NRT’s Virginia Smith Announces Final Season as Artistic Director
Nebraska Repertory Theatre (NRT) Artistic Director, Virginia Smith, has announced that after a decade of service to NRT, 2014 will be her last season as Artistic Director. Smith said, “I have often said that my role at NRT is the best job in Nebraska for a theatre artist. With ten years at the helm of the Rep, I feel I’ve accomplished my goals and it’s time to move on to new challenges.”
NRT’s Executive Director, Paul Steger, said that “Ms. Smith assumed the post in 2005 at a low point in the Rep’s history, and has grown our audience, renewed our tradition of excellence and brought national recognition to our work. Her gifts as an artist are reflected everywhere in NRT, and we’ll miss her guidance.”
NRT was created in 1968 as an opportunity for students to have experience working in a professional environment. An agreement with the professional actors’ union, Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), was established in 1988 so that students could work with accomplished working actors from across the nation. In a typical year 35-40 students work alongside professional directors, designers and actors. The Artistic Director takes a leadership role in choosing the scripts, hires all of the artistic staff, and casts the plays with auditions in major theatre markets.
Smith added, “I’ve loved the opportunities we’ve been able to give to students who have worked in every aspect of running a professional theatre. I’ve loved bringing quality productions of award winning contemporary theatre to Lincoln and environs. But most of all I have loved all the terrific conversations I’ve had with our audience over the years.”
Steger announced that discussions are proceeding regarding the next steps for the NRT. Ms. Smith will continue her role as senior faculty in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film where she is Head of the MFA program in Directing for Stage and Screen and the BA program in Directing and Management.