A Message from Kelly Roush, Departing Executive and Artistic Director, Classic Theatre, San Antonio, March 30, 2021
(sent to supporters of San Antonio's Classic Theatre)
Dear friends and supporters of The Classic Theatre of San Antonio,
It is with both a heavy heart and with an immense amount of gratitude to the patrons, staff, and artists of The Classic Theatre of San Antonio that I announce my departure as Artistic and Executive Director, effective May 31, 2021. While it has been a difficult decision to leave, my family and I will be moving to the Twin Cities in Minnesota this summer.
The last six years have been an incredible journey. I joined Classic Theatre as part-time Executive Director in June of 2015 and was privileged to work alongside Allan Ross and Diane Malone as co-Artistic Directors and with Terri Pena Ross and Rick Malone as founders of Classic Theatre. It was not long before I was the full-time Executive Director, and in 2018 I was named as the Artistic and Executive Director of Classic. I was honored to be trusted by the Board and the founders to help the theatre transition and grow from its inception to the next chapter of its existence.
I am abundantly proud of my six years leading The Classic, of the artists that have shared and collaborated on the work, the continued growth of the company, the dedication of the staff, the commitment of board members through the years, and the amazing support of the patrons and donors to the theatre. Some of the achievements over the last six years I am most proud of are the growing and diverse patron base, increased representation of women artists and playwrights, more diverse casting and play selection, an increase in the number of mainstage productions, a full slate of second series productions, an increase in the number of equity contracts offered annually, new programs like Camp Classic and our community conversations, partnering with other organizations such as the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the Witte Museum, our participation in Dream Week, holding our first three fundraising event dinners, and increasing the staff and number of interns to support all the wonderful work Classic has accomplished.
Due to the pandemic, this last year has been extremely challenging for individuals, the community, and for arts organizations. 2020 solidified my belief that the power of the arts is essential for connection and humanity. Through this past year we innovated and re-conceived how to continue to present live theatre by moving our season outdoors and “into the rough.” We will continue this in 2021 by partnering with the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Despite, or perhaps because of, this year the company has never been in a stronger position artistically and financially. This is one of the reasons I feel confident in my departure. As Classic looks ahead, the timing is good to continue to build on the legacy of The Classic and find leadership for the theatre into its next chapter for years to come.
My time with The Classic Theatre has been a tremendous joy, and I will forever cherish the great experiences and people I have worked with. Although I am moving on, the theatre will continue forward and continue to be an important part of the San Antonio community and will continue to present theatre that is entertaining, relevant, diverse, and transformative.
In the coming weeks, the Board of Directors will be forming a committee to launch a search for new leadership and will name Interim Leadership.
My deepest thanks,