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Ian Belknap, Artistic Director of The Acting Company, to Step Down at the End of the Year

The Board of Directors are working on a search to identify Belknap’s successor.

Ian Belknap, Artistic Director of The Acting Company, to Step Down at the End of the Year

Ian Belknap is leaving The Acting Company, on December 31, 2021, having served as its Artistic Director for the past ten years, to pursue new creative opportunities. "The Acting Company turns 50 in 2022. It's a good time for an influx of new energy and to give myself a new challenge," said Belknap, Artistic Director of TAC. "Leaving is difficult as the Company has been my home. It is a magical place full of people who support the idea that actresses and actors are the foundation of the theatre."

Belknap joined The Acting Company in 2008, working closely with its founder Margot Harley. Four years later, Harley tapped Belknap to succeed her as the organization's artistic director. Following Harley and its legendary co-founder John Houseman, Belknap remained focused upon building upon the founders' esteemed legacy. He excelled as an artistic leader and as a dynamic fundraiser helping strengthen TAC's brand reputation across the nation.

"Ian has been a splendid Artistic Director with endlessly good ideas and he has been a remarkable mentor for the actors. His enormous talent and energy is reflected in the accomplishments of The Acting Company during his tenure," remarked Ms. Harley. "I will miss him greatly."

Under Belknap's guidance, The Acting Company grew and adapted to an evolving landscape. "Ian's considerable talent and charisma have made him the complete leader, not only in his artistic vision and direction but also in guiding our fiscal and fundraising activities," commented Earl Weiner, Chairman, Board of Directors, The Acting Company. "We are grateful to him in so many ways."

Belknap directed and produced many national tours and off-Broadway productions for TAC including: The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Hamlet, among others. In recent seasons, Ian programmed repertories that focused on connecting the past and the present which have included: Measure for Measure and Nambi E. Kelley's Native Son (dir. Seret Scott), which won the 2019 Audelco Award for Best Play, and Julius Caesar and Marcus Gardley's X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation, which Ian directed, and was cited by the New York Times as "a stroke of curatorial inspiration".


"Bravery and brilliance come to mind when reflecting on Ian's tenure", said Roslyn Ruff, Obie Award-winning actress and TAC alumna. "Because we are all adopted children of The Acting Company, it was like the younger brother was put in charge of the family business and he THRIVED. Stepped right into driver's seat of a historic company and helped it evolve while maintaining the principles of its foundation."

To help produce this work onstage, Belknap guided partnerships between TAC and the Resident Ensemble Players, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Juilliard School, The New Victory, Teachers College, and together with Margot Harley oversaw a long-term partnership with The Guthrie. Many actors that began their careers with TAC during Ian's tenure have gone on to regularly perform on and off-Broadway, at the leading resident theaters, and in film and television. In addition to Ian's leadership at TAC, he has enjoyed a freelance career at theaters across the country.

The Board of Directors are working on a search to identify Belknap's successor.


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