Baltimore Center Stage announced their new artistic director will be Tony Award-nominee and Obie Award-winner Stevie Walker-Webb.
Walker-Webb is an artist who has created works in Mexico, South America, and throughout the United States, but he has a special connection and commitment to Baltimore. He has directed at Baltimore Center Stage before, including productions of “Our Town,” “The Folks at Home,” and “Life is a Dream.”
“From the moment I stepped into the lobby of Baltimore Center Stage, I intuitively knew that I’d found a creative home,” Walker-Webb said in a statement. “The rich history and undeniable heart of this city is unmatched. Baltimore has long been a cultural beacon, and I’m excited to use my experience and national reach to amplify what makes Baltimore so special.”
He described Center Stage as having decades of close cultural ties to the communities surrounding it, and he intends to deepen and strengthen those ties.
“This theater sits at the precise intersection of all the things that matter to me both as an artist and as a civically engaged citizen,” Walker-Webb said. “I am honored to be leading an institution that has over 60 years of proven commitment to its community and intend to deepen that commitment by working with the Baltimore Center Stage team to bring only the most exciting and cutting-edge art to our city. This theater belongs to all of us, and my plan is to program plays that will make Baltimore fall in love with live performance again and again.”
Managing Director Adam Frank said the selection of Walker-Webb to lead Baltimore Center Stage’s artistic direction comes at a vital time for theater in America and in Baltimore particularly.
“Stevie is a bold and thoughtful leader, who matches artistic brilliance and delight with a history of placing art at the center of the work to build healthier communities and a better world,” Frank said in a statement. “At this critical juncture in the American theatre, his passion, energy and commitment to Baltimore make him an inspired choice for a vibrant future for BCS. I can’t wait to work with him to realize a beautiful new chapter for this amazing company.”
BCS Board President, Sandy Liotta reflected on the legacy of groundbreaking leadership associated with the theater.
“Baltimore Center Stage has a long and storied history of daring and courageous leaders, from Irene Lewis and Kwame Kwei-Armah, to Stephanie Ybarra and Ken-Matt Martin,” Liotta said in a statement. “We are honored, and grateful, that we can now pass that torch of leadership to Stevie Walker-Webb.”
Walker-Webb joins Baltimore Center Stage beginning Oct. 1, 2023. He succeeds interim artistic director Ken-Matt Martin, who served in the role since former artistic director Stephanie Ybarra stepped down in April to become program officer in Arts and Culture at the Mellon Foundation. Walker-Webb will work alongside managing director Adam Frank.