Theater News

Jim Simpson Will End His Tenure as Artistic Director of the Flea Theater

Simpson cofounded the off-off-Broadway company in 1996.

Cofounder Jim Simpson will step down as artistic director of the Flea Theater.
Cofounder Jim Simpson will step down as artistic director of the Flea Theater.

On Wednesday, October 29, the Flea Theater announced that Jim Simpson will be stepping down from his post as artistic director.

Simpson, a cofounder of the 18-year-old off-off-Broadway theater, said in a statement, "It feels like the right time to add another, newer vision to our future."

As the company prepares to move into its new permanent home — an $18.5 million project in TriBeCa boasting three performance spaces, offices, and costume and scene shops — Simpson will transition into an advisory role, as founding artistic director and president. He and his wife, actress Sigourney Weaver, have made a six-figure contribution of their own to this project.

Simpson, in conjunction with the Flea's producing director, Carol Ostrow, will search for a new artistic director to join the team just in time for this major transition.

"We remain committed to the goals that Jim laid out when he started The Flea," said Ostrow in a statement. "Our new space will be the beginning of the next chapter for The Flea, and will enable us to fulfill our mission to represent the wide range of what is possible Off Off Broadway."

Founded in 1996 by Simpson, along with designer Kyle Chepulis and playwright Mac Wellman, the Flea Theater was created to to create "a joyful hell in a small space." The company has gone on to produce and present dozens of new works, earning two OBIE Awards, an Otto Award, and a 2004 Drama Desk Award for Distinguished Achievement.

For more information about the Flea Theater, click here.