Theater News

Addison's WaterTower Theatre lures lauded 'artistic visionary' to lead

Addison's WaterTower Theatre lures lauded 'artistic visionary' to lead

WaterTower Theatre artistic director Joanie Schultz
Joanie Schultz has previously directed for the Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Photo by Joe Mazza

It's a big week for Dallas theater companies — first with the announcement of Theatre Three's new artistic director and now a similar proclamation from WaterTower Theatre. The Addison company has named prolific Chicago director Joanie Schultz to the post, officially welcoming her to the team on January 1, 2017.

When longtime artistic director Terry Martin resigned  earlier this year to head up the fine arts department at Greenhill School, the WaterTower Theatre board of directors decided to split his job in two. Gregory Patterson, formerly the theater's director of development and marketing, became the managing director in charge of business and operations. That left the nationwide search open for the artistic director, who would steer the company's productions and serve as "artistic visionary."

Schultz, who has directed at more than 30 theater and opera companies throughout Chicago, including the Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre, holds an MFA in directing from Northwestern University and a BA in directing from Columbia College Chicago. She is also the recipient of several high-profile fellowships and was on the theater faculty of Columbia College Chicago and University of Chicago, as well as the opera faculty of Roosevelt University. She most recently served as associate artistic producer at Victory Gardens Theater.

"Joanie is one of the most gifted young directors working in our business today, and I very much look forward to partnering with her," says Patterson in a press release. "She will bring a daring new perspective to the work we produce on our stage while respecting the work we've done in the past and the incredible community which has supported us for 20 years."

One of Schultz's first duties will be to select WaterTower Theatre's 2017-18 season, to be announced in May. The current season continues with the regional premiere of Silent Sky in January, while the holiday add-on show Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold continues through December 23.

"We sought a leader who would bring new vision, new focus, and new creative energy to WaterTower Theatre, someone with a track record of developing transformative theater, and someone who is in sync with ideas and events that are shaping people's consciousness across the country," says WTT board member and chairman of the search committee Derek Blount.

"Joanie meets and exceeds all these requirements and is the perfect choice to lead WaterTower Theatre into a new chapter in its history."