LOUISVILLE, KY (August 17, 2020) — Commonwealth Theatre Center (CTC), one of the nation’s leading pre-professional theatre education organizations, announces a restructuring of its organizational leadership model.

As of August 1, former Associate Artistic Director Hallie Dizdarevic has accepted and moved into the newly-formed position of Director of Creative Engagement. This change comes in response to the evolving needs of the organization, as CTC reimagines what accessibility and creative storytelling will look like post-pandemic, as well as Dizdarevic’s own needs.

“I am grateful to work for a company that values family and respects the caregiving needs that this unique time has created for many of us,” said Dizdarevic. “As I transition into my new role with the company, I am looking forward to finding creative pathways to engage with our community during a time when storytelling, art, resilience, and joy are so incredibly vital.”

Artistic Director Charlie Sexton acknowledged the unique position that CTC, like many arts organizations, has found itself in. “The past several months have certainly challenged all of us to be creative and resourceful. But we are thrilled to have Hallie as our new Director of Creative Engagement, working to ensure excellence in all our special projects and community partnerships,” said Sexton.

Former Artistic Associate Jessica De La Rosa has accepted and assumed the vacated position of Associate Artistic Director. 

“I am beyond thrilled for this opportunity,” said De La Rosa. “I love the mission of CTC and the very unique structure of the organization that melds both of my passions: theatre and education.”

Both Dizdarevic and Sexton praised De La Rosa’s move into the AAD position.

“Walden Theatre has been my home away from home for many years, and I have no doubt that the Conservatory will thrive under Jessica’s leadership,” said Dizdarevic. “I can’t wait for the CTC family to get to know her as I have, and I know that her innovation and passion will serve us well as we move forward.”

Sexton added, “Jess has done outstanding work during these trying times, has been an excellent manager and positive force for CTC.”

The expansion and restructuring of CTC’s leadership model was a collaborative effort, fueled by a collective desire to adapt and enhance the Walden Theatre Conservatory legacy. The ongoing pandemic has forced the organization to envision a different model of instruction and creative direction, creating space for an expanded leadership model to move the company forward.

De La Rosa highlighted the support and inspiration she’s received from within the organization. “I was very lucky to be able to assist Hallie when she directed Top Girls last season, and I got the tiniest of peeks into the massive efforts she does for the group. I was truly inspired by it,” said De La Rosa.

“Charlie has been a terrific champion in this crazy time, for which I am thankful,” she added. “I look forward to what comes next as we work together to keep CTC in the minds of the nation as a leader in pre-professional training. I am confident that we will be able to carry forward Walden’s resilient legacy as we navigate this new world, embracing the challenges as they carve us into the unstoppable, innovative force I know us to be.”

Walden Theatre was founded in 1976 by Nancy Niles Sexton as a county-wide conservatory for young people with a serious interest in theatre studies. In 2015, the company merged with Blue Apple Players to create Commonwealth Theatre Center. The combined organization serves over 55,000 youth and adults each year, with alumni receiving degrees from Juilliard School, Carnegie Mellon, Brown University, Princeton University, Indiana University, and many more.

“The future is coming into focus,” added Sexton. “And I am so eager to welcome back our students, families, and patrons.”

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