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Kitchen Theatre Company Adds Rebecca Bradshaw As Producing Artistic Director and Cary Bland Simpson As Managing Director

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The appointments of both Bradshaw and Simpson were approved by the Kitchen Theatre Company's board of trustees in June 2021 after two national searches.

Kitchen Theatre Company Adds Rebecca Bradshaw As Producing Artistic Director and Cary Bland Simpson As Managing Director

Rebecca Bradshaw (she/her/hers), Associate Producer of Boston's Huntington Theatre, and Cary Bland Simpson (she/they), Director of Corporate & Special Events at Only Make Believe have been named the new Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director of Ithaca's Kitchen Theatre Company, respectively, effective July 1, 2021.

"After extensive national searches, I am so pleased to welcome Rebecca and Cary, and their partners, to Ithaca and the KTC family," says incoming board president, Matt Carcella. "The expertise and artistry that they both bring to the Kitchen will propel us back to live, in-person theatre and onto new heights building upon our strong reputation regionally and nationally. I can't wait for all of our subscribers, supporters, donors, and sponsors to meet Rebecca and Cary!"

The appointments of both Bradshaw and Simpson were approved by the Kitchen Theatre Company's board of trustees in June 2021 after two national searches. Bradshaw will succeed Interim Producing Artistic Director, David Winitsky (he/him/his), and Simpson will succeed Stephen Nunley (he/him/his), KTC's Managing Director of 16 years.

"The decision not to stay at the Kitchen - and to make more great theatre with and for this amazing community - was very hard, but feels very right." said Winitsky, "I am so honored to have guided a company that I love into the hands of a stellar new generation of leadership that will take the Kitchen in socially conscious and artistically exciting directions. Ithaca is going to love Rebecca and Cary!"

"David's creativity, energy and experience were of enormous help this year," said former Board President Randy Ehrenberg. "I can't thank him enough."

Rebecca Bradshaw is a director, producer, and casting director from Boston, MA. For the last decade, Bradshaw has built her career in Boston as a theatre director, producer, educator, casting director, and advocate. She has directed full productions for Lyric Stage, The Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, A.R.T. Institute, Emerson College, Bridge Rep of Boston, Central Square Theatre/MIT, The Umbrella Center for the Arts, among others. Bradshaw is leaving her position as the Associate Producer of the Huntington Theatre Company, where she handled line producing, casting, and developing new work. She is a part of the Affiliate Faculty of Emerson College teaching directing and producing, and has taught casting seminars at Harvard University, Suffolk University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Lesley University, and Boston Conservatory. She is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union. In addition to her duties at the Kitchen Theatre, she will be directing Witch by Jen Silverman at the Huntington this fall.

"The Kitchen Theatre is a gem in this community," says Bradshaw. "I cannot wait to continue the compelling storytelling this company has succeeded at for years while finding ways to further engage the community and stretch the Kitchen's national identity."

Cary Bland Simpson, a queer theatremaker from North Carolina, grew up in and around backstage of the Carrboro ArtsCenter, fostering a love for intimate theatre from offstage. She was a founding Producing Artistic Director of the Kenan Theatre Company, an offshoot of UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Dramatic Art that works hand-in-hand with PlayMakers Repertory Company, and was a 2017 Actor's Fund Performing Arts Legacy Project Fellow. Select work history includes the Martha's Vineyard Playhouse, Theater Development Fund, New York Theatre Workshop, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and Only Make Believe. Cary holds a BA in English and Dramatic Art from UNC-Chapel Hill and a MFA in Theater Management and Producing from Columbia University's School of the Arts.

"I am honored to be invited into the Ithaca community as Kitchen Theatre Company's next Managing Director. Alongside incoming Producing Artistic Director Rebecca Bradshaw, the Board of Directors, and KTC's amazing staff, I look forward to supporting the bold work the Kitchen is known for as we launch the 30th Anniversary season and our return to live theatre, while finding as many pathways for new voices and community building as possible," says Simpson. "I am excited to work with industry partners to continue dismantling systemic oppression in the theatre at large and in Ithaca, and to infuse this new era at the Kitchen with allyship, transparency, and joy."

Both Bradshaw and Simpson will be relocating to Ithaca in August.


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