January 7, 2014
Cornerstone Theater Company appoints Megan Wanlass as new Managing Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cornerstone Theater Company appoints Megan Wanlass
as new Managing Director
Los Angeles, January 7, 2014 — Cornerstone Theater Company has announced today that Megan Wanlass will join the company as its new Managing Director later this month. Wanlass, who currently serves as the Executive Director of SITI Company in New York, will partner with Cornerstone’s Artistic Director Michael John Garcés to lead the non-profit theater.
“We are delighted to welcome Megan Wanlass as Cornerstone’s Managing Director, following an extensive national search,” said Leslie Tamaribuchi, chair of Cornerstone’s Board of Directors. “Megan’s leadership, creativity, expansive network of relationships in the field, and commitment to sustaining the rigorous and collaborative process of theater-making is extraordinary and widely respected. The combination of her strategic foresight and mindful relationship-building make her an excellent fit to lead Cornerstone through our next phase of development in partnership with Michael John Garcés and our board, ensemble and staff. I am thrilled that along with this appointment, we are also able to announce the renewal of Michael John Garcés’ contract as Artistic Director through June 30, 2016, his 10th season with Cornerstone.”
“Megan brings a tremendous wealth of experience and knowledge to Cornerstone, and her passion and intelligence were clear from the first time she met with us,” shared Garcés. “I am excited about the potential of our partnership; she brings savvy management skills and creative vision to the table, and will be an inspirational leader for the company. I feel lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to work with her.”
Megan Wanlass has been a member of Anne Bogart’s SITI Company since 1995 and its Executive Director since 2000. In her tenure with SITI, Megan has helped to create over 35 productions, which premiered in or toured to 88 cities, 32 states and 19 countries. She began working with Anne Bogart during The Adding Machine at Actors Theatre of Louisville (1995) during the Modern Masters Festival. She has an Arts Administration Certificate from New York University, attended the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University Business School, was a member of the Arts Leadership Institute Charter Class at Teachers College, Columbia University, participated in the National Arts Strategies Executive Leadership Program and holds a B.A. in Theater from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Megan currently serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and as the president of the PTA for the Pearls Hawthorne School in Yonkers, NY.
“I am honored to be joining Cornerstone during their 27th year of creating work that changes lives and builds community,” added Wanlass. “I am eager to tap into my 19 years of experience with SITI Company to help promote and expand Cornerstone’s unique artistic endeavors and community engagement. It is an exciting opportunity to partner with Michael, the board, ensemble and staff in support of Cornerstone’s mission to build bridges between and within diverse communities and to transform lives through the art of theater.”
Cornerstone Theater Company is a multi-ethnic, ensemble-based theater company that is nationally renowned for its community-engaged work. The company commissions and produces new plays which combine the artistry of professional and community collaborators. By making theater with and for people of many ages, cultures and levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone’s work builds bridges between and within diverse communities in Los Angeles and nationwide. Over its 27-year history, the company has commissioned more than 60 playwrights, produced nearly 100 new works, trained over 3,000 students in its unique methodology, and worked with tens of thousands of community members across the country.
Founded in 1986, Cornerstone began as a touring ensemble, eventually settling in Los Angeles in 1992. The company’s plays celebrate many voices, and strive to include people who have never seen theater let alone been onstage. Its works have been staged in theaters, parking lots, shopping malls, factories, schools and subway stations. Cornerstone collaborates with community members from start to finish, giving them the opportunity to share their own stories through theater.
Under the artistic leadership of Michael John Garcés, who succeeded founding artistic director Bill Rauch in 2006, the company has produced an ambitious scope of work including The Justice Cycle (2007-2010), a series of plays on issues such as immigration, criminal justice and reproductive rights; a historic collaboration with the community of Watts (2011); and the company’s first musical, a celebration of the city of West Hollywood (2010). Most recently the company launched The Hunger Cycle (2011-2016), a nine play-series on issues of hunger, justice and food equity, including a tour of California scheduled for 2014. The company was recently awarded a New California Arts Fund grant of $750,000 from the James Irvine Foundation in support of its long-term efforts to deepen community engagement.
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