Nonprofit arts leader Adam J. Frank (right) will be the new managing director of Baltimore Center Stage, effective Dec. 13. He will lead the theater with Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra (left). Photo courtesy of Baltimore Center Stage.

Baltimore Center Stage announced Wednesday that it has named nonprofit arts leader Adam J. Frank to be its new managing director, effective Dec. 13.

Frank comes to Baltimore from Waterwell, a theater and arts non profit in New York City, where he has been managing director for the past four years. He succeeds Michael Ross, who announced his retirement from Baltimore Center Stage last year.

In Baltimore, Frank will work with Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra to run Baltimore Center Stage, now celebrating its 60th year.

“From an extensive list of qualified candidates, Adam was selected for his track record of empathetic management, operational rigor, community outreach and support for vibrant, ambitious theater,” said Baltimore Center Stage board president Sandy Liotta, in a statement. “We’re excited to work with Adam and Stephanie to continue to activate our theater’s spaces as a civic hub and an engaging home for artists, audiences and all forms of artmaking in the local community.”

“Adam is a brilliant choice for this moment in BCS’s evolution,” Ybarra said in a statement. “His experience in supporting new work and community-engaged programming is matched only by his incredible vision for what a theater can be going forward. I’m feeling like the luckiest artistic director to get to work in partnership with him.”

According to the theater’s website, Frank led Waterwell through the COVID-19 pandemic with no staff furloughs or layoffs and, working with artistic leadership, developed programming partnerships with advocates outside the arts, including immigration groups, labor organizers, and military veterans.

In addition to his work at Waterwell, Frank has served in general management, marketing and artistic capacities at The Public Theater in New York City; Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Yale Repertory Theatre; and the Los Angeles Music Center.

He holds a master of fine arts degree in theater management from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University and a master of business administration degree from the Yale School of Management. In a voluntary capacity, he has trained business students for nonprofit board service and been a board member of Columbus House, a homeless shelter in New Haven, Connecticut.

Founded in 1963 and designated The State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage at 700 N. Calvert St. is the largest nonprofit theater company in Maryland. Its 2022-2023 season began with a production of “Our Town” in which all of the cast members had ties to Baltimore, followed by “Ain’t No Mo’,” which ended Nov. 20; “Tiny Beautiful Things” (March 9 to April 2, 2023); and Life is a Dream (May 4 to 21, 2023.)

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining Baltimore Center Stage,” Frank said in a statement. “BCS is an institution that creates beauty and belonging, making great theater that builds bridges and community in powerfully innovative ways. I could not be more excited to join Stephanie and the extraordinary BCS staff and board as we nurture and grow that mission to be more equitable, sustainable and accessible. Baltimore has been warm and welcoming to me and my family, and we can’t wait to explore the city and put down roots.”

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Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.