After 20 years with the company, Artistic Director Braden Abraham will depart Seattle Rep this winter to join Writers Theatre in Chicago as their new Artistic Director.
Braden joined Seattle Rep in 2002, starting as an artistic Professional Arts Training Program intern, then holding several positions on the artistic staff. He served as Associate Artistic Director for seven years before assuming artistic leadership of the Theater in 2014. During his tenure, he launched Seattle Rep’s Public Works, making Seattle Rep one of the first partner theaters to bring The Public Theater’s Public Works program outside of New York. He also re-envisioned the New Play Program, supporting the work of dozens of playwrights and directors through The Other Season development lab while also launching major new commissioning initiatives like 20x30:Reimagining the Anthropocene and New Directions, and premiering plays by Anna Ziegler, David Grimm, Justin Huertas, Samantha Silva, Cheryl L. West, and Karen Hartman, among others.
“What we have achieved at Seattle Rep over the past eight years I’ve served as Artistic Director alongside Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann is everything I had hoped for and more,” Braden said. “During that time, we have nearly doubled the Theater’s operating budget, launched a multi-year campaign to advance key strategic priorities, remodeled performance venues and public spaces, invested in new work and arts engagement, and created many memorable productions.”
In addition to developing new work around the country, Braden directed over 20 productions for Seattle Rep, including True West, Clybourne Park, Photograph 51, Ibsen in Chicago, Betrayal, Luna Gale, A View from the Bridge, A Great Wilderness, Breakin’ Hearts and Takin’ Names, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. His final production will be this holiday season’s Mr. Dickens and His Carol, a world-premiere commission playing November 25 through December 23, 2022, which he will also direct.
“When I arrived here as an artistic intern in 2002, I never would have believed that I would stay for twenty years and have the privilege of leading the company through such a tremendously influential period of artistic success and growing connections to our community,” Braden said. “I’m deeply grateful to all of Seattle Rep’s donors, audience members, staff, artists, and volunteers, and incredibly proud of what we have achieved together during my time as artistic director.”
Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann said, “Braden has been a terrific partner over the past eight years. His work has benefited this organization and our community in so many lasting ways. This is an extraordinary opportunity for him and I know that the Chicago theater community will benefit mightily from his addition. This transition also represents a unique opportunity for Seattle Rep as we embark on the search for our next creative leader to take this organization into its seventh decade of activity.”
Following the production of Mr. Dickens and His Carol, Braden will be at Seattle Rep through January 20, 2023. Over the coming weeks, our Board of Trustees will form a hiring committee to lead the search for the company’s next Artistic Director.
In the meantime, we remain deeply grateful for your support of Seattle Rep under Braden’s leadership. Your participation has helped us grow and thrive, producing extraordinary programming on stage and off, and we are glad to count you as part of the strong theatergoing community that will help us carry our work forward.