…with Meropi Peponides Joining Sarah Benson and Cynthia Flowers as a Director of the Company
Soho Rep. announces a new shared leadership structure in which Meropi Peponides, a five-year member of the company’s team (most recently as Producer), will be named a Director of Soho Rep., alongside Sarah Benson (who has served as Artistic Director for the past twelve years) and Cynthia Flowers (who has served as Executive Director for the past seven years).
The shift deepens the existing partnership between Peponides, Benson and Flowers and recognizes the equal value of its three leaders: Peponides (Director, Artistic Development and Producing), Benson (Director, Artistic), and Flowers (Director, Executive). This leadership transition comes in conjunction with a new strategic plan, in which the organization seeks to grow its artistic output, strengthen organizational infrastructure, and highlight its role as a vital civic institution.
As Director, Peponides will now directly report to and serve as an ex officio member of the Board, along with Benson and Flowers. Peponides’ current responsibilities at Soho Rep. include: leading the artistic producing process from first impulse through full production; overseeing artistic development through Soho Rep.’s Writer/ Director Lab and Studio programs; supervising production staff; and seeking out and building relationships with artists who may work with Soho Rep. in future seasons. As Director, she will take on an even greater role at the organization, including joining the board of directors, collaborating on the future artistic and organizational vision for Soho Rep. with Benson and Flowers, taking the lead on building strategic partnerships for the company’s artistic development programs, and fundraising and Board engagement.
Peponides is a co-founder of Radical Evolution, a multiethnic producing collective committed to creating artistic events that seek to understand the complexities of the mixed-identity existence in the 21st Century whose works include The Golden Drum Year: a story in poetry and prose, Loving and Loving, The Corrido of the San Patricios, and Songs About Trains.
In addition to her leadership of Radical Evolution, whose work will appear across the country in 2020, she is also a generative artist participating in the creation of the company’s work. Peponides came to Soho Rep. from the Foundry Theatre, where she served as Creative Producing Fellow. She was previously an assistant line producer at The Public and part of the Women’s Project Lab. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy at Columbia University, and has worked as a freelance dramaturg in addition to serving as a dramaturgical voice for Soho Rep. and Radical Evolution.
Peponides says, “While the American theater reaches new heights of imagination in the work it puts onstage, there is a lack of it in the structural ways we consider how to run a company, and I am excited for this opportunity to think differently about how leadership can look and function. We are all interested in interrupting the idea of a single charismatic leader at the helm of a theatre company, and the visionary way that Sarah and Cynthia have led the organization has opened up the opportunity for us to move forward in this new structure with a spirit of experimentation and inquiry. This is an exciting moment to me because historically, theater producers have often been seen as executing or working in service of someone else’s vision; but I see producers as people who can be part of the forward-vision of an organization.”
She adds, “This, for us, is a practical change but also a philosophical change, and part of our goal to be a more just, fair, and humane theater is reflected in this idea. It has stemmed from our continued exploration of how collaboration can work, and how that can instigate new ways of making theater.”
Sarah Benson says, “I am thrilled to be embarking on this new way of working together. Soho Rep. has a history of having artists in formal roles at the theater—both on staff and the board. Meropi’s incredible artistic sensibility and dramaturgy have already brought so much to the power of our work on stage and I cannot wait to further expand that in this new model. Meropi has a phenomenal creative producing vision that is wholly distinctive and has majorly impacted how we make our shows. As I think about the future I’m so excited by the multitude of incredible projects we have in development and under commission—and I relish looking ahead to making all this work with two such brilliant partners as Meropi and Cynthia.
Cynthia Flowers says, “Since joining Soho Rep. five years ago, Meropi has had a profound influence on our theater— shaping the artistic quality and impact of our productions and also how that work gets made. Sarah and I do not make any major decisions without her vital input, and I’m extremely happy that her role at the organization is being publicly recognized and to deepen the partnership between the three of us. I’m also grateful to the Board for embracing the experiment of this new three-person leadership structure.”
About Soho Rep.
Founded in 1975, and in its theater on Walker Street since 1991, Soho Rep. has built an outstanding reputation for being at the forefront of new and innovative theater, serving as a vital center for contemporary theatre artists.
Soho Rep. is dedicated to cultivating and producing visionary, uncompromising, and exuberant new plays, performing to one of the youngest adult audiences in New York City, with over half aged 18-40.
Critics continue to herald Soho Rep. as a go-to theatre destination for new and original works. New York Magazine says, “this indispensable theater offers more excitement per chair than any space in town,” Time Out New York says, “Soho Rep. is the best theater in NYC,” and The New York Times describes Soho Rep. as “form-twisting, boundary-breaking, and acclaimed” and says, “The downtown powerhouse…regularly outclasses the work done on many of the city’s larger stages.” In 2015, The Village Voice named Soho Rep. the “Best Off-Broadway Theater Company,” and the company was listed in Travel Magazine’s 2016 “10 Essential Off-Broadway Theaters.”
In 2014, Soho Rep. was honored with a Drama Desk Award for Sustained Achievement. Over the last decade, Soho Rep. productions have garnered 21 OBIE Awards; the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical; 13 Drama Desk nominations, two Kesselring Awards, The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award for Dan LeFranc’s Sixty Miles To Silverlake and, a special citation in The New York Drama Critics’ Circle’s 2012-13 awards. In recent years, Soho Rep. has presented plays by established and emerging theatre artists such as David Adjmi, Annie Baker, Alice Birch, Jackie Sibblies Drury, debbie tucker green, Aleshea Harris, Lucas Hnath, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Daniel Alexander Jones, Richard Maxwell, Sarah Kane, Young Jean Lee, Nature Theater of Oklahoma and Anne Washburn.
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