where we would be today without Paul Slee,” said Artistic Director Carden. “In his 11 years we have moved from an organization that was teetering on the brink of collapse with over a million dollars in debt to a company that is debt free and making a significant contribution to theatre in this country. As a result, during Paul’s tenure EST received a special Obie Award for our Youngblood Program and a Special Drama Desk Award. Due to the fundraising leadership of Paul we are beginning construction for a new theatre on the first floor along with a total renovation of our second floor. His impact has been profound and will be long lasting.”
EST is currently producing Sylvia Khoury’s Against the Hillside, which is playing through February 25. Abby Rosebrock’s Dido of Idaho will follow with performances beginning March 14.