Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alum and former faculty member Joanie Schultz ’00, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre Directing program, has been named associate artistic director of the Cincinnati Playhouse, one of the nation’s top regional theatres. In an announcement posted September 16, 2021, the Playhouse stated that Schultz “will collaborate with producing artistic director Blake Robison to fulfill the Playhouse’s mission, oversee the day-to-day operations of the artistic department, lead the Playhouse’s new play development work, help conduct season planning, direct mainstage productions, and represent the theatre locally and nationally.”
“Joanie brings talent, creativity and strong leadership skills to the Playhouse,” says Robison. “She’s a nationally renowned arts leader, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Cincinnati! We are entering a period of tremendous growth as we emerge from the pandemic and open our new facility to the community. Joanie will help us chart a path forward that is artistically ambitious, inclusive and forward-thinking.”
As previously reported in this blog, Schultz served as artistic director of WaterTower Theatre in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, where she oversaw two years of diverse and award-winning work in 2017 and 2018. Prior to that, she served as associate artistic producer at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. She has directed productions for numerous theatres in Chicago (including Victory Gardens, Steppenwolf Theatre, About Face Theatre, and Steep Theatre) and throughout the U.S. (including Kansas City Rep and Portland Center Stage). She holds a BA in directing from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA in directing from Northwestern University, where she was mentored by Columbia College alum Anna D. Shapiro ’90, HDR ’15, former artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre.