Edward Norton and Kate Roche Hope Elected to Signature Theatre Board
Signature Theatre (Founding Artistic Director James Houghton, Executive Director Erika Mallin) just announced that Edward Norton has been elected as the Board of Trustees' new Chairman and Kate Roche Hope has been elected as the new President. Mr. Norton and Mrs. Hope will serve 3 year terms effective immediately. Actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano Lesson, August Wilson's How I Learned What I Learned) and Richard Willett, the Vice President and General Manager of East Hampton's Wines by Morrell, will also be joining the Board of Trustees.
Edward Norton succeeds Peter Norton, who joined the Board of Trustees in 1999, and will remain on the Board's Executive Committee. Academy Award-nominated actor and philanthropist Edward Norton made his professional stage debut at Signature during the 1993-94 Edward Albee season in Fragments, and returned in Lanford Wilson's Burn This during the 2002-03 Season. He has been on Signature's board since 1996, and served as the co-Chair of the Capital Campaign during the building of The Pershing Square Signature Center.
Kate Roche Hope succeeds Michael Rauch, who has served as Board President since 2007 and will remain on the Board's Executive Committee. Mrs. Hope, a former senior strategist at LaPlaca Cohen and Marketing Director at TMG - The Marketing Group, joined Signature's Board in 2011, and has served on the Board's Development Committee and Board Development Task Force.
"There are few theatres in America whose work and mission have excited and inspired me for as long as Signature's has," said Edward Norton. "I started with Signature in a 99 seat black box and have seen it grow into the major institution it is now. We have a great vision for the next twenty years and an inspired and dynamic team. It's thrilling to be a part of."
"I am deeply honored and thrilled to serve as the incoming Board President here at Signature," said Kate Roche Hope. "Our fierce conviction that theatre is meant to be experienced and enjoyed by diverse audiences and our dedication to make it financially accessible to all sets us apart both in New York and on a national stage. Together with my fellow Trustees, I am looking forward to bringing new ideas, new energy and a reinvigorated commitment to better serve our artists, staff and audiences and to help solidify the future of this extraordinary theatrical institution."
"We are thrilled to have Edward and Kate take on these leadership roles for Signature's Board of Trustees," said Founding Artistic Director James Houghton and Executive Director Erika Mallin. "Edward's commitment to Signature has been one of incredible dedication and work and we would not be in our new home without him. Kate has been a driving force in championing Signature's growth and future sustainability, and it is wonderful to have her take this to the next level. This exciting partnership will be essential as we support the long-term sustainability of Signature and continue to grow into the Center. We are so grateful for the vision and leadership of Peter Norton and Michael Rauch over the last decade and pleased they will both continue to serve on the Board Executive Committee."
Mr. Santiago-Hudson has a long history with Signature, starting when he directed Seven Guitars during the 2006-07 August Wilson Season. Recently, Mr. Santiago-Hudson served as Artistic Director for August Wilson's American Century Cycle, recording Wilson's entire 10 play canon at The Greene Space for WNYC. As an actor, writer, and director, he has received many awards and honors, including Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, Audelco, a Tony Award as well as an honorary Master's Degree from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Mr. Willett is currently the Vice President and General Manager of Wines by Morrell, which specializes in small production wines crafted by artisans throughout the world. He joined the company in 1999 after completing a 30-year career in public education in New Jersey. Mr. Willett holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at Legal Momentum - The Women's Legal Defense and Education Fund, an organization that advances and protects the rights of females through education, litigation and public policy. He also currently serves as a trustee for the LearningSpring School and the Newark Boys Chorus School.
The Signature Theatre Board Of Trustees includes Chairman Edward Norton, President Kate Roche Hope, Treasurer Dick Berry, Secretary Sean Peterson, Vice Chair Leslie Bains, Vice Chair Nina B. Matis, Former President & Officer Michael Rauch, Former Chair & Officer Peter Norton and Trustees Margot Adams, Gretchen Adkins, Edward Albee, Bernard L. Dikman, James Houghton, David S. Klafter, Christine Millen, Kristen O'Hara, Laura Pels, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Richard Willett.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos