Danforth, who is retiring to pursue other artistic opportunities, will leave the League during the summer and become a member of The Drama League’s National Advisory Council. A national search for his successor is underway.
"It’s been a joy and honor to lead the Drama League’s artistic programming for these past 21 years,” Danforth said in a press statement. "It has been my pleasure to work with many of the finest theatre artists and companies in this country, and I will always be grateful. I have been so fortunate to be supported over the last three decades by a great board of directors and loyal donors. The Drama League has been a wonderful place to call home, and I especially thank my fellow staff members for making it so. I could not have achieved so much without their friendship and trust. They’ve made it a pleasure to come to work every day. As this organization I love begins its second century of service, the future seems very bright, and I look forward to being a fan and supporter for many years to come."
Joining the staff in 1995, Danforth has seen the organization triple its budget and largely expand its fellowship programs, including the Fall Directing Fellowship, the Hangar Directing Fellowship, the Classical Fellowship, the Leo Shull New Musicals Fellowship and the recently announced Fellowship in Film and Television.
In 2013, with executive director Gabriel Shanks, he initiated The Drama League Artist Residency Program to develop new plays and musicals. The initiative has developed over 50 projects for the stage, which have gone on to win OBIE Awards and premiere across the country and in Europe. The Drama League now serves over 3,000 artists each year.
"In a century of efforts to support the American theatre, no person in The Drama League’s history has had more of an effect on the field than Roger," said Shanks in a press statement. "His legacy is felt everywhere – in the hundreds of directors he has mentored to worldwide success, in the shape and vibrancy of the works he has developed and produced, and in the example he has set as an artist and leader. He has been my closest collaborator and confidante, and the space he leaves behind will be enormous. I can’t begin to thank him for everything he’s accomplished." More information can be found at Dramaleague.org.