Harley, who moves from producing artistic director to producer, said in a statement, "We're a Company of young actors - founded forty years ago with the young Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, David Schramm and David Ogden Stiers right out of Juilliard - and it is appropriate that we begin our next 40 years with a vibrant young talent as our artistic leader...I could not be more proud of our actors and history and look forward to the exciting new works I am confident Ian Belknap will bring to our stages and the American public."
Belknap added, "I share Margot's belief that the classical repertory system is the best way to develop actors and look forward to our continued partnership, increasing the company's impact and extending her legacy. It is a privilege to work with her and I am humbled by her trust in my ability to carry The Acting Company forward."
Previous artistic directors also include John Houseman, Alan Schneider, Jack O'Brien, Michael Kahn, Gerry Gutierrez and Zelda Fichandler.
Ian Belknap has served as the associate artistic director of The Acting Company since 2009, during which time he directed The Comedy of Errors that premiered at the Guthrie Theater before a two-year national tour as well as Off-Broadway's Damascus and several staged readings in New York. His upcoming production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men will tour with As You Like It (directed by Dan Rothenberg of Philadelphia's Pig Iron Theatre) during The Acting Company's 40th anniversary season.
Belknap also said, "In looking beyond Of Mice and Men and As You Like It, I am very excited by our 2013-14 season when we will present Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Tom Stoppard personally granted us the rights for his seminal play. I will be directing our first production of Hamlet and am particularly interested in touring these companion plays, which create a perfect repertory for actors and a comprehensive conversation about what it means to be alive for audiences." *
In the past 40 years, The Acting Company has produced and performed 137 classic and new plays for audiences totaling 3.5 million in 48 states and 10 foreign countries.