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Virginia Rep Finalizes Artistic Director Team 

Three directors will steer Central Virginia's flagship theatre.

click to enlarge Left to right: Rick Hammerly (artistic director of programming), Desirée Roots (artistic director of community) and Todd D. Norris (artistic director of education).

Jay Paul

Left to right: Rick Hammerly (artistic director of programming), Desirée Roots (artistic director of community) and Todd D. Norris (artistic director of education).

Virginia Repertory Theatre has announced that, after a national search, it is welcoming co-artistic directors, Desirée Roots, Todd D. Norris and Rick Hammerly in a new leadership model.

A recent press release noted: “In addition to the selection of our theatrical programming, Virginia Rep’s artistic leadership will now include a focus on community engagement and the development of our next generation of theatre artists and audiences,” said William H. Carter, chair-elect of the board and chair of the selection committee.

“In moving forward and adapting to our evolving industry, we believe Virginia Repertory Theatre’s artistic leadership will be best served by the appointment of these three co-equal Artistic Directors, focusing on Community, Education and Programming,” he added in the release.

A little more on each: Roots was first named artistic director of community in November 2021 and "works on programs that connect youth with community health and wellness programs, as well as the theatre’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access programming. She is now joined by Todd D. Norris, Artistic Director of Education, and Rick Hammerly, Artistic Director of Programming."

“We’re extremely pleased with our selection and the dedicated work of our committee. Forty-three candidates from 20 states requested consideration during the process that began last June 2021. Of the candidates, 51% were from the East Coast, 33% from Mid-Central, and 16% from the West,“ Carter added.

While Roots is well-known to Richmond audiences, here is a little more on her co-artistic directors: "Norris [artistic director of education] is an American theatre director, educator, writer and actor. He served as president of the International Museum Theatre Alliance and continues to act as an advisor." He comes to Virginia Rep from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, IN.

Rick Hammerly, artistic director of programming "has worked as an award-winning, DC-based actor, director, filmmaker, and arts manager for over three decades," according to the release.

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