PlayPenn has selected Che'Rae Adams as Artistic Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on December 1, 2021.
A respected advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts and culture community, Adams joins PlayPenn after 15 years as Producing Artistic Director of the LA Writers Center. While there, she developed new work with local writers. Previously she served as Director of Operations and Programming for Moss Theater in Santa Monica. Some of her recent projects include CREATE: A BIPOC Reading Series in response to George Floyd’s murder; HOME: Asian Voices Reading featuring Asian-American stories; and The Voices of Afghanistan, a series of monologues based on interviews with Afghan artists in hiding.
She has been an instructor and lecturer at several arts and culture institutions, including Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, LA Writers Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Azusa Pacific University, and many other organizations. Adams holds a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from California State University and a master of fine arts degree in directing from the University of Cincinnati.
In making the announcement, Board President and Search Committee co-chair Nancy Boykin said, “PlayPenn feels very fortunate that our Artistic Director search has brought such an outstanding new leader to Philadelphia. She has taken the helm and we are well underway with our plans for our summer conference. Her experience, confidence, energy, and interest in relationship within the community are the very qualities we need for PlayPenn in this moment.”
“I am thrilled to take up the baton that has been entrusted to me by everyone at PlayPenn,” said Adams. “My entire career I’ve worked hard to reach new audiences by telling stories that truly reflect the diverse world in which we live. Now is the perfect time for us to embrace our role as storytellers to our community, making inclusive and compelling work that is as relevant as it is excellent.”
“Best wishes to the board, staff, and newly appointed Artistic Director Che’Rae Adams as they begin this exciting next chapter in PlayPenn’s history,” said ACG Senior Advisor Jane Hsu. “Adams has an exceptional track record of leading with trust, integrity, and transparency. We look forward to seeing how her leadership and commitment to collaborative thinking will advance the organization and foster an inclusive environment of excellence.”