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Golden Thread Founding Artistic Director To Step Down

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Golden Thread Founding Artistic Director To Step Down

After almost 25 years since she founded the company, Golden Thread's artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian has announced that she will step down in spring 2021 and usher in the next generation of leadership for Golden Thread Productions.

Yeghiazarian commented, "Golden Thread will be 25 years old in 2021 and this transition feels like exactly the right step on this momentous occasion. Over the years, we have done a lot of community-building and I'm proud of the thriving community of Middle Eastern/North African theatre artists currently active in the field. I'm confident we will find many worthy candidates to lead Golden Thread into an even more thrilling and impactful future."

Golden Thread Productions Board of Trustees has assembled a selection committee representing Golden Thread resident artists, community members, and other stakeholders in a national search for our next Executive Artistic Director. "As with all decisions that Torange makes, this has been carefully and thoughtfully made." says Golden Thread Board President Nora el Samahy "We have been planning the process for the past two years and I am moved by Torange's commitment to the future success of the company and its new leader."

Often referred to as "The Mother of Middle Eastern American Theatre", Yeghiazarian founded Golden Thread Productions in San Francisco in 1996 where she launched visionary programs such as ReOrient Festival of Short Plays, and helped build the careers of numerous playwrights of Middle Eastern heritage. Through a national partnership with The Lark and Silk Road Rising, Yeghiazarian helped build a pipeline of Middle Eastern American plays. She championed new voices, advocated for and mentored women artists, and facilitated international artistic exchange.

A tireless community-builder and advocate, Yeghiazarian has been instrumental in developing artists of Middle Eastern heritage locally and nationally, and cultivating a diverse community of artists, audiences, and philanthropists. She developed two seminal documents in collaboration with Jamil Khoury, artistic director of Silk Road Rising: Middle Eastern Theatre Artists Bill of Rights and Dear Producers, published in American Theater Magazine in 2017. Serving on the MENA Theater Artists Founding Steering Committee, Yeghiazarian helped establish the MENA Theatre Makers Alliance, the first national alliance devoted to MENA artists and stories in the American theater.

For the past five years, Golden Thread has enjoyed steady growth. It has doubled its budget through significant investment in staff and board development and community engagement. Now about to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the company enjoys a leading position as the nation's oldest producer of Middle Eastern work, a robust donor and audience base, an engaged board, and strong community partnerships. The ideal candidate for the new Executive Artistic Director would be an experienced theatre producer and inspiring artistic leader with exceptional understanding of Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American theatre as well as lived understanding of the diverse communities that shape it.

Golden Thread is the first American theatre company devoted to plays from or about the Middle East, defined broadly and inclusively. For nearly 25 years, Golden Thread has been expanding the scope of mainstream American storytelling to include Middle-Eastern immigrant perspectives, offering opportunities for deeper dialogue about US-Middle East relations, and advocating for equitable representation of voices in the American theatre nationally.

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