(Seattle, June 10) — It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that ACT – A Contemporary Theatre announces the departure of Managing Director Becky Witmer. Becky informed the Board of Trustees in April that after 10 years with ACT she would not renew her contract for another term. We will miss Becky’s inspiring leadership and dedication over the past decade, first as Director of Marketing, then as General Manager and finally as Managing Director.  

Becky has played a critical role in the development and success of ACT, while positioning the theatre as a stable and effective organization.   

“To have been one of the caretakers of this great institution over the course of its legacy will always be a highlight of my career,” Becky says “I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished to strengthen the foundation of the organization. I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead ACT in a time of change and to have developed a plan for ACT to fulfill its strategic goals and focus its mission and vision. I am confident the staff, board, and core artists are on a path to a successful reopening and a strong future. There are exciting new plays being planned for ACT’s future and I will be the first to sign up for tickets when ACT reopens!”   

Board Chair Elect Eric Bennett says, “On behalf of the Board, we are all grateful for Becky’s extensive service to ACT. Over the course of her leadership, ACT retired its debt and developed the discipline to ensure the theatre will be sustainable. Being a contemporary theatre in a historic building presents unique challenges, and Becky, in partnership with John Langs and our staff leaders, helped ACT strategize how to navigate those challenges with clarity and unbounded enthusiasm. Looking to the future in 2015, Becky began advocating for the Board to prioritize equity and inclusion as an essential priority and today those values form the most foundational goal of our strategic plan”  

ACT is recognized throughout the region for being a collaborative and innovative organization that bridges the art of live performance with contemporary ideas and issues. Becky’s involvement with area organizations has strengthened ACT’s connections with regional leaders and helped bring awareness of the arts as a vital part of a community.    

Jon Scholes, President and CEO of Downtown Seattle Association says, “Becky Witmer is leaving ACT well-positioned to meet the opportunities and the challenges ahead as ACT and DSA members welcome businesses, workers, visitors and patrons back to Downtown. She has been an active member of the DSA, serving as a member of the Board of Directors and on numerous committees. These activities, paired with ACT being a cultural attraction for new works and holiday programming have elevated the theatre’s profile in the community.”   

Key accomplishments during Becky’s leadership as Managing Director include: 

  • Creating a debt retirement plan that eliminated $2M in personal loans the organization was carrying
  • Development of a strategic plan focused on equity, stability, the facility, branding, and strengthening of leadership
  • Implementation of the closed captioning system for Deaf and hard of hearing patrons to enjoy Mainstage productions at any performance, from any seat
  • Launching audience and community engagement initiatives to build and strengthen relationships, and create enriching discussions around the themes of the plays

“On behalf of ArtsFund, I’d like to say that Becky Witmer has been essential in building and maintaining ACT’s profile in the community,” says Michael Greer, President and CEO of ArtsFund. “While she will be missed, she is leaving us with an organization that is artistically current, financially responsible, and structurally poised for a reimagined world. ACT is an essential part of the community’s arts infrastructure, and because of Becky’s leadership, it is well positioned to maintain that role for years to come.”   

Over the next few months, ACT will be conducting a search to identify our next Managing Director. An Interim Managing Director will be hired to lead ACT through the transition and search.  

Becky will be greatly missed by our staff, Board, community partners, supporters and patrons alike. We look forward to following the success of her career. We are hopeful and excited for the next chapter, as ACT prepares to welcome patrons back to the theatre.  

Thank you, Becky for your passion, enthusiasm, dedication, and strategic vision.  

For more information, please contact Gail Benzler, Director of Marketing, Sales and Communications: gail.benzler@dev.acttheatre.org.