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Exclusive: New Dramatists names Christie Brown as executive director

The appointment comes as New Dramatists searches for a new space.

Christie Brown (Credit: Courtesy of Keith Sherman & Associates)

Playwright development and service organization New Dramatists has announced Christie Brown as its new executive director. Brown will succeed Joel K. Ruark, who is departing after 26 years, and will join artistic director Emily Morse in leading the organization.

Brown has spent 15 years with New Dramatists in various leadership roles, including literary director and finance and human resources director. As the latter, Brown guided the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic. During her tenure, Brown has worked as a leading fundraiser to help launch PlayTime, New Dramatists’ play development studio.

She began her career as a dramaturg at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Brown went on to manage agent offices at ICM New York and Los Angeles, where she assisted literary agents in theater, film and television. She has served as an organizational advocate at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and was part of the fundraising team at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland.

“It’s an honor to join Emily at the helm of this magnificent organization, dedicated to supporting a group of extraordinarily talented playwrights,” Brown said in a statement. “We are ready to chart New Dramatists’ course forward with our unique mission: empowering playwrights to develop their work on their own terms. I feel proud to take over from Joel Ruark, who has elevated New Dramatists substantially over decades.”

Brown will assume the role as New Dramatists plans to sell its current home on 44th Street and find a new artistic space. Denham Wolf Real Estate Services is representing the organization in the sale of its current building. In their yet-to-be-determined new space, New Dramatists is aiming to provide a workspace with greater inclusivity for its community.

Founded in 1949, New Dramatists provides writers with the resources they need to develop work and contribute to the theater.