Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces Rebecca Ende Lichtenberg as Executive Director
DC Arts Veteran joins Artistic Director Simon Godwin to Lead STC in an Era of Extreme Growth Washington, DC;
November 21, 2023 – Rebecca Ende Lichtenberg is the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s (STC) next executive director as announced by STC’s Board of Directors Chair, Anita Antenucci. A long-time arts leader in Washington, D.C., Ms. Ende Lichtenberg will join STC on February 19, 2024 and lead the award-winning classic theatre alongside Artistic Director Simon Godwin as it continues to grow its artistic influence across the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Ende Lichtenberg will report to the theatre’s board of directors. She comes to STC from D.C.’s Studio Theatre where she has served as executive director after joining the company as managing director in 2018.
“Rebecca brings a wealth of experience to her new role at STC,” said Ms. Antenucci. “After a broad national search, Rebecca stood out for her strong theatre acumen and the quality of her work with D.C. theatres that Washingtonians greatly admire. The board is eager to begin this new partnership with her.”
“Rebecca is a smart, warm, and thoughtful leader,” said Mr. Godwin, “I look forward to working with her on the myriad challenges and opportunities the American theatre will present in the coming years. I am sure she will be a fantastic leader at STC."
Ms. Ende Lichtenberg joined Studio Theatre in 2018 as managing director. There she led financial management, fundraising, marketing, staff management, and oversaw a $20 million capital campaign and renovation. After successfully shepherding the theatre through the challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, she led a strategic planning process assessing how to return the theatre to a balanced budget, focusing on creating a season model that nets positively, increasing individual giving and growing other revenue streams.
Prior to her time at Studio, Ms. Ende Lichtenberg served as a managing director at Theatre J, the country’s largest Jewish theatre company. During her tenure there, she navigated the theatre through a public and controversial transition between artistic directors, while maintaining the theatre’s programmatic work and funder support, ultimately leaving the theatre in a position of financial strength. Earlier in her career she managed marketing and communications for Theatre J and ran earned income and communications for the Sitar Arts Center also in Washington.
“I feel so fortunate to have been able to build a career in theatre leadership while staying in the D.C. community, which is one of the most vibrant in the country,” said Ms. Ende Lichtenberg. “I couldn’t be more excited to take this next step and join the Shakespeare Theatre Company as its executive director. In a short time, Simon has shown himself to be a world-class artist and a visionary artistic leader. I look forward to partnering with him and working with the passionate staff and dedicated Board to redefine what it means to be a classic theatre company."
Ms. Ende Lichtenberg joins STC at a time of growth and evolution under the artistic direction of Mr. Godwin, who joined the theatre in 2019. Buoyed by a string of bold Shakespeare projects including The Merchant of Venice with John Douglas Thompson, and Godwin’s recent Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear with Patrick Page, and the upcoming Macbeth starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma, STC is one of the few American theatres that can celebrate subscription audiences having returned to pre-pandemic levels. In addition to assuming the fiscal responsibility for STC, Ms. Ende Lichtenberg will oversee the theatre’s continued commitment to learning and community engagement.
Ms. Ende Lichtenberg replaces Chris Jennings, who left this July after 19 years with STC to head the Manhattan Theatre Club, and will follow Susie Medak, 32-year veteran of Berkeley Repertory, who has acted as Interim Executive Director since Mr. Jennings’ departure. The Arts Consulting Group led the expansive, five-month nationwide search for STC’s executive director under the direction of Ms. Antenucci and a committee of the board of directors.