Fort Worth's Circle Theatre welcomes trailblazing new artistic director
A leadership change is happening at Circle Theatre, with interim associate producer Ashley H. White being named its new artistic director.
White was previously the co-founded and artistic director of Imprint Theatreworks, which folded in late 2022 after five years of critically acclaimed productions.
In her new position, White "aims to grow Circle Theatre into a creative hub where artists and audiences can gather to share and experience stories which embrace the essence of humanity through innovative live theater."
A release states that White’s focus during her first year as artistic director will home in on the pillars of curiosity, collaboration, and community.
Her progression to artistic director comes after a multi-year relationship with Circle Theatre, having previously served as the resident fight and intimacy director for two years, and then acting as Circle’s interim associate producer for its current season.
In her time as interim associate producer, White launched initiatives for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion, complete with a 12-month plan for training and expansion, as well as a plan for building community beyond the traditional show-going experiences through plus-up experiences and community partnerships. White plans to build upon both of these initiatives in her new role.
White's upcoming first season, which will be announced in early fall, will feature shows ranging from reimagined classics to lesser-known yet inventive performances.
“I am beyond thrilled to be taking on this new role with Circle Theatre, a company I so love working with and have long admired," says White. "The Circle mission of captivating and engaging community through the art of live theater is one I hold very dear to my heart and aim to embrace and embolden through my work as the new artistic director.”
Additionally, Circle Theatre plans to organize post-show talkbacks with a purpose, connecting with nonprofits and leaders in the community alongside exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses to deepen the connection between artists and the audience.
Attendees can also look forward to supplemental events such as wine tastings, live music, samplings of Fort Worth food, gallery partnerships, and other experiences showcasing the talents of local artists.
“Circle Theatre is ecstatic about adding the talented Ashley H. White to our staff full time as the new artistic director," says Circle executive director Tim Long. "She’s a wonderful collaborator and her experience, expertise, and inventive insight truly make those who work around her better. I have seen her insatiable drive and curiosity firsthand and know she is eager in continuing and advancing the goal of making Circle an artistic hub for artists and audiences members alike.”
First up for White is directing the upcoming musical The Other Josh Cohen (with book, music, and lyrics by David Rossmer and Steven Rosen), running August 24 to September 16, 2023.
White has two decades of experience in creating theater, and is an accomplished director of more than 40 productions, both local and national, as well as extensive film and television credits.
She has also been nominated for Innovation in Directing awards through SDC, The National Union for Directors and Choreographers.
White is a certified intimacy director with IDC Professionals and is a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. She is the only person to hold both of these certifications in DFW, and only one of two in the state of Texas.
Initiatives currently being built for Circle to support emerging playwrights through a new script development program, providing space and workshopping opportunities for local playwrights to incubate their new works.
Circle will also continue to offer professional development training opportunities for artists and actors, including continuations of their recent sold-out Meisner workshops.