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New Century Theatre Company Takes on New Directions

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After 10 years of producing award-winning productions and helping to change the face of mid-level professional theatre in Seattle, New Century Theatre Company (NCTC) is excited to share several new developments in its future.

After seven years as Artistic Director of NCTC, Darragh Kennan is choosing to step down from his leadership role in order to make room for the many new artistic voices that are surfacing in the company. While most of the founding members remain connected to and invested in NCTC, the active membership has shifted to include many new artists and fresh perspectives. These new members are eager to continue the tradition of NCTC's past 10 years and make it their own in the coming decade. There is a collective desire to take on more new work, develop projects within the company over a longer period of time, and recalibrate the company's relevance to the Seattle community. Kennan will remain as Artistic Director through the next few months as the company determines its new leadership structure.

One facet of this new direction for the company is the choice to leave its resident partnership status at 12th Avenue Arts and return to the company's original nomadic roots. It has been an honor to be part of founding a beautiful new arts center on Capitol Hill alongside Strawberry Theatre Workshop and Washington Ensemble Theatre, and the partnership has helped NCTC to grow in many ways. However, the return to nomadic life will encourage and challenge the company to find performance spaces that are best fitted to each story being told and will allow the company the nimbleness to produce passion projects rather than be constrained by a more traditional pre-planned season.

As with any change, these new directions also present their own set of challenges. Below is an open letter from Kennan sharing how patrons and supporters can help ensure that the company can continue to thrive into the future.

An open letter to New Century Theatre Company patrons:

New Century Theatre Company (NCTC) is just finishing its 10th season of bringing gutsy, thought-provoking work to this community. Our company has changed over the years and has grown in numbers and scope, but we have never strayed from presenting work seen through the lens of a fierce artistic collective whose members are dedicated to having their voices heard and reflected on stage.

We hit the ground running in 2008 as a professional theatre company, looking to give agency to the actor in the rehearsal room and to employ more Seattle theatre professionals with plays and productions that would not do the audience's thinking for them. Striving to pay artists at professional rates has presented challenges however, as has operating with a part-time skeleton administrative staff.

As the Board and company members explore the next phase of this company I ask everyone who has been a fan of NCTC over the years to help in one of two ways:

· Buy a ticket to our current production of The Realistic Joneses (running now through July 1st at 12th Avenue Arts) at www.wearenctc.org. If we can sell out our final weekend, we can do a lot to keep this great company afloat. Our ticket prices are affordable, with discounts available for industry members, seniors, and students.

· Make a donation to the company at www.wearenctc.org. Any amount is valued and will go a long way toward ensuring a future for this collective of artists.

It has been my great pleasure to grow with this company and to see so many other small theatre groups begin their tenure in this town. Your contribution will be put towards ensuring a future that will be more tenable for the brave, nimble work that this company is hungry to continue.

Thank you for your consideration and for supporting the work of New Century Theatre Company.

Darragh Kennan, NCTC Artistic Director

NCTC will continue to present its Pipeline Series, providing free play readings and discussion at Solo Bar on the third Monday of every month. Pipeline is aimed at fostering a community between artists and audiences, and has been the starting ground for many of NCTC's full productions.

ABOUT NEW Century Theatre COMPANY

NCTC was founded in 2008 by a group of actors who felt there were stories not being told on the Seattle stage and who wanted to reclaim the actor's voice in the rehearsal room. Today, we are a family of actors, designers, and stage managers who all contribute to choosing, creating, and implementing the theatre we produce. We look for plays that push us to engage with the changing city we live in, and we aim to inspire other theatre artists in Seattle to produce the theatre they want to see and tell the stories that are meaningful to them.

NCTC Company Members include Emily Chisholm, Sunam Ellis, Ruth Eitemiller, Bradford Farwell, Keiko Green, Brenda Joyner, Darragh Kennan, Conner Neddersen, Peter Dylan O'Connor, Emma Pihl, Pete Rush, Betsy Schwartz, MJ Sieber, Andrew D. Smith, Victoria Thompson, and Evan Whitfield.

NCTC Affiliate Artists include Hans Altwies, Colin Byrne, Ray Gonzales, Geoff Korf, John Langs, Kimberly Newton, Michael Patten, Paul Morgan Stetler, Jen Taylor, Amy Thone, Stephanie Timm, and Rob Witmer.


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