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Walnut Creek Magazine

Center Repertory Company Appoints A New Artistic Director

In an exciting announcement on Wednesday, Center Repertory Company revealed the selection of Matt M. Morrow as its new Artistic Director following an extensive nationwide search. This appointment marks a pivotal moment for the Center Rep team, as the position had remained vacant since September 2020 when the previous artistic director, Michael Butler, departed due to pandemic-related budget cuts.

"We are thrilled to welcome Matt as the next artistic leader of Center REP," expressed Carolyn Jackson, General Manager of the Lesher Center and Managing Director of Center REP. "Matt brings a fresh vision for striking a balance between traditional works and new voices, along with a wealth of experience in fundraising and organizational leadership. His genuine warmth, care, and dedication shine through, and we are eager for the Bay Area to get to know Matt."


With over 20 years of artistic and production experience, Morrow brings a remarkable background to his new role. He served as the Executive Artistic Director of San Diego's Diversionary Theatre for the past eight years, which stands as the nation's third oldest LGBTQIA+ theatre. 

Under his guidance, Diversionary received 35 nominations for the San Diego Critics Circle Awards, winning Outstanding New Play accolades twice for the 2017 World Premiere of Georgette Kelly's "Ballast" and the 2019 World Premiere of Miranda Rose Hall's "The Hour of Great Mercy." In 2022, Morrow was recognized as one of the Top 50 LGBTQ+ Leaders of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal.

"I feel deeply honored and overjoyed to join the remarkable Center REP family and the vibrant East Bay community," said Morrow. "The leader of an arts organization is, above all, dedicated to serving the community in which they live and work. My aim is to cultivate a diverse artistic family and engage arts enthusiasts through ambitious programming that entertains and challenges. I believe a theatre should be more than a space for great art; it should serve as a meeting place for dynamic discussions and a home where connections can be forged."

Morrow's journey in the arts began in New York City, where he honed his skills at renowned theatres including Rosetta LeNoire's Amas Musical Theatre, the first theatre in the nation dedicated to non-traditional, multi-ethnic casting. Additionally, Morrow has developed new work with esteemed organizations including The Sundance Theatre Institute, The Old Globe, The Banff Centre, Center Theatre Group, American Conservatory Theater, Lincoln Center, PlayPenn, and Page 73 Productions, while serving as The John Wells Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama.

During the transitional phase, Acting Artistic Director Markus Potter will continue to provide support to Center REP as Artistic Producer. Morrow is set to assume his full-time role in August, ushering in an exciting new chapter for the company and its artistic endeavors.

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