Jill A. Anderson to Leave Syracuse Stage for Children's Theatre Company

Anderson will continue as managing director at Syracuse Stage for the remainder of the 50th Anniversary season.

By: Apr. 02, 2024
Jill A. Anderson to Leave Syracuse Stage for Children's Theatre Company
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Jill A. Anderson, Syracuse Stage managing director since 2016, will become managing director of Minneapolis’ Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company – the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theatre for young people – this summer. Anderson will continue as managing director at Syracuse Stage for the remainder of the 50th Anniversary season, concluding her eight-year tenure when she departs at the end of the company’s fiscal year in early July.

“Being part of Syracuse Stage and the Central New York community these last eight seasons has been a tremendous privilege,” said Anderson. “I’m so proud of what Stage’s staff and board have built – upon an already strong foundation – and look forward to seeing a thriving Syracuse Stage in the years ahead.”

Joining Syracuse Stage concurrent with Robert Hupp’s arrival as artistic director in 2016, Anderson was responsible for fundraising, marketing and operational oversight during seven consecutive years of operating surpluses. Her work to strengthen the company’s financial foundation helped Syracuse Stage maintain full employment during the pandemic while positioning the company for future growth.

Under Anderson’s leadership, and in partnership with Hupp and the Board of Trustees, Syracuse Stage increased its reputation as a leading regional theatre: The company produced two world premieres which later transferred to Broadway  – “Thoughts of a Colored Man” and “How to Dance in Ohio” – deepened its relationship with other regional theatres and producers through co- and enhanced-productions and developed commissioned work from nationally recognized artists and playwrights—all while expanding its community engagement and educational programming for local patrons, students and families. Additionally, Anderson taught theatre management courses in the Syracuse University Department of Drama, just one of many ways she has worked to foster the unique and fruitful relationship between Syracuse Stage and the University community. 

Anderson added: “Together, we have increased Stage’s visibility locally and nationally, worked to secure the organization’s future, and mounted an extraordinary response through and since the pandemic. I am more grateful than I can express for the opportunity Syracuse Stage gave me in 2016, and for the relationships I will take with me into this next chapter as I return to the Upper Midwest.”

As part of the company’s 50th anniversary season, Anderson oversaw the launch of an ambitious fundraising campaign that prioritized updating essential production equipment through capital investments, and the creation of a Permanent Education and Community Engagement Fund to support vital programming for Central New York residents. The company also established the Julie Lutz New Play Development Fund, with an inaugural gift of $1 million to be used for the creation of new work with a particular focus on sharing stories from underrepresented voices.

“While we celebrate this next chapter in Jill’s life and career, the news is bittersweet,” said Hupp. “It has been a highlight of my career to work in partnership with Jill these past eight seasons, and everyone at Syracuse Stage will miss Jill’s warm-hearted and thoughtful leadership.”

“When she arrived in Syracuse, Jill brought with her the wisdom that comes from working with the best and brightest of the American Theatre, and she leaves Syracuse Stage with a foundation that will carry us well into the next 50 years,” said Board of Trustees Chair Rocco Mangano. “Jill is both a keen administrator and a tireless champion for the arts, qualities that have made her not only a successful leader but a cherished colleague and friend. On behalf of the entire Board, I extend eternal gratitude for everything Jill has helped us accomplish.”  

Hupp added: “We’ll turn our attention now to building on the success of the past eight years to ensure in the years ahead a thriving theatre that makes the strongest possible contribution to the cultural life of Central New York.”

Syracuse Stage board of trustees and senior management are currently formulating a plan to seek Anderson’s successor. That plan will be announced soon.

Jill A. Anderson Bio:

Jill A. Anderson has served as managing director of Syracuse Stage since 2016. Jill is responsible for Stage’s more than $8 million operating budget and has oversight of fundraising, marketing, and operational matters within the organization. Prior to joining Stage, Jill spent a decade as general manager at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. During her tenure, the O’Neill completed a $7 million capital campaign and campus expansion, doubled its operating budget, and was honored with the National Medal of Arts and a Regional Theatre Tony Award. Under the O’Neill’s aegis, Jill also developed the Baltic Playwrights Conference, an annual international new play development retreat held in Hiiumaa, Estonia. Previously, Jill spent five years in The Production Office at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage, after working as a stage manager in Minnesota, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. In addition to her work at Stage, Jill is an instructor in the theater management program of the Syracuse University Department of Drama, building on her work with high school and college students elsewhere, including at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Jill has been recognized as part of the Central NY Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” and serves on numerous municipal and non-profit boards. Jill is delighted to call Central New York home, but will always be a proud cheesehead, originally hailing from Marshfield, Wisconsin.