FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 27, 2023 || CONTACTS:Corinna Schulenburg, [email protected], 212-609-5941
Executive Director and CEO Teresa Eyring to Depart TCG in June 2024
Eyring’s Legacy Includes Focus on Audiences and Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion
New York, NY - Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, has announced that Teresa Eyring, the executive director and CEO, will depart TCG at the end of her contract term in June of 2024. Eyring joined TCG as executive director in 2007 after 20 years of leading theatres across the U.S., becoming the first woman to hold the position. Under her leadership, TCG forged a new mission—to lead for a just and thriving theatre ecology—as well as a vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre.”
Eyring began at TCG when the subprime mortgage crisis was fueling a massive downturn in the economy. In order to keep the field in regular communication and sharing challenges and solutions, she began a Weekly Briefing to the field which continues to this day. Eyring led TCG through three strategic plans: the 2007 plan that paved the way for TCG to support the field in navigating the economic crisis of 2008 and the opportunities of emerging technologies; the 2011 plan, which birthed TCG’s Audience (R)Evolution program and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative; and the 2020 plan, which prioritizes exceptional workplace culture, programming that centers historically marginalized theatremakers and organizations, a decentralized governance structure, and a focus on capitalization and new income streams for TCG. During her tenure, her responsive leadership helped the field navigate the Great Recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, the #MeToo movement, and the uprisings for racial justice. Eyring also championed a global vision for theatre, expanding TCG’s international programs and fostering relationships across borders.
“It has been my absolute honor to work with TCG’s staff, board, and the field over these tumultuous years of challenge and opportunity,” said Eyring. “In that time, I’ve come to appreciate the extraordinary diversity and vitality of our interdependent theatre ecology. There is no single narrative that could possibly encompass the abundance of our field nor the resilience of those who lead it. That leadership comes from many places: from artistic and managing leaders, from trustees and artists, from teachers and students, from staff and freelance theatre workers, and from everyone who continues to call the theatre home. We are truly blessed with wide ranging artistry that underscores the invaluable connection between theatres and their communities.”
"Teresa Eyring's vision of a world better for theatre and because of theatre—and the hard work of staff under Ms. Eyring's leadership—positioned TCG to become a pioneer of some of the most contemporarily relevant cultural shifts in our field,” said Nikkole Salter, TCG’s outgoing board chair. “Ms. Eyring's risk-taking and bold ethical stance laid the groundwork for opportunities even amid what some might call the toughest field landscape of our generation. It was her work with the Board and commitment to core values that shaped TCG's new mission—a mission that will no doubt stand, as Ms. Eyring's legacy and leave an indelible mark on the theatre ecology for years to come."
“As the theatre field undergoes seismic evolution, TCG is poised to build upon its rich legacy of advocacy, professional development, field-wide learning, industry sustainability, and equity,” said Hana S. Sharif, the chair of the succession committee on the TCG board. “Under Teresa Eyring's leadership, TCG has renewed its mission to create a just and thriving theatre ecology that is adaptive, responsive, and equitable. We are delighted to partner with Creative Evolutions to find the next dynamic leader who will help TCG answer the clarion call to support the theatre field in meeting this extraordinary moment of change.”
Founded in 1961, TCG is made up of several core business areas: Networking and Knowledge Building among theatre people, including convenings, research, federal advocacy, knowledge-sharing and next-gen mentorship; Publishing, including TCG Books, the largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature in North America, American Theatre magazine, which celebrates 40 years this year, and ARTSEARCH, an invaluable resource for employers and job seekers; and Grantmaking, including longstanding partnerships with foundations and corporations to identify needs and distribute funding into the field. In all of its work, TCG focuses on building a more equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist theatre ecology.
During the span of Eyring’s leadership from 2007-2024, TCG’s accomplishments include:
- An historic level of federal relief for theatres during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Rapid response programming during the worst of COVID-19;
- Programming that centers BIPOC and BITOC, including THRIVE!, the Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project, SPARK Leadership Program, and Rising Leaders of Color;
- National audience-building programming, such as Free Night of Theater, Audience (R)Evolution, and the current Working Groups on Audiences;
- Reaching 20 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama as well as the early digitization of TCG’s booklist;
- Ongoing field research through Theatre Facts, the Salary Survey, and special reports on budgeting, audiences, leadership transitions, and more;
- Anti-racist and anti-oppression training, including the EDI Institute and #WeSeeYouWAT working group;
- A board-approved policy shift to enable American Theatre to pursue investigative stories;
- Convenings focused on capitalization and governance;
- Increased international programming, including the development of the Global Theatre Initiative with Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics; andClimate action summits and monthly meetings for theatremakers, supporting TCG staff in their conviction that this issue must be acted upon in the theatre field.
TCG has retained a team from Creative Evolutions, who have begun work on the transition process to new leadership over the coming year. Creative Evolutions is structured as a "human centered adaptive ecosystem that creates actionable solutions for creative individuals and organizations". They have recently pioneered new structures for many cultural support processes, including executive searches that include direct compensation to semifinalist and finalist candidates, engaging industry panelists who participate in candidate selection and who become mentors to new leadership, detailed transition planning that covers the entire first year, and inclusive structures that bring staff and board together in respectful and collaborative ways throughout the process.
The transition will include thoughtful consideration of TCG's role in the changing landscape, and creative discussions with board and staff about what leadership structures can best serve TCG, its Member Theatres, theatre-makers, practitioners, and the people who make up the communities where theatre is created. The Creative Evolutions team will be led by Calida N. Jones, Douglas R. Clayton, and Rebecca Novick. From Calida N. Jones: "This is a pivotal moment for the field. Our arts colleagues near and far have cried out for help, for leadership, and for respect and dignity. We hear them and see them and are working in real time to activate change and support each other in deeply meaningful and intentional ways. We are committed to partner closely with everyone at TCG to move through this transition in ways that prioritize the dignity and honor of our colleagues as human beings, and to open doors for new pathways for the entire theatre community in this new era.”
Teresa Eyring (she/her/hers), executive director/CEO, joined TCG in 2007. Under her leadership, TCG has invested in building greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in the American theatre field and promotes a vision for “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre.” Prior to joining TCG, Eyring spent more than 20 years as an executive in theatres across the U.S. Prior positions have included: managing director of the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis; managing director of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia; assistant executive director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; and development director of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Eyring holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and an MFA in Theatre Administration from Yale School of Drama. She is on the executive council and Vice President for the Americas of the International Theatre Institute and is on the boards of the Performing Arts Alliance and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. She is also an advisory board member of SMU DataArts and serves on the Entertainment Community Fund’s Human Services Committee.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 20 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. TCG believes its vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre” can be achieved through individual and collective action, adaptive and responsive leadership, and equitable representation in all areas of practice. www.tcg.org.
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