McCarter Theatre Center today announced the appointment of Sarah Rasmussen as its new artistic director, effective Aug. 1.
Rasmussen is currently artistic director of the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, where she has gained national attention for bringing inclusive and bold stories, diverse talent, and gender parity to the stage.
“The search committee was impressed with Sarah’s commitments to inclusive artistry and inventive storytelling,” said McCarter board chair Robert Caruso, who co-chaired the search for a new artistic director with board member Jill Dolan. “McCarter looks forward to how she — partnering with managing director Mike Rosenberg — will expand the theater’s audiences with innovative programming and original content.”
Rasmussen will succeed Emily Mann, who is departing from McCarter after 30 years leading the theatre. “I have long admired Emily and her legacy of commissioning and developing new work,” said Rasmussen. “I am energized by the conversations I’ve had with McCarter board, staff and community about this next chapter. And, as a former professor, I look forward to the possibilities between the theater and Princeton University.”
“I am so very happy to light the torch of my successor, Sarah Rasmussen, and wish her a glorious tenure as McCarter’s new Artistic Director,” Mann added.
Rasmussen took over leadership of the Jungle Theater in 2015, succeeding founder Bain Boehlke, who had led the theater for 25 years. She commissioned new work; staged celebrated early productions of The Wolves, The Oldest Boy and Ride the Cyclone; and produced hit shows such Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, The Wickhams and School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play, among many others.
In 2018, the Star Tribune named her “Artist of the Year” in Minnesota. That same year, she also became an inaugural recipient of the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle grant, which supports the development of female artistic leaders in theater.
Prior to serving as artistic director at the Jungle, Rasmussen was resident director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab new work development program and head of the M.F.A. Directing program at The University of Texas at Austin. She has directed at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Actors Theater of Louisville and La Jolla Playhouse.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.