Some news: UCBTLA Artistic Director Beth Appel is leaving the theater. Below is the email announcing her resignation, sent a little after midnight Thursday morning (PST).
Appel has served as Artistic Director since 2016. Her resignation follows the recent departures of UCBTNY Managing Director Alex Sidtis, UCBTLA Director of Human Resources Alyssa Cohen, UCBTLA Director of Finance and Procurement Brittany Palensky, and Elise Yen, the Chief Financial Officer who was hired in December and resigned in May.
To be sure, the role of artistic director is a job with relatively frequent turnover. Appel’s predecessor held the position for two years before resigning, and his predecessor for a little over one year. Before current UCBTNY Artistic Director Michael Hartney took the reins last year, Shannon O’Neill had the job for four. Still, this is a noteworthy shakeup in a long line of noteworthy shakeups, including December’s layoffs and the closure of UCB East. Whoever assumes the mantle next will face existential questions about the theater’s future.
Appel, who told the community she is leaving to pursue other opportunities, will stay aboard until UCB finds her replacement. I’ve reached out to UCB and Appel for comment, and will update this post if they respond.
Hello UCB Community,
I am writing to let you know that I've decided to move on from my job as Artistic Director. Being AD was a dream of mine for a very long time and I've truly loved doing it! BUT, exciting opportunities outside of UCB have been coming up for me more and more and, because of that, it's time to hand over the reins.
I'm extremely proud of the work I've done as AD and I'm grateful to be able to continue on as a UCB performer, teacher, and fan. I wanna extend a big old thanks to all of you -- the talented and weird performers, writers, staff, teachers, and more who help make UCB cool (and the home of the best comedy in the world). It's been a pleasure working with all of you. And a special thanks to two people, without whom the Artistic Department could not possibly have operated -- Susan Hale and Arik Cohen. Please treat them both to a Cheesy Gordita Crunch™ next time you see them.
As far as who will be taking over, I will continue on as AD with everything operating as usual until we find the perfect replacement. If you are that perfect replacement, email me and/or keep your eyes on boards.ucbcomedy.com for info on how to apply!
Cover image via Ed Kwon/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.
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