Julia Flood Named New Artistic Director of Metro Theater Company
After a national search that attracted more than forty applicants, Metro Theater Company's Board of Directors has selected Julia Flood to lead the company forward as artistic director, succeeding Carol North, who will step down this winter after thirty-six years with the organization. Flood assumes her new post in February.
Susan Gamble, president of the board of directors and chair of the search committee, says, "We could not have asked for a better pool of candidates in our search for a new artistic director. Julia's is an extraordinary story. Her proven artistry and vision are aligned with Metro Theater Company's culture and mission. Julia's presence will further enrich the St. Louis cultural scene. Julia's acceptance of this mantle is a testament to the national reputation of Metro Theater Company under Carol North's inspired leadership.
"I couldn't be happier about this announcement," says Carol North. "Julia is a gifted artist, a genuine collaborator, a passionate advocate for young people, and a sheer delight personally. It's a privilege to pass the mantle of leadership to her."
Flood comes to her new post from sixteen years as artistic director of Eckerd Theater Company in Clearwater, Florida. Eckerd Theater Company is a small, professional theater that operates under the umbrella of a large presenting entity, Ruth Eckerd Hall. Since succeeding Eckerd Theater Company's founder in 1998, Flood has built the national reputation and touring scope of the company. An actor, writer, director and producer, Flood has written and had published numerous new scripts for young audiences - many of them produced by Eckerd Theater Company. She has also commissioned new plays and musicals for young audiences from nationally acclaimed artists such as Eric Coble and Doug Cooney. Among works commissioned by Flood is Cooney's Civil War play, Battledrum, which Metro Theater Company produced at the Missouri History Museum in 2011.
Prior to assuming leadership of Eckerd Theater Company, Flood worked as a free-lance actor, director and teacher. Her performing credits include roles at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA; Village Theatre Company, New York, NY; Shakespeare Festival/LA, Los Angeles, CA; Asolo Theatre Company and Florida Studio Theatre, both in Sarasota, FL.
A classically trained actor, Flood was a long-time resident ensemble member during the first seven years of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in Bloomsburg, PA, a unique collective of theatre artists dedicated to their community and to the practice of a collective artistic direction, producing classical and contemporary productions and creating new works for the theatre. Between 1978 and 1985 Flood directed, wrote, designed, produced and/or acted in more than two dozen plays, and taught in ensemble programs conducted in the Bloomsburg community.
Flood is active in The National Theatre scene, serving on the executive committee of the board of directors of TYA/USA (the U.S. chapter of ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theater for Children and Young People). She is a member of Actors' Equity Association, SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), The Dramatists Guild of America (the professional association of American Playwrights) and serves on the Advisory Council of the West Florida Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters.
"It is both an honor and a delight to join the dedicated team at Metro Theater Company," says Julia Flood. "I have respected and admired Carol North and the company's work for more than a decade. I am excited to explore the vibrant artistic landscape of St. Louis and look forward to working with the company's many community partners as Metro Theater Company begins this new chapter."
Matthew Neufeld, managing director, says, "Julia Flood brings a wealth of artistic expertise, an aesthetic perfectly matched to Metro Theater Company, and the energy and passion to guide the organization to new heights. I'm excited to partner with Julia to realize her vision for the future as we serve children in St. Louis and around the country."