Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the theatrical union for professional stage directors and choreographers throughout the country, has announced changes to its leadership team, including a newly created position on its senior staff as well as the merging of its existing member services and communications departments.
The position of director of artistic affairs and community engagement has been created to support the growth of SDC's membership, which has expanded by 35 percent over the past decade. Stephanie Coen, who has been the associate artistic director of New Jersey's Two River Theater for nearly a decade, has been appointed to this new position and will contribute to SDC’s commitment to an inclusive culture in its membership, organization, and the field. She will also be responsible for identifying emerging creative issues and opportunities and developing a system of programs to support SDC members’ leadership and influence.
Concurrently, the union is aligning its member services and communications efforts to create a more integrated and cohesive approach to support its national membership. With over 20 years of experience at SDC, Barbara Wolkoff has been named director of member services and communications.
Executive Director Laura Penn said in a statement, “After more than 20 years serving in multiple departments at SDC, Barbara is well positioned to advance the member service and communications efforts that are vital to achieve our ambitious and necessary work, while continuing to serve the membership as she has for many years.”
Penn added, “It is necessary for SDC to be proactive about a wide range of important issues—in areas such as political engagement; support for equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts; and the advancement of intimacy choreography—that are becoming increasingly present in the lives of our members. Stephanie brings a dynamic skill set that comes from her experience working with some of the most ambitious organizations and artists in the theatrical community, and she has a deep understanding of how directors and choreographers make their work. We are excited to welcome her to our staff.”
Coen stated, “SDC is on the forefront of leading critical conversations about what the American theatre can achieve by ‘thinking big’ about artistic excellence and civic engagement. I am thrilled to join Laura Penn and the exceptional team at SDC as we work with our executive board to support our national theatre community of professional stage directors and choreographers.”