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Bag&Baggage Productions Names Nik Whitcomb New Artistic Director

Bag&Baggage Productions Names Nik Whitcomb New Artistic Director

Nik Whitcomb is a lifelong theatre artist who has worked in various capacities with nonprofit arts institutions across the nation.

For the past seventeen years, Bag&Baggage Productions has been a staple of the Hillsboro community. They began with their namesake; a group of traveling actors with their costumes and props stuffed in bags, and a truck packed full with baggage. Since then, they've shifted from a traveling company to making a home at The Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro, to developing their own permanent venue with The Vault Theatre in 2016. They've grown from a handful of artists, to a company that works with hundreds of actors, designers, writers, and directors - all the while making high-quality professional theatre accessible to the Hillsboro area.

Bag&Baggage now begins a new exciting chapter, ushered in by the appointment of their new Artistic Director Nik Whitcomb.

Nik Whitcomb is a lifelong theatre artist who has worked in various capacities with nonprofit arts institutions across the nation such as Guthrie Theater, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, and Omaha Performing Arts among others. Nik has also worked on Broadway with producers, general managers, and other industry leaders as Program Director of the Black Theatre Coalition, and in 2020 he was named a "Theatre Worker You Should Know" by American Theatre Magazine.

"Bag&Baggage has been on my radar for about eight years now" says Whitcomb. "I have been a longtime fan of the work from afar. When the opportunity to join the team arose, what excited me was the type of work we would have the ability to create. B&B is rooted in a long legacy of classic storytelling and I am excited to put my spin on this tradition.

I also think that B&B is at an exciting place for expansion. The staff is dynamic and eager to grow. The board is fresh and open to new ideas. There is fertile ground here and my goal is to cultivate it properly so that we can all grow together in a meaningful way."

During Nik's hiring process, the Bag&Baggage board and leadership committee found support in the recommendations of past B&B leaders. When it comes to Nik, Bag&Baggage's old-guard could not be more effusive in their approval.

"I have had the chance to get to know Nik over the past few weeks, and he really is the perfect fit for B&B" says Bag&Baggage founder Scott Palmer. "Nik was raised in a suburban area and truly understands and respects the people who call rural and suburban areas home. He and I share a belief that folks who live in the 'burbs and in rural areas deserve access to life changing theatre just as much as people who live in the big city. Yes, he is an extremely talented director who understands and values B&B's unique approach to theatre work, but more than that he is an artist who wants to call Hillsboro home."

Beth Lewis, B&B Managing Director from 2015-2022 adds "I'm really excited that Nik will be the new Artistic Director of Bag&Baggage. Not only is Nik the right fit for B&B, but I'm really looking forward to the partnership that's already developing between him and current Managing Director TS McCormick. I know first hand how important the relationship between two co-leaders is to an organization, and I'm truly excited to see how (Managing Director) TS and Nik are already working together as a team in service to the B&B community."

Bag&Baggage is hosting a meet & greet event with Nik Whitcomb on December 16th, after the performance of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. B&B will also host their annual gala at their old home The Venetian Theatre, where community members will be invited to celebrate the next phase of the company and formally welcome Nik to the Hillsboro community!

If you'd like to reach out to Nik directly and welcome him to the community you can contact him by his email - nik@bagnbaggage.org.

The entire Bag&Baggage team is ecstatic to be welcoming Nik to Hillsboro, to The Vault, and to the Bag&Baggage family.



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