Richard M. Parison, Jr. is currently the Executive Director of the Westcoast Black Theater Company in Sarasota, Florida. Prior to Sarasota, Richard was the Executive Director of CenterStage Foundation for Richmond CenterStage, central Virginia’s premiere performing arts center; Associate Artistic Director at the award-winning Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia and before that, for over eight seasons, the Associate to Producing Artistic Director, Bernard Havard, at the internationally recognized Walnut Street Theatre. Richard began his career in professional theater as Artistic Associate to Gerald Freedman and Victoria Bussert at Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. As a director, he is multi nominee for the Philadelphia Barrymore Award for Dreamgirls, The Glass Menagerie and The Big Bang. Richard most recently directed Dessa Rose at the Firehouse Theater Project, in Richmond and Fiddler on the Roof for Virginia Repertory Theatre, which received 10 nominations for the Richmond Critics Circle Choice Awards, including Best Director. He holds a BFA from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio with an emphasis in Arts Administration & Directing and is a fellow of Leadership Philadelphia and a graduate of the PEW Charitable Trusts Young Emerging Arts Leadership program.